Mazda has begun production on the new Demio in its Japanese Hofu plant, which will be known as the 2016 Mazda2 in the U.S. when it’s launched globally.  The newest Mazda2 will be more efficient, lighter, and will feature a new dashboard design and infotainment display – and that’s just the beginning.

The Mazda 2 will be powered by a Skyactiv-G 1.3-liter gasoline engine, which will create 83 hp and 83 lb-ft of torque. That’s less than the current Mazda 2’s 100 hp and 98 lb-ft of torque, but for good reason. The engine’s new fuel-saving technologies have earned an unbelievable 70 mpg on the Japanese test cycle. That testing cannot be compared with the EPA’s rating system, so the Mazda2 will likely be rated somewhere closer to 40-45 mpg when it makes its U.S. debut.

Because the Mazda2 will be significantly lighter, we can expect the small hatchback to maintain the current level of performance despite less powerful output. The Japanese market will have the opportunity to opt for the 1.5-liter Skyactiv-D clean diesel engine instead, which would put out 103 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. Though we are drooling over that option, there’s no word if or when that engine may be available in the states.

The interior features a clean design with a new tablet-like infotainment screen that extends from the top of the dash, and most of the dashboard technology will mirror that of the 2014 Mazda3 hatchback and sedan. According to cnet.com, Mazda states that “the model also features a wide range of cutting-edge technologies such as the Mazda Connect next-generation car connectivity system, and a wide range of i-ActivSense advanced safety features that aid the driver in recognizing and responding to hazards.”

We look forward to seeing the 2016 Mazda2 for ourselves! If you just can’t wait for the 2016 model, stop by Parks Mazda, we’ll get you into a new Mazda2 today!