One hundred of Mazda’s Demio electric vehicles will be offered for lease in western Japan this October. Mazda has created this focus group in order to know more about the development of EVs and the requirements of EV owners. The Demio is the counterpart of the Mazda 2 in the U.S. Mazda believes that by offering just 100 units to be leased, it will be able to monitor its vehicles and their owners closely, comparable to what BMW has done with its ActiveE model.
If the lease program succeeds, it will certainly boost the chances that Mazda’s car will enter mass production and possibly go to additional markets. The Demio EV is powered by an electric motor with 101-hp and 111 lb-ft of torque.
Meanwhile, a 20 kWh battery could provide a driving range of approximately 124 miles. Similar to the other vehicles offered in the market, a full charge typically takes eight hours but it only takes 40 minutes to get to an 80% capacity when using fast charge.
Mazda is planning to have an electric vehicle in the U.S. market by 2018, a goal that is quite different from the strategies of other automakers. The Honda Fit EV had demonstrated that electric cars could be quite exciting. If Mazda really intends to wait for six years, then it would be considered late.
For the Mazda 2, the brand wanted to offer what it called as the Zoom-Zoom driving experience. In order to make this possible, two things needed to be achieved. First is that it should have a livelier feel by making sure that the accelerator gets that instant response when overtaking or doing off-the-line acceleration.
Second is that the linear acceleration, as well as the deceleration, should be able to respond in a sharp manner based on how far the pedal of the accelerator has been pressed and thus ensure the driver is able to get the speed required. However, it was just as important to have these two qualities while improving the fuel economy of this subcompact model.
As such, the development team set out for the Mazda 2 to have a performance feel to it. This Zoom-Zoom feature is deemed to be one of the features that make the Mazda 2 highly distinctive in its class. The Zoom-Zoom driving experience relied mainly on the new vehicle being able to offer driving dynamics that inspire confidence while being able to deliver on driver-focused maneuverability.
The brand also made sure that the Mazda would be cost-efficient in various situations like, among others, the usual daily drive and that weekend long trip. It is safe to say that the Mazda 2 is also an economic vehicle, given that fuel costs are not that high due to better durability and exceptional fuel economy. For the design, Mazda wanted an exterior that would be expressive and have a solid form.
In order to make this happen, the brand utilized what is known as the “coordinated movement” design theme. As such, the design team used the body lines and combined these with how the light patterns played on the body and the visual movements that were owed to the profile.
The result is that the Mazda 2 has multi-faceted and dynamic expressions that are usually not seen on a model in the B-segment. Because of the way these expressions give the Mazda that powerful energy sensation, it has the appearance of moving despite the fact it is standing motionless.
Other defining elements of the exterior include that athletic wedge form which reveals a feel of forward motion. There are the unique character lines which begin at the fender arches in the front and go all the way to the body shoulders. Another key aspect of the exterior design is the deeply sculpted form which draws the body towards the inside, particularly on the front and rear of the A-pillars.