Already available to order in the Land of the Rising Sun.

Mazda has taken the wraps off the refreshed Mazda3 family in Japan, where it is sold under the Axela name. Already available to order in the Land of the Rising Sun, the car comes with minor visual changes, limited to revised front end with redesigned radiator grille and new headlights. At the back we discovered only a new bumper.

Inside the cabin the Japanese manufacturer has put a new steering wheel, new decorations for the dashboard and the door cards, and an electric parking brake for the higher-spec models. A brighter, full-color head-up display with improved functionality has also been added.

Thankfully, more important changes have occurred under the skin of the Mazda3. The vehicle is the first from the company’s portfolio to get the G-Vectoring Control system that varies engine torque in response to steering inputs in order to provide integrated control of lateral and longitudinal acceleration forces. Or, in other words, Mazda used some code, a couple sensors, and a bit of ignition timing to make you feel ever-so-slightly more heroic going through a corner, as we discovered during our exclusive test of the system.

Back to the revised Mazda3, it also gets an i-ACTIV all-wheel-drive system, anticipating road conditions, weather, and the driver's intentions to provides “optimal distribution of torque to front and rear wheels.” This system is available only for the 2.2-liter diesel engine, which now benefits from reduced diesel knock.

Mazda will also offer a 1.5-liter petrol unit and a 1.5-liter diesel motor, already available in Europe from 2016MY.

We don’t have an exact date when the refreshed Mazda3 will be introduced in the U.S. and Europe, but this will likely happen later this summer.

For more details, check out the press release section below.

Source: Mazda

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2017 Mazda3 (Jap-spec)

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HIROSHIMA, Japan—Mazda Motor Corporation has released an updated Mazda Axela sports compact (known as Mazda3 outside Japan), which goes on sale at dealers in Japan today.*1The updated model is now available with two clean diesel engines, as the SKYACTIV-D 1.5 joins the SKYACTIV-D 2.2 in the powertrain lineup.

Mazda's new-generation lineup, which is designed to offer Jinba-ittai driving performance and an ideal driving position, got its start with the launch of the CX-5 in 2012. These products have been developed based on a human-centered development philosophy grounded in research into human traits and sensations in order to ensure a pleasing driving feel.

 

The updated Axela features G-Vectoring Control, the first in a series of new SKYACTIV-VEHICLE DYNAMICS technologies that provide integrated control of the engine, transmission, chassis and body to enhance the car's Jinba-ittai feel. Natural Sound Frequency Control, another new technology featured on the updated Axela, reduces diesel knock in the SKYACTIV-D clean diesel engine for a more pleasant engine sound. Refinements have been made in every area based on Mazda's human-centered development philosophy.

 

"Mazda is striving to become an irreplaceable presence in the lives of our customers, to create a special bond with them and to be a 'one-and-only' brand they will choose again and again," said Masamichi Kogai, Mazda's President and CEO. "In order to do that, we will continue updating our models with next-generation technologies based on our human-centered development philosophy, without concern for the timing of redesigns. We believe clean diesel engines will continue to be an important environmental technology, and we will work to further popularize them in Japan and around the world."

 

Overview of the updated Mazda Axela

  • Dynamic performance provides responsive Jinba-ittai driving
    Launch of G-Vectoring Control*2, first technology in the SKYACTIV-VEHICLE DYNAMICS series
    • GVC is a control technology that varies engine torque in response to steering inputs in order to provide integrated control of lateral and longitudinal acceleration forces. It optimizes the vertical load on each wheel to make the motion of the vehicle smoother, more natural and in tune with bodily sensations.
    • This technology provides more effective control in every situation from everyday driving to collision avoidance maneuvers, offering driver confidence and peace of mind. It is particularly effective improving handling on roads slippery from rain or snow.
    • Changes in acceleration forces that act on vehicle occupants are smoother, making for a more comfortable ride with less torso sway.

    High-precision DE boost control*3 for enhanced Jinba-ittai feel with SKYACTIV-D engines
    • By optimizing boost control and making more precise fuel injection possible, engine torque response is controlled more precisely.
    • Offers enhanced accelerator responsiveness even in light-load conditions, when the response may be slightly delayed, so the driver feels more in tune with the car.

