A new MZR 2.5-litre petrol engine replaces the previous 2.3-litre unit, making an appearance exclusively in the updated SP variant.
The new engine delivers more performance with an added 7kw and 24Nm over the previous model and a more refined and sportier driver without an increase in fuel consumption.
It develops maximum power of 122kW at 6000rpm and 227Nm at 6500rpm through either a six-speed manual or optional five-speed Activematic transmission.
Newly evolved MacPherson strut suspension at the front and multilink at the rear delivers sharper handling dynamics for a more precise drive.
Standard safety includes Dynamic Stability Control, ABS with electronic brakeforce distribution, emergency brake assist and dual front, side and curtain airbags.
Inside buyers will find air-conditioning, power windows, remote central locking, CD audio system, integrated satellite navigation system and Bluetooth with MP3 connectivity as standard.
The new Mazda3 SP25 will go on sale in Australia from April 2009 with local pricing to be announced closer to the release date.