That’s right amigos, Mazda and Toyota are going to work together to bring a spicy little ride to North America. The vehicle featured in these images is the Mazda Verisa which sits between the Mazda 2 and 3, but only in Japan. I used it as a rough approximation of the size and shape of what Toyota and Mazda have in mind for this little car. The announcement that the Mazda plant being built in Mexico will build a Toyota car based on the excellent Mazda 2 chassis is worth noting.
Keep in mind: Ford used some of the Mazda 2’s bones on their lauded Fiesta.
There is next to no information available about this partnership. I will say that Mazda truly needs the money and Toyota needs to build a spectacular small car for North America. Their best offerings like the IQ (too expensive) and Yaris (too pokey) lag behind many in the field. Having a playful, driver-friendly, cheap vehicle is just what the doctor ordered.
Besides, it will help to have multiple projects ready to go when their Mexican production plant goes live. Production is supposed to begin the summer of 2015 and we should have some pre-production units being tested as early as late 2013. You can bet that The Fast Lane Car will be prowling testing roads to get a first glimpse!
Here’s the press blurb from Mazda:
“Mazda to Produce Toyota Vehicle at Mexico Plant
Toyota Motor Corporation and Mazda Motor Corporation announced that
Mazda’s plant in Mexico, currently under construction, will produce
a Toyota-brand vehicle for sale mainly in North America.
The sub-compact Toyota-brand vehicle, to be based on the Mazda2,
is to start production around the summer of 2015 at a pace of 50,000 units
per year and will be sold through Toyota dealerships.” – – Toyota (TMC)/Mazda
Here’s a fun video of Roman and I playing with a Mazda CX-5 off road!
Editor’s note: We like small cars. The mighty ‘2’ is one of my personal favorites. There’s a good vibe about this project and I will keep a close eye on it as information trickles down.