    Diesel knock reduced with SKYACTIV-D for a more pleasant engine sound
    • Mazda focused on the relationship between pressure waves (vibrations) resulting from engine combustion, the cause of engine knock, and the resonant frequency of parts (structural resonance) to offer a quieter ride, especially in the louder frequency bands. This technology is standard equipment.*3
    Natural Sound Smoother
    • A damper incorporated into the piston pin reduces knock at around 3.6 kHz, which is caused by vibration of the pistons and connecting rods upon combustion.
    Natural Sound Frequency Control
    • Mazda found that knock increases around 1.3 kHz, 1.7 kHz and 2.5 kHz because peak engine vibration and peak structural vibration coincide. By controlling fuel injection timing to within 0.1 millisecond, engine vibration is used to cancel out structural vibration, thereby reducing knock.

    Other
    • Vehicles with the SKYACTIV-D 2.2 engine are now available with i-ACTIV AWD, a new-generation all-wheel-drive system that provides optimal distribution of torque to front and rear wheels by anticipating road conditions, weather and the driver's intentions.
    • The SKYACTIV-D 1.5 has been added to the engine line-up.
  • Enhanced human-machine interface based on human-centered design
    Enhanced Active Driving Display*4 minimizes need to take your eyes off the road
    • Information on the driving environment is displayed in the top half and information on the vehicle below, reducing confusion.
    • Upgraded to full color with higher brightness, definition and contrast, the display is easier to read.

    Equipment designed to help achieve an ideal driving position
    • In addition to multiple positions with the 10-way power seat, the seat memory function*5can now save the angle, brightness and content settings of the Active Driving Display, allowing drivers to find the ideal driving position quickly.
    • A new steering wheel offers an ergonomic grip with a good feel at every position. The driver's intentions are accurately transmitted to the vehicle, and feedback on road and tire conditions is accurately conveyed to the driver.
  • Based on the Mazda Proactive Safety philosophy, i-ACTIVSENSE technologies support safe driving
    Hazard detection technology
    Mazda's first Traffic Sign Recognition System (TSR)*6 helps prevent overlooking of speed limit signs
    • A forward-sensing camera picks up speed limit signs and the speed limit is shown on the active driving display.
    • A flashing light on the display tells the driver when the speed limit has been exceeded. A buzzer can also be set to sound.
    • Also detects "no entry" and stop signs.

    Adaptive LED Headlights*4 for enhanced night vision
    Glare-free High Beams
    • High beams are divided into four LED blocks laid out horizontally, each of which can be turned on or off individually.
    • When driving with high beams, the headlights of oncoming vehicles or tail lights of vehicles ahead are detected and the appropriate block of LEDs is turned off.
    • Offers the superior visibility of high beams without blinding drivers in oncoming vehicles.
    • Operates at speeds of 40km/h or higher.
    Wide-range low beams
    • At speeds of 40km/h or lower, areas to the sides that were not illuminated with conventional low beams are illuminated and vision at intersections is enhanced.
    Highway mode
    • At speeds of 95km/h or more the aim of the head lamps is raised automatically allowing the driver to see for greater distances.
    Collision avoidance and damage mitigation
    Advanced Smart City Brake Support*7 to reduce damage from collisions
    • The near infrared laser sensor used with SCBS F has now been changed to a forward-sensing camera.
    • The system can now detect pedestrians as well as vehicles.
    • The range of speeds at which vehicles are detected has been expanded from 4 - 30km/h to 4 - 80km/h. Pedestrians can be detected at 10 - 80km/h.
  • Design
    Exterior design reflects a mature sense of composure and elegance
    • A focus on the car's physique emphasizes its horizontal form to impart a greater sense of width along with a strong fore-aft axis.
    • The car's wide, low stance is highlighted, and its dignified proportions convey a mature sense of composure.
    • Developed to express the beauty of a machine's strength and precision, Machine Gray Premium Metallic achieves both high-contrast shadows and a high-density finish to give a realistic metallic feel. Nine colors are available including the new Eternal Blue Mica and Sonic Silver Metallic as well as Soