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First look: Mazda hatches new Three

Hatched: Five-door Mazda3 arrives alongside the four-door in June.

Hatchback version of redesigned Mazda3 emerges a week after the sedan’s LA Auto Show

Mazda logo25 Nov 2008


IF YOU thought the new BL-series Mazda3 sedan - revealed along with fresh details about the Japanese maker’s redesigned volume-selling global small car at last week’s Los Angeles Auto Show - was a striking reinterpretation of the stylish original, then take a look at the first image of its new hatchback stablemate.

Due to be officially unveiled at the December 3 opening of the 2008 Bologna International Automobile Exhibition next week, the five-door version of the second-generation Mazda3 features an even cheekier look than the four-door iteration that was launched globally in California last week (see our separate first drive report).

22 center imageBoth new Mazda3 bodystyles are slated for an Australian launch in June at the latest, based on an evolution of the current BK model’s advanced C1 small-car architecture that is also shared with the Ford Focus and Volvo C30/S40/V50 – in this case dubbed C1-A.

Like the sedan, the hatch will be powered by carryover versions of the current model’s 2.0-litre engine and six-speed manual transmission, while the outgoing SP23 will be replaced by the SP25, powered by the Mazda6’s new 2.5-litre four-cylinder. Both engines will be available with a new five-speed automatic transmission to replace the current four-speed unit.

Mazda has also confirmed the new-generation Mazda3 diesel, which will follow the petrol versions on sale here within four to six weeks, will be powered by a new 2.2-litre turbo-diesel engine that will first debut in the Mazda6 range locally from December.

Complying with strict Euro 5 emissions standards not yet scheduled for Australia, the new “high-performance clean-diesel” four-cylinder engine promises “greatly improved” fuel consumption and emissions, plus increased performance outputs and refinement levels.

Other highlights include class-leading aerodynamics, little or no weight gains and an all-new interior with increased equipments lists.

Read more:

Mazda3 to be fast-tracked for Oz

First drive: Mazda improves its Three breed

Sydney show: Mazda3 makes global debut

Rotary won’t die but current Mazda3 a hard act to follow

New Mazda3 stands aside

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