Spies got the first good look at the upcoming 2010 Mazda 3. This all new sport compact was originally due to go on sale sometime in the last half of 2009, but will now hit showrooms in the summer of 2009 as a 2010 model year car. Our tourist-shooter, Michael Cervantes, quickly learned that it’s not easy to shoot prototypes at highway speeds, but his first attempt landed him the most revealing pictures yet of the updated Mazda3. Although we have a bit of 70 mph blur, this is the first time that we’ve seen this sedan practically uncovered compared to our previous shots.
Riding on Ford’s global C1 platform, the new Mazda3 will measure in a bit longer and wider than the current model. The sportier-looking Mazda3 will also get a small bump in horsepower as well as a boost in its MPG.
A look inside revealed that this 3 sedan is packing a 6 speed transmission. That's one more gear than the current model. Also visible were buttons for heated seats, satellite radio and an MP3 hard drive. That probably tells us we're looking at a Grand Touring sedan prototype. Under the hood, Mazda MZR line of motors will get a bump in power and further tweaking for fuel savings. Expect the current 2.3-litre motor to be bored out to around 2.5 litre. That should give it a 20 to 30 bhp bump from the current 156 bhp rating. The 2.0-litre base motor probably won't see an increase in displacement, but a 10 to 15 bhp increase is probably a good bet. Watch for an official debut at the LA Auto Show in November.