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Mazda has used the Tokyo motor show to unveil a preview of what will become the next-generation Mazda 3.

The brand has further evolved its ‘Kodo’ design language in the creation of the compact hatchback concept, which it says will herald a new generation of Mazda.

The next-generation Mazda 3 will be the first to feature the next-generation Skyactiv-X petrol engine, as well as the new Skyactiv-Vehicle Architecture.

We believe the new Mazda 3 on the updated platform won’t be available until early or mid-2019. It’s likely the brand will maintain its current 2.0 and 2.5-litre powertrains and keep Skyactiv-X engines for range-topping models.

The 2.0-litre Skyactiv-X engines use a combustion system designed to deliver diesel fuel economy with the environmental impact of a low capacity petrol.

As we found out when we drove a prototype in Frankfurt earlier this year, it uses a small supercharger to feed its high compression requirements, but it’s not designed to be a performance engine.

The arrival of the next generation of Skyactiv technologies with the 3 makes sense, as it’s the brand’s best-seller globally. It also suggests the current 6, which has been around since 2012, will continue in its current guise for the coming years.

Following the hatch will likely be a sedan. GIven the look of the Mazda 3 hatch concept, it’s possible the sedan and hatch will be visually differentiated far more than before, to better compete in their very crowded segments.

The Mazda 3 hatch concept joins the Mazda Vision Coupe concept as the two major unveils for the Japanese brand in Tokyo this year. There is still no sign of a promised rotary powertrain, but evidence points to a sports car being unveiled for the company’s 100 year anniversary in 2020.

MORE: Mazda 3 news, reviews, comparisons and videos
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Listen to the CarAdvice team discuss the Mazda concepts and the Tokyo Motor Show below, and catch more like this at caradvice.com/podcast.