Our artists rendering of the 2014 Mazda3 retains the basic hatchback shape that’s expected to continue on, while incorporating Mazda’s new Kodo design language. First previewed on the Shinari concept, the new Mazda3 follows after the CX-5 and 2014 Mazda6 in utilizing the flowing lines. Most significant are changes to the front fascia. Gone is the silly-smile, replaced by a more angular and premium design.
Underpinning the new 3 will be an all-new light weight platform. Mazda has committed to reducing the weight of each of its new models by as much as 220 lbs, meaning the base curb weight for the 2014 model should sit around just 2,650 lbs.
This will help make the most of the SkyActiv 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine currently in use. Making 155-hp and 148 lb-ft of torque in the current car, the new model should make use of a new exhaust header design to increase torque slightly to 150 lb-ft, while improving the torque powerband significantly for better responsiveness. The lighter weight alone should help the car achieve over 40-mpg on the highway and if combined with Mazda’s i-ELOOP brake energy regeneration and start-stop technology (not yet confirmed for North America), further improvements could be seen.
Those wishing for a sportier Mazda3 will be able to opt for a new 2.5-liter SkyActiv engine, which will produce as much as 189-hp in the upcoming 2014 Mazda6. Mazda is also reportedly considering a new 2.2-liter diesel engine option for the US, which makes roughly 170-hp and over 300 lb-ft of torque. That engine is confirmed for North America and will arrive in the new mid-size 6 sedan late in 2013.