• Oct 5, 2007
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]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 17 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Ford Wont put the blue oval in it, is because it wont sell.
      • 7 Years Ago
      lol, nice cladding.

      I'm trying to get my ass in one right now, but I'd have to drop my current lease and that involves forking money I don't have, maybe next year?
      • 7 Years Ago
      I cant wait. In my opinion Mazda 3 is the best car in this class. I just dont understand why Ford wont put the blue oval on it and sell it as the Focus?

      Here is a Mazda 3 vid:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImICzwXPaco
        • 7 Years Ago
        They do. The non-US Focus rides on the same platform as the Mazda 3 and the Volvo S40.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I'm going to sue you for misadvertising your hyperlink.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I sure hope that blue oval doesn't end up on the 3.

        It's looking good so far...a displacement increase to 2.5 liters and no increase in weight even though dimensions will be larger. Don't care for dual exhausts on a normally aspirated 4 cylinder. A 6 speed manual transmission (like other parts of the world have been getting) and direct injection would be like icing on the cake.
      • 7 Years Ago
      New? Looks like a slightly larger version of the current model!? I was hoping for a larger Mazda2 design :(
      • 7 Years Ago
      "...you can get your hands on the good bits when the new Mazda3 goes on sale here in 2009."

      If this mule's platform is going to be the platform under the model year 2009 Mazda3, as it says in the headline, won't it go on sale in 2008?
      • 7 Years Ago
      "Hello, Clarisse..."

      2.5 liters and ~200 horses seems unnecessary in a car that's already plenty fun to drive and does 0-60 in the 7s, but I'm sure the folks here won't complain...

      Nice to see Mazda isn't resting on its laurels. I recently had a succession of rental compacts--a 3, Focus, and Sentra--and it reminded me how far ahead the Mazda is of everything else in that class.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Not sure where you're going with that diatribe. Of course an economy car isn't going to accelerate like a 'Vette.

        Burnouts in the high-school parking lot aren't the only reason to buy a car...
        • 7 Years Ago
        Drive a civic, it's closer than any of them. It has a nicer feel, but doesn't perform as well. For most post, a trade they would want.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I've driven the current-gen Civic four times, and haven't found it a better car than the 3.

        It rides marginally smoother, gets better mileage, and has a more stylish interior, but I'd personally take the 3's firmer steering, torquier engines, simpler dash layout, and more accurate shifter any day of the week.

        I don't disagree that the Civic is an excellent economy car, but the 3 tries harder to appeal to enthusiasts (and succeeds).
        • 7 Years Ago
        The Civic's Fisher-Price interior is stylish? I test drove an 07 or 08 Civic coupe and I'm sorry, I don't see how/why those little things are allowed on the road. NO torque. I'm not into econocars at all anyway, but that was the most unpleasant and demeaning time I've ever had behind the wheel of a car. No wonder McHonda drivers seem so in denial, you'd have to really be a McHonda Homer to actually want to drive one - yeah, saving gas is nice, but how cheap must one be???. Sorry - NO comparison to the Mazda3 - which is still a pretty weak econocar and as far as I'm concerned, has zero performance aspects - but at least it doesn't look like a cheap Ford Probe.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Argh, makes me green with envy since I just got a brand spanking new true red mazda 3 h/b S! lol... i love it though its my baby, i love the way it handles and it has a nice punch for being a compact engine
      • 7 Years Ago
      If the 2.3 is being bored & stroke (to match Nissan's QR25 89x100mm) maybe there can be a 'new' 2.0, a shorter stroke verion of the 2.5. 89x80.
      Mazda could still 'get away' with omitting balance shafts on the smaller engine. The current 2.0 is 87.5x83.1mm.
      So 2.5 I4 hopefully 175hp@6000, 175ft-lbs@4000. & 2.0 150hp@6300, 140ft-lbs@4000.

      and throw in 6 speed automatics & manuals.
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