Mazda3 The Mazda 3 hatch is not the obvious car to drape with a Union Jack, but its exterior design is a strongly British affair.

Two Brits - Jonathon Frear and Nigel Ratcliffe - have their marker prints all over the new 3’s handsome exterior style.

Manchester-born Frear can take the credit for the exterior, according to his boss, Brit Peter Birtwhistle, who runs Mazda’s European studio where the design was created.

Frear’s model won Mazda’s internal design competition, while Ratcliffe got it into production in Japan.

Ratcliffe has another interesting motoring connection, his car-loving dad made sure his middle name - Villeneuve - left little doubt abut his likely future interests in life. Ratcliffe was also instrumental in the look of the current MX-5.

In total Mazda has five senior Brits in design. The others include Joe Reeves, creator of one of its recent concepts and Paul Munzia working in Mazda’s West Coast design studio in California.

Mazda2This British and European influence has made sure the new 3 develops into a much more polished design, losing its drooping boot look and crisp edges in favour of more subtle body surfacing.