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New-look Mazda3 hatch here mid-2009


Mazda has released teaser photographs of the second-generation Mazda3 five-door hatchback which debuts at next week’s Bologna Motor Show in Italy

The hatchback unveiling follows the four-door sedan reveal at last week’s Los Angeles Auto Show.

Chassis tweaks sharpen the Mazda3’s already-good handling and changes to the petrol engines are designed to increase their environmental-friendliness.

Mazda is fitting Mazda 3 petrol engines with what it says is the world’s first vehicle catalyst to be constructed with single nanotechnology, a step which reduce use of scarce resources like platinum and palladium.

Mazda engineers have also put the new 3 through the rigorous weight reduction regime pioneered with the new MX-5 sports car. The Mazda approach requires designers to justify every gram of a car’s weight.

Mazda has also paid strong attention to aerodynamics as a way to reduce the 3’s fuel consumption.

The engine line-up being launched for Europe next week includes a new 2.2-litre turbodiesel that is also fitted to the Mazda6.

Mazda says the diesel has outstanding emissions performance and complies with Euro Stage5 regulations. It has much better fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions than Mazda’s current 2.0-litre diesel.

There’s no word on whether Mazda New Zealand will have a diesel in the new Mazda3 range which goes on sale here in mid-2009.

Mazda has built two million Mazda3s since the car was launched five years ago. The two-millionth car left the production line in October.



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