• Mazda's Hazumi Concept teases a future Mazda2
  • The concept also debuts a new diesel engine
  • We'll have more details when the concept is revealed in Geneva

Mazda has officially released a teaser image of a concept car it plans to bring to this year's Geneva Auto Show. The Mazda Hazumi Concept is said to preview an upcoming subcompact, likely a replacement for the slow-selling Mazda2 hatchback.

While Mazda's teaser image doesn't show much, it gives us an idea of how the Hazumi Concept will look. The concept features Mazda's unique fender flares, for example, and lines that recall the brand's "KODO: Soul of Motion" design philosophy. Similar lines are shared by the recently released Mazda3 compact and midsize Mazda6 sedan.

Beyond its uniquely Mazda styling touches, the Hazumi appears to boast a bold grille, alloy wheels and a sedan or hatchback shape. Despite the Hazumi's premium appearance, Mazda calls it a subcompact concept, suggesting that it may preview a newly redesigned version of the brand's 5-door Mazda2 hatchback.

Such a change would be important for Mazda, since the Mazda2 doesn't sell in huge numbers. Despite reasonable pricing and unique styling, the Mazda2 has routinely placed near the bottom of the subcompact segment in terms of sales since its debut for the 2011 model year. The Mazda2 currently starts around $15,500 and boasts fuel economy figures of 29 miles per gallon in the city and 35 mpg on the highway.

While Mazda hasn't released many details about the Hazumi ahead of Geneva, the brand has confirmed that the concept car will help debut Mazda's new 1.5-liter Skyactiv-D diesel engine. The engine will offer Mazda a greater chance to compete in the European market, where its smallest diesel engine is currently 2.2 liters. Many European vehicles include engines sized between 1.0 and 1.5 liters due to smaller vehicle sizes and Europe's high gas prices.

Stay tuned for more information about the Mazda Hazumi Concept, as we'll have full details once the model launches next month in Geneva.

What it means to you: Mazda's new Hazumi Concept likely previews the direction that the brand will take for its upcoming Mazda2 hatchback.

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Doug DeMuro has a wide range of automotive industry experience, from work at a Ferrari dealership to a manager for Porsche North America. A lifelong car enthusiast, Doug's eclectic vehicle purchases include a Porsche 911 Turbo, an E63 AMG wagon, an old Range Rover and a Mercedes Benz G-wagen.

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