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Dinky Kiyora

Nice one: Will Mazda's Paris show car morph into an all-new entry model?

Previewing the ‘1’, the Kiyora will lead to much smaller things from Mazda

13 Oct 2008

MAZDA’S Kiyora concept car is a precursor to a lightweight city car that the company intends to launch some time in the next three years.

At least, that was the word at the Paris motor show earlier this month, where Mazda also revealed its facelifted MX-5 (due here by mid-2009), Mazda2 MZ-CD 1.6 and Mazda6 MZR-CD 2.2, which goes on sale here in December.

A Mazda spokesman denied that it will launch a sub-B-segment four-seater city car in the near future, saying that the Kiyora is merely an exercise in design and lightweight materials use, which may one day find their way on to a future light car like the Mazda2’s 2013 replacement.

However, with rising fuel costs and an increasing number of countries imposing ever-more strict emissions controls, the smallest city cars are the next big things, as evidenced by the headline-stealing Toyota iQ and Pininfarina B-0 at Paris – the latter being an all-electric super-luxury premium city car that is due for production in 2010.

Whether parent company Ford will be involved in the future development of a Mazda 1-style city car is unclear, as the firm is already in bed with Fiat for its second-generation Ka out in Europe in early 2009.

22 center imageFrom top: Kiyora, facelifted MX-5, Mazda2 MZ-CD 1.6 and Mazda6 MZR-CD 2.2 (bottom).However, as this Ka sits on a Fiat Panda platform (which also underpins the Fiat 500) that is already five years old, Ford could eventually leverage the Mazda1 platform sometime down the track – particularly as Ford boss Alan Mulally is trying to streamline the stricken corporation under the ‘One Ford’ family philosophy.

The Kiyora is Japanese for ‘clean and pure’, and is described as “a lightweight, next-generation, urban compact concept car” that “represents the harmony between driving pleasure and environmental and safety features…” as part of its long-term technology development vision, ‘Sustainable Zoom-Zoom’.

It uses an all-new platform that minimises weight and maximises safety and driving pleasure, with the show car featuring a carbon-fibre body to help reduce weight by at least 100kg over the 100mm-longer Mazda2.

Kiyora is powered by an all-new, super-low-emissions 1.3-litre direct-injection four-cylinder petrol engine featuring the SISS Smart Idle Stop Shift system Mazda has just announced, to help cut CO2 emissions to below 90 grams per kilometre.

Driving the front wheels is a six-speed automatic gearbox with a sequential shift function.

The Kiyora fits Mazda’s goal of reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions 30 per cent by 2015 through the use of lightweight materials and conventional internal-combustion engines.

Speculation is rising that the production version of the Kiyora could serve as the basis for the replacement of the long-lived Mazda Carol ‘Kei car’ in Japan.

If this happens, it means that that the car would have to be a maximum of 3.4 metres long by 1.48 metres wide and have a 660cc-sized engine, to comply with Kei car regulations in Japan.

Currently, the Carol is a rebadged Suzuki Alto.

Read more:

Sydney show: Mazda3 makes global debut

First look: Mazda1 concept to wow Paris show

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