Less is more: New Mazda3 de­buts in Los An­ge­les

Sunday Star-Times - - Motoring - Rob Maet­zig

Mazda has re­vealed an all-new fourth-gen­er­a­tion Mazda3 at the Los An­ge­les mo­tor show, and it is sched­uled for a New Zealand launch in the mid­dle of next year.

The car, which will be avail­able as a hatch and sedan, has seen Mazda’s de­sign­ers take a min­i­mal­ist ap­proach to its looks, with no hard edges. In­stead, the bod­ies are smooth and un­adorned. And un­der­neath the bod­ies some spe­cial things will be go­ing on, too.

While lower-grade mod­els will be pow­ered by up­graded ver­sions of ex­ist­ing con­ven­tional 2.0-litre and 2.5-litre petrol engines, the top mod­els will in­tro­duce Mazda’s new Sky­Ac­tiv-X petrol unit which, thanks to a process called Spark Con­trolled Com­pres­sion Ig­ni­tion, com­bines the freerevving ben­e­fits of a petrol en­gine with the ef­fi­ciency and torque of a diesel.

Thanks to the fact Sky­Ac­tiv-X will be the first mass-pro­duced petrol com­pres­sion ig­ni­tion en­gine, it also prom­ises to be highly eco­nom­i­cal.

While no of­fi­cial fig­ures are yet avail­able, it is un­der­stood it will of­fer 133 kilo­watts of power and 222 Newton me­tres of torque, while mov­ing av­er­age fuel con­sump­tion down into the low 5 litres per 100 kilo­me­tres or even lower.

If this is the case, car­bon diox­ide emis­sions prom­ise to get be­low 100 g/km, which will add real cre­dence to a Mazda claim last year that Sky­Ac­tiv-X will help the brand re­duce av­er­age ‘‘well to wheel’’ CO2 emis­sions to 50 per cent of 2010 lev­els by the year 2030.

Mazda has re­vealed a new Mazda3 hatch and sedan at the Los An­ge­les mo­tor show.

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