New Mazda3 hatch may make a surprise showing at next month’s Bologna Motor Show in Italy
Mazda took the covers off the sedan version of the 2010 Mazda3 at this week’s Los Angeles Auto Show, and now it has released some official 'spy shots' of the upcoming five-door hatchback model. Despite being clad in some heavy camouflage gear, we can see that the general shape of the car is a little sleeker than the outgoing model and the front appears to have picked up the recent revealed sedan's slightly strange 'smiling' appearance.
It is expected that the Mazda3 hatchback will be offered with the same engines as those planned for the Mazda3 sedan. This means the hatch will likely be launched with two new engines, a 148hp (110kW) 2.0L four-cylinder with 135lb-ft (183Nm) of torque and a 167hp (124kW) 2.5L unit with 168lb-ft (227Nm) of torque. Both engines employ advanced electronic throttle actuation. A diesel version should be offered for European markets.
A slick-shifting five-speed and six-speed manual transmission as well as a five-speed electronically controlled Sport-AT automatic transmission should also be available depending on the model. The most frugal is the 2.0L unit equipped with a manual transmission, and it is rated at 25mpg (9.4L/100km) in the city and 33mpg (7.1L/100km) on the highway for the heavier sedan. Fuel economy in the sedan with the automatic transmission comes in at 24mpg (9.8L/100km) and 33mpg (7.1L/100km) respectively.
The Mazda3 hatchback will also be getting a performance variant, spy photos of which can be found by clicking here. The Mazda3 Mazdaspeed (MPS) is tipped to use the 300hp (224kW) turbocharged 2.5L Duratec unit destined for the upcoming Ford Focus RS.
As for the regular hatch, it should be launched alongside the sedan early next year. However, it may make an appearance at next month’s Bologna Motor Show in Italy.