Concept is longer, lower and wider than the current 3 and features next-generation styling that references elements from other Mazda concepts

The Mazda Kai concept, shown at the Tokyo motor show, hints at the design of the next-generation 3 hatchback, which is due in 2019.

The hatchback features Mazda’s new Skyactiv-X vehicle architecture, especially developed to house the brand's new compression-ignition petrol engine, which, the firm says, offers the fuel efficiency of a diesel powerplant. 

This new architecture also improves driving dynamics, refinement and comfort, Mazda claims.

Confirming that the all-new 3 will keep its hatchback bodystyle, the concept also hints that Mazda's next generation of vehicle design will adopt styling cues from past concepts – most notably, the Ferrari GTC4 Lusso-like twin-circle tail-lights, sunken back into the bodywork and split horizontally by a chrome strip. 

The design of the car – something of a focus for Mazda, despite the Kai appearing at Tokyo alongside the Vision Coupé concept – is pared back and as simple as possible, the brand claims. The 20in wheels will almost certainly be scaled down for the production car, though.

At 4420mm long, 1855mm wide and 1375mm tall, it's slightly longer, wider and lower than the current Mazda 3. Its wheelbase is also 50mm longer. Pushing the wheels further towards the corners like this should increase interior space and improve handling.

It's a four-seater, but this will grow to five seats when the production car arrives in the next two years. What won't change, though, is the front-engine, front-wheel-drive set-up of the concept. 

Mazda says the Kai, which translates as ‘the pioneer’, showcases the next generation of its Kodo design language and features its "ideal" hatchback proportions.

Read more: 

Mazda Vision Coupe previews Aston Martin-rivalling grand tourer

Mazda 3 Skyactiv-X 2019 prototype review: new compression ignition petrol engine driven

Tokyo motor show 2015 - show report and picture gallery

Mazda RX-Vision rotary-engined sports car concept revealed

2017 Tokyo motor show - preview

Our Verdict

Mazda 3
The SkyActiv platform used in the 3 features more high and ultra-high-strength steel, offering greater strength and less weight

Mazda's SkyActiv revolution hits the family hatchback class

Join the debate


25 October 2017

Mazda gives us the two best concepts of the show. Both look stunning.

25 October 2017
papagomp wrote:

Mazda gives us the two best concepts of the show. Both look stunning.


Ain't that the truth.  Mazda stylists are operating on a whole other level.

25 October 2017

Yeah, they sure are.

25 October 2017

If its 4.42m long it's actually 5cm shorter than the current car.




25 October 2017
tuga wrote:

If its 4.42m long it's actually 5cm shorter than the current car.

... and still a fraction too long for the class

25 October 2017

I love it, but am worried about the feasibility of the C-pillar, which looks too chunky and renders the car more coupe than hatchback from a passenger and driver visability perspective.  If they can nail this without losing the overall concept and effect, then Mazda will have the most (only?) truly desirable looking hatch on the market.

The car-buying public gets what it deserves, unfortunately ...

25 October 2017

Rear 3/4 vision looks awful. It may be a great piece of design but it still has to work in the real world. Why can't a design be stunning and practical?

25 October 2017

... I wish designers would find a way for a car to look cool and have great rearward visibility. This is like a van.

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