25 November 2008

Land of the 3

Mazda shows first photos of its new Focus-rival

Mazda 3

There’s a new Mazda3 hatchback on the way. It looks good.

Following the introduction of the saloon in Los Angeles, the five-door 3 is due to debut at the Bologna Motor Show next week before going on sale next year.

Aside from a whole lot of added swoopiness – and maybe just a bit of Furai around the nose, or is that just wishful thinking? – the big news is the introduction of a 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine, as previously seen in the Mazda6.

It’ll come in two flavours: a standard 148bhp version and a hotted-up 183bhp unit. That’s a lot of power – and an awful lot of torque – in a small hatchback, though Mazda promises that it’ll be both more economical and less polluting than the current 3’s 2.0-litre diesel.

We’ll also see 1.6- and 2.0-litre petrols and an entry-level 1.6-litre turbodiesel… though there’s no word on a hot ‘MPS’ version yet. How about that 450bhp three-rotor engine out the Furai, Mazda? No?

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