Next-gen Mazda3 spyshot?

The next-generation Mazda3 is expected next year, but aside from renderings and our own imagination about a compact economy car sporting Mazda's new Kodo design language, we really have no clue what this design will actually look like. Auto Express has gotten a hold of some shots it believes are official digital images from Mazda that could be a very good indication of what the Japanese automaker has in store for its top-selling car, but it's important to note the images could also be of an upcoming concept vehicle or just a design proposal.

Production or not, these renderings show the possibility for the 2014 Mazda3 that finds itself competing in a much more interesting class of cars than what was available back in 2009. The image of the Mazda3 5-door hatchback design shows a sloped rear D-pillar that gives it a strong family kinship with the new CX-5 and Mazda2, while the sedan has a sleek and sporty roofline along the lines of what we've recently seen on the new Mazda6.

We reached out to Mazda for comment on these images, and Jeremy Barnes, Mazda's director of public relations, had this to say: "Any speculation about a next-generation Mazda3 is just that – speculation. And, as a policy, we do not comment on future product speculation."