The appeal of diesel engines has yet to really infiltrate the supermini sector, but Mazda bosses believe that will happen if more UK cities adopt congestion charging.

Speaking at the launch of the all-new Mazda2, the firm’s marketing director Mark Cameron said initially only around 10 per cent of buyers of the supermini will choose the 1.4-litre diesel option, on sale from December.

But he warned: “We know that lots of cities are looking at rolling out a similar congestion charging scheme as London. If they choose the same model as the one London is proposing – where cars with CO2 emissions of less than 120g/km will be exempt – we expect there will be a growth in demand for the diesel. We have the flexibility in the system to be able to deal with that upturn in demand should it come.”

Cameron also addressed the issue of an MPS version of the 2, a model that never happened with the outgoing car. “It’s a question that everyone is asking, but at the moment there’s no news. We think there’s a market in the UK for that car, but nothing has been confirmed in terms of production,” he said.

The only additional variant in the pipeline is a three-door model, which will go on sale next spring.

The Mazda2 is the first car to be built on Ford’s new global small car platform, which will also form the basis of the next generation Fiesta.

Published : 19/10/07 Author : Melanie Carter

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