Mazda has officially unveiled the 2014 Mazda3, following this morning's leak.

Looking sleek and sporty, the model embraces the Kobo design philosophy which has already been used on the CX-5 and Mazda6. The end result is pretty impressive as the car is more stylish and upscale than its predecessor.

The company's five-point grille dominates the front fascia and is equipped with a new active air-shutter system which helps to reduce drag and improve fuel efficiency. Moving further back, there's soft curves and flowing surfaces as well as a tailgate-mounted spoiler. Overall, the Mazda3 measures 175.6 inches long, 70.7 inches wide and 57.3 inches tall with a wheelbase that spans 106.3 inches - an increase of 2.4 inches.

The interior also takes a step in the right direction as it is equipped with higher quality materials an improved design. Notable highlights include a new instrument cluster, satin chrome trim, piano black accents and more comfortable seats which can be upholstered in cloth, leatherette or leather. There's also a new infotainment system with Bluetooth/USB/AUX connectivity as well as the ability to access the internet via a smartphone. More notably, the Mazda3 has an Active Driving Display that shows important driving information - such as navigation directions - on a clear panel behind the instrument cluster surround.

In the United States, the Mazda3 will be offered with two different petrol engines. The 2.0-liter SKYACTIV-G produces 155 bhp (115 kW) and 150 lb-ft (203 Nm) of torque, while the 2.5-liter SKYACTIV-G develops 184 bhp (137 kW) and 185 lb-ft (250 Nm) of torque. They can be paired to a SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual or SKYACTIV-Drive six-speed automatic.

To improve fuel efficiency, the Mazda3 has i-ELOOP brake energy regeneration and a SKYACTIV-Body that uses high-strength steel for "significant weight savings." The company declined to go into specifics but said European models equipped with the 2.2-liter SKYACTIV-D engine and the SKYACTIV-MT transmission will weigh 198 pounds (90 kg) less than their predecessor.

On the handling front, engineers retuned the springs, dampers and stabilizer bars for improved stability and greater ride comfort. The model has also been equipped with an electric power steering system that promises to deliver improved feel and responsiveness.

The Mazda3 will also be offered with a variety of new safety systems including High Beam Control, Blind Spot Monitoring, Forward Obstruction Warning, Smart City Brake Support and Radar Cruise Control.

Check out the press release for additional information

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