Mazda 3

Mazda 3 Hatchback unveiled

Mazda unveiled the all-new Mazda 3 Hatchback at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show describing it as “the dawn of a new era”. Although it doesn’t have a hot hatch version (yet), the new C-Segment model features a stunning design, clearly inspired by last year’s KAI concept.

The new interpretation of “Kodo” design language is an evolution of Mazda’s design identity with a more aggressive and more premium look compared to its predecessor.  At the front, the simplified headlamp design and the new grille treatment creates a clean look while at the back, the designers created a solid mass with powerful presence thanks to the strong C-Pillar and the slopping rear window. The car measures 4,459mm x 1,797mm x 1,440mm with a 2,725mm wheelbase.

Mazda states that the new model will offer new levels of driving pleasure, using a range of engines including an all new Skyactiv-X unit, combined with the new Skyactiv-Vehicle Architecture structural technologies that significantly improve ride quality. The new encine will feature superior initial response, powerful torque, faithful linear response and free-revving performance, assisted by the new M Hybrid system

The company didn’t go into specifics but they announced that the car will be initially available with the updated 1.5, 2.0 and 2.5 liter Skyactive-G gasoline engines producing more power with better efficiency thanks to optimized intake ports and piston shape, split fuel injection and a coolant control valve, or the 1.8 liter Skyactive-D diesel engine with high-response multi-hole piezo injectors. As of the gearbox choices, there will be a six speed manual and a six speed automatic.

The new Mazda 3 will also be offered with the evolved i-Activ AWD system, together with G-Vectoring Control Plus that controls the torque distribution between axles via the brakes.

Lastly, the car will benefit from the i-Activsense including Driver Monitoring system, Front Cross Traffic Alert and Cruising & Traffic Support (CTS) system, while also boasting vastly improved passive safety with energy-absorbing structures and additional airbags.

Inside the cabin, the overall simplicity combined with premium leather upholstery give it an upmarket feel, allowing the driver to engage with the car and focus on driving. Mazda designers and engineers did a lot of work in perfecting the driving position by offering more adjustments, moving the gear shift lever forwards and minimizing the blind spots ahead of the car.

Additionally, the new Human-Machine Interface (HMI) inside the 8.8 inch wide center display is more intuitive, and a premium 8-speaker audio system is added to the equipment (alternately there is an optional 12 speaker Bose sound system).

Will it get a hot hatch version?

Since the Mazda 3 MPS (BL) went out of production in 2013 and the turbocharged 2.2 litre engine that produced 191kw (260hp), was phased out, Mazda stopped offering hot hatches.

While we understand that an MPS version would probably not be a great fit with the company’s new strategy, we hope that Mazda will offer a performance-oriented derivative of the new Mazda 3, as it is one of the sexiest models in the C-Segment with great potential of being a driver’s car.

Stay tuned to hothatch.com.au for updates. While you wait, you can check out Mazda’s hot hatches here.