This is how the new Mazda CX-3 could look when it goes on sale in 2014/2015.
The computer-generated image works on the basis that the baby brother to the CX-5 and CX-9 SUVs will be like a jacked-up version of the next-generation Mazda2 city car on which it is expected to be based.
CarAdvice revealed the development of the Mazda CX-3 in a world exclusive in February 2012, with a Mazda insider telling us that Mazda had “to develop this vehicle, whether we call it CX-2, CX-3 or CX-4″.
Mazda has still to officially confirm the model, though the company’s boss Takashi Yamanouchi gave Australian media a nod and a wink during a November 2012 interview.
The CX-3 will adopt Mazda’s new family face – the five-point grille that’s linked to the headlights via a shaped chrome bar – as well as the company’s Skyactiv technologies that focus on reducing weight and increasing efficiency through all areas from chassis to gearbox.
Mazda is believed to be developing its smallest Skyactiv engine yet – a 1.3-litre turbocharged petrol – that would form part of the drivetrain line-up of both the CX-3 and Mazda2, and could also make it into the third-generation Mazda3 small car due before both.
A 1.6-litre turbo diesel is also anticipated for the CX-3, giving the smallest Mazda3 even better fuel economy and emissions numbers than the 2.0-litre diesel of the CX-5 (pictured above) – potentially less than 4.0L/100km and 100g/km.
The CX-5 is available in both front-wheel and all-wheel drive configurations, though the CX-3′s relationship to the upcoming Mazda2 city car means it may be front-drive only.
Mazda’s rival for other baby SUVs – such as the Ford EcoSport and Nissan Juke due here in 2013 – is also understood to have a clever seating layout in the making, with rear seats that fold flat at the touch of a button.
With the Mazda CX-5 starting from $27,880 in front-wheel-drive form, the CX-3 should be set to kick off pricing at or just below the $20,000 point.
CGI illustration by Milos Dvorak