Far and away, the Mazda3 has become the best-selling car in the Mazda portfolio, showing that a compact car can be both efficient and fun to drive in this era. Accord to Automotive News, the next-generation car is set to arrive at dealerships this fall, citing an anonymous source within the automaker.
Last year, Mazda sold more than 120,000 Mazda3s in the U.S., pushing the company to more than 277,000 cars total. Mazda believes that the next-gen vehicle could help lift the company past its 300,000-unit goal.
Already, Mazda has garnered a heap of praise for its CX-5 crossover and Mazda6 midsize sedan. The next-generation Mazda3 is expected to adopt the company’s new “Kodo” design language, shed some weight, and perhaps become even more efficient thanks to the company’s SkyActiv engines. For 2012, the Mazda3 received received a 148-horsepower, 2.0-liter SkyActiv engine that boosted its highway fuel economy from 33 to 40 mpg compared to the outgoing 2.0-liter engine. We’ve seen the 2014 Mazda3 testing already but hadn’t yet known when it would debut.
SkyActiv has also been used as a philosophy of paring unnecessary weight, which might help the Mazda3. At 2,950 pounds, it’s not the heaviest vehicle in its class by a long shot, but it’s no lightweight either. Using SkyActiv, Mazda was able to cut hundreds of pounds from the Mazda6 versus the previous generation. If lightning can strike again, the Mazda3 could be one of the most svelte vehicles in its class, which would help it reach far beyond its current 40-mpg rating.
And the company will ditch one of the last vestiges it shares with former parent company Ford, as the Mazda3 shares some of the same underpinnings as the Ford Focus.
We’ll know sooner rather than later when the 3 nears production what it will look like. Both the Tokyo Motor Show and Los Angeles Auto Show run in November, and we figure it’ll be at both of those by then.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)