The all-new Mazda 3 has been spied for the first time ahead of its official reveal later this year.
Mazda’s Volkswagen Golf rival will switch to the firm’s modular SkyActiv underpinnings for its third generation. The scalable steel spaceframe technology can be used to underpin anything from a Golf-sized hatchback to a full-sized SUV, and the new Mazda 3 will be the third model to be spun off the platform after the 6 and CX-5.
Sources have previously revealed that the new Mazda 3 will weigh 100kg less than the model it replaces, despite slightly increased dimensions. This is not only down to the lighter chassis, but also the lightweight engines and transmissions also launched under the SkyActiv banner.
The weight loss, in combination with eco tech including an advanced stop-start system, should make the Mazda 3 one of the lightest cars in its class.
The engines currently launched under the SkyActiv banner are a 2.0-litre petrol and a 2.2-litre diesel, both available in the 6 and CX-5. These engines are likely to be offered in the 3, too, but expect yet-to-be-confirmed downsized SkyActiv engines, including a 1.6-litre diesel, to make up the bulk of European sales.
A four-door saloon version of the Mazda 3 is also planned for markets, including North America.
The new Mazda 3 had been expected to be revealed at the New York motor show later next month, but it’s now been put on hold until later in the year, possibly at the Frankfurt motor show in September.