Mazda3 teaser photo signals new design language -Cars Automobiles

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A preview of the next generation Mazda3. Picture credits: MAZDA

TOKYO – Mazda will be preparing the next generation of the Mazda3 compact car at the Los Angeles Auto Show this month, launching a new era of performance vehicle platforms and Skyactiv X propulsion systems, all wrapped in a lush new design language.

The sedan and the tailgate version of the Mazda3 are expected to be on the stand.

A teaser recording made by Mazda Motor Corp. on Thursday. published, provides insights into both areas. Its round body reveals the reinterpreted vibe of the brand's Kodo design look.

However, the Mazda3 embodies more than just a new design. The compact car is the leading nameplate for a completely redesigned vehicle architecture that promises the Japanese automaker to weigh less, cost less, and offer smoother ride with crisper handling and better rigidity.

The Mazda3 also gets a new engine – called Skyactiv-X – that, according to Mazda, combines the best features of diesel and gasoline engines for ultra-pure performance. With a technology called spark-controlled compression ignition, both the performance and the fuel consumption are to be improved.

Mazda boss Akira Marumoto said in advance of his presentation about the car. The strategy is to combine the Skyactiv X engine into a mild hybrid system. Marshaling the power assist of the electric motor ensures linear acceleration and spirited driving, Marumoto said.

Compared to a standard gasoline engine with the same displacement, it will offer fuel savings of more than 30 percent. The Mazda3 will be offered with the 2.0-liter mild-hybrid Skyactiv X engine or a current-generation 2.5-liter Skyactiv G gasoline engine, Marumoto said.

The Skyactiv X variant is positioned as a higher level. It will have the driving dynamics of the 2.5-liter petrol setup, but the fuel economy of a 1.5-liter diesel, Marumoto said.

"Skyactiv-X is first and foremost a very efficient engine, so we do not need a full hybrids, mild hybrid is good enough," said Marumoto. "And by using the mild hybrid system, the linear driving dynamics can also be tracked, so we think the grade should be higher."

Mild hybrids are an integral part of Mazda's plan to electrify every vehicle in its 2030 range. Electric vehicles and range extender electrics will account for about 5 percent of the portfolio by then. Mild and plug-in hybrids occupy the remaining 95 percent.

Mild hybrids will be the majority of these hybrid offers, Marumoto said.

The new design language was introduced at Kai Concept last year's Tokyo Motor Show. The hatchback concept has a "less is more" minimalist Japanese aesthetic. The new design ethos uses smoother, simplified styling and trenches that are heavily crumpled and overlapping.

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