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After endless speculations and spyshots, the wraps are finally off the Mazda3. The Mazda3 was unveiled in its hatchback avatar in New York yesterday and would go head on against the likes of the Ford Focus, Chevrolet Cruze 5dr, Hyundai Elantra GT, and the Toyota Corolla/Auris in North America and other key markets.
The Mazda3 is expected to begin sales in North America in September and then the rest of the world eventually. The Mazda3 sedan would be unveiled at a later date.
The Mazda3 is the third Mazda (coincidentally) to adapt the full-blown Kodo - Soul of Motion - design language after the CX-5 and the Mazda6. Revealed in a metallic Soul Red, the 3 has gone through a complete makeover inside out and looks to be an entirely new car, all the while being a purebred Mazda.
The photographs show us a great looking car with a lot of character, being both sporty and elegant in equal proportions. It doesn't fail to fascinate from any which angle it is viewed from.
As far as the numbers go, the new Mazda3 is shorter by 1.8 inches while adding an extra 2.4 inches between the wheels. The car is also shorter by 0.6 inches and wider by 1.6 inches. The coefficient of drag is also reduced from 0.255 to 0.275 and the replacement is nearly 90 kilos lighter, built on a chassis that is 30% stiffer.
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Powertrain details can be found on Page 2.
The new Mazda3 gets the new SKYACTIV range of powertrains and drivetrains with petrol engine options of 1.5L, 2.0L and 2.5L capacities and a SKYACTIV-D 2.2L clean diesel engine. These engines would mate either to a 6-speed SKYACTIV-MT manual gearbox or a 6-speed SKYACTIV-Drive automatic transmission. It also receives the i-ELOOP brake energy regeneration system. There is a hybrid version of the 3 which would be offered only in Japan.
The Mazda3's interiors are very nicely done and fit and finish seems to be great as it is with modern Mazdas. The interiors are a lot sportier and have better contours than the 6 and the CX-5. There is an Active Driving Display which neatly pops out of the dash once the ignition is turned on and also a Heads Up display unit.
The instrument cluster is sportier than other Mazdas, the tachometer dominates the cluster and the analog speedometer gives way to a digital one. The steering wheel however is the same as the one found on the 6 and CX-5.
Overall the Mazda3 looks very impressive and clearly seems as a better model than the one it replaces. Whether it would be a gamechager as Mazda proclaims it to be depends on the pricing, availability and fuel economy figures which shall be announced soon.
Image gallery can be viewed on Page 3.
Mazda3 Image Gallery
Mazda3 Press Release
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