Photos posted to a Chinese forum have revealed what appears to be a large digital driver-information display behind the steering wheel.
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The screen, replacing the conventional instrument cluster, is shown in two modes: one with separate rev and speed meters, and one with a large combined meter that likely represents a 'sport mode' function.

Little else has been revealed, although the shape of the instrument cowl and surrounding vents suggests the display is being tested in the current Mazda 3 – now in its fifth year on the market.

Above top: the new digital display, above bottom: the current Mazda 3 instrument cluster.

Whether Mazda will roll this new system out with the current 3 or the next, is still to be revealed, and the person behind the photos - with only this one forum post to his or her credit - has revealed nothing about how they came across the prototype. A rogue employee, perhaps.

If Mazda does introduce this new display to market, it will join the likes of Audi, Volkswagen, Volvo, Mercedes-Benz and Peugeot to go entirely digital in the instrument cluster – if only on high-grade models.

Watch for more on this development in the months ahead.

Thanks to CarAdvice reader Frank for the tip!