Mazda’s new Focus rival will get stop-start and a twin-clutch gearbox

The new Mazda 3 will be fitted with stop-start technology by the end of this year, a senior source within the company has told Autocar.

Read our first drive of the new Mazda 3

The Mazda 3’s stop-start system will be available on the 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre petrol models only; the diesel-engined Mazda 3 variants won’t initially get the technology, while the petrol 1.4 from the current car has been dropped from the range.

Mazda is also developing its own DSG-style twin-clutch gearbox for the new Mazda 3, although this won’t be production-ready until 2010.

In the more immediate future, a hot MPS version of the Mazda 3 will be launched at the Geneva show in March. Expect a more radically styled model than the current car, with a more aggressive bodykit.

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