The Mazda2 has just been facelifted for its home market and, along with an updated look and more comfortable ride (we're told), is also the first Mazda to try out the company’s new small engine. Forming part of Mazda’s Skyactiv Technology, which includes the company’s range of new-generation petrol and diesel engines, transmissions and chassis, the new 1.3 direct injection petrol engine is considered by Mazda to be a breakthrough, largely thanks to the new motor’s high 14:1 compression ratio.A number of advances include Mazda’s first dual sequential valve-timing system which helps to increase power AND reduce fuel consumption, and the use of lighter engine components to reduce mechanical friction. The Skyactiv Mazda2 model is also the first to be fitted with Mazda’s revised i-stop stop/start system that, the automaker says, requires less fuel to restart and operates smoothly and almost instantaneously. CLEVER CARMoreover, this model also comes with an “intelligent-Drive Master” that encourages driving behaviour that improves fuel economy. Its dashboard display indicated the driver’s inputs in real time and provides a score and practical advice at the end of each driving session. This innovative feature is unlikely to make it into South African cars, though. Apart from the significant changes beneath the bonnet, the Mazda2 also benefits from increased body rigidity, retuned dampers and revised rear trailing arm mounts for its improved ride quality. The little hatchback’s aerodynamics (and consequently its fuel consumption and stability at speed) is also improved with the use of undercarriage-smoothing covers and a rear roof aerofoil. New technological features aside, the Mazda2 also gets a new face to show off along with several new cabin features said to create a “higher quality feel”.No news yet from FMCSA as to when we can expect the new car, but we'll let you know as soon as we have word.