Remember the Kai concept? That could be the new Mazda3.
The current Mazda3 has been on the market since 2014. Now in its third iteration, the handsome hatchback (and its sedan variant) is regularly touted for its fun driving dynamics and tech-friendly cabin. But it may be on the way out sooner than expected; rumor has it that an all-new version could show up before the end of the year.
The next-gen Mazda3 will reportedly be on display when doors open to the Los Angeles Auto Show this November, according to AutoExpress. The fourth-generation hatchback will improve most dramatically in efficiency and quality, says the report, with design cues inspired by the Kai concept, which Mazda unveiled last year at the Tokyo Motor Show.
"We have a recent history of not just producing concepts for concepts’ sake," said Mazda Europe design director Kevin Rice in an interview with the British publication. "So yes, manufacturing tolerances and techniques have been incorporated into [the KAI concept] since the very beginning."
The new Mazda3 will be the very first vehicle in the lineup to use the brand’s new SkyActiv Vehicle Architecture as its base. As such, it will be paired with a more-efficient 2.0-liter SkyActiv-X engine, which comes standard with a technology called Spark Controlled Compression Ignition (SCCI). Power should be somewhere in the neighborhood of 187 horsepower (139 kilowatts) and 169 pound-feet (230 Newton-meters) of torque. Two cheaper engine offerings – a SkyActiv-G and SkyActiv-D – will also be offered.
The new Mazda3, as mentioned, should show up at the L.A. Auto Show later this yea. It will go on sale sometime in 2019, but no word on pricing or availability just yet. Here's hoping that the hot Mazdaspeed3 will make its return on the new generation.