Brenda Priddy and her camera-wielding spies caught the new Mazda3 undergoing testing, and although the shots themselves don't provide much detail, per usual it's more than meets the eye. The hacked-up front end indicates that a new fascia is on the way, likely to conform with the automaker's penchant for swooped-back headlamps and larger fender blisters. Out back, a new dual exhaust arrangement will help to expel exhaust gases from either a 148 HP 2.0L four, or an upgraded 2.5L mill that will increase output between 20 and 30 HP over the outgoing 2.3L engine.

What lies beneath the awkwardly assembled body panels is more compelling, as the new Mazda3 is built atop the next-generation Ford Focus C1 platform. So even though Ford still neglects North Americans by not offering the Euro-Focus at home, you can get your hands on the good bits when the new Mazda3 goes on sale here in 2009.

[Source: Inside Line]