TOKYO, Japan - Mazda South Africa's next-generation, the Mazda2, has won the 2014/15 Japanese Car of the Year. The new Mazda2 is expected to arrive in South Africa early in 2015.Following the Mazda CX-5, Mazda6 and Mazda3, the soon-to-be-launched in South Africa Mazda2 is the fourth in Mazda's line-up of new-generation models that adopt the full range of SkyActive technology* and the Kodo-Soul of Motion design language.Mazda says its aspiring to create a new-generation subcompact that would shatter people's preconceived notions about this class of vehicle, the company has packed all the new technology and design ideas that have defined its new-generation models into the compact body of the Mazda2. WINNING FORMULAThese include an ideal driving position and pedal layout, a Human Machine Interface that prioritises safety, sophisticated and high-quality interior and exterior styling, and a newly-developed SkyActive-D 1.5-litre clean diesel engine which offers maximum torque equivalent to a 2.5-litre petrol engine and outstanding fuel efficiency.All passenger vehicles with an expected annual sales volume of over 500 units, announced or launched in Japan from November 1 2013 and September 30 2014 were eligible for the 2014 Car of the Year Japan award. The last Mazda to be named the Car of the Year Japan was the Mazda CX-5 in 2012. The Mazda2 is the fifth Mazda to win this award.Mazda South Africa MD David Hughes said: "Mazda is both honoured and grateful that the Mazda2 has received such a prestigious award. Mazda Southern Africa is inspired by this award, and following the local launch of the Mazda3, Mazda6 and CX-5 all-new petrol & diesel engines, we are looking forward to introducing the all-new award winning Mazda2 to the South African market."*SkyActiv, says the automaker, is the umbrella term for Mazda's range of next-generation technologies-including pettrol and diesel engines, transmissions, body and chassis - developed under Mazda's 'sustainable zoom-zoom' vision to provide both driving pleasure and outstanding environmental and safety performance.