New Mazda3 imminent
Mazda will introduce its new Mazda3 hatchback at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The 2019 Golf rival will feature an all-new SkyActiv platform, which will eventually go on to underpin the next generations of CX-3, CX-5 and Mazda6 saloon. It's said to be lighter, stiffer and more adaptable than the current chassis.
While we can't see much from the darkened teaser image, the distinctive kink in the rear window line of the red hatchback Mazda3 does at least show that the production model is likely to stick very closely to the look of the Kai concept car, shown off at the Tokyo Motor Show next year.
From the looks of the photo, the saloon version of the Mazda3 (the metallic grey car in the background) will once again be the looker of the range, with what look like very clean, crisp lines. Here's hoping that the car keeps the dramatic 'anteater' nose of the Kai concept. If it does, it'll be one of the best-looking of all hatchbacks.
It'll be one of the most technically interesting too. Mazda has confirmed that the new Mazda3 will be the debut car for its new SkyActiv-X petrol engine. This engine uses a variable compression ratio, which basically means that it can either act like a petrol engine (using spark plug ignition, for high power), or run on diesel-esque compression ignition, using a very lean fuel mixture, to improve economy. It's exciting tech, and one that Mazda will use, eventually, to phase out diesel models altogether. The claim for now is that the SkyActiv-X engine will be some 30 per cent more efficient than a current, conventional petrol engine, potentially putting it on a par with the best diesels.
Other engines will be more conventional - developments of the current 2.0-litre SkyActiv-G petrol unit, and the 1.5-litre and 2.2-litre diesel engines. No word of a hybrid model as yet, but Mazda has recently signed a deal with Toyota to collaborate on hybrid tech, so there could well be one in the offing, and the Mazda3's chassis will also form the basis for an electric car with a rotary-engine range extender, due on sale in 2020.
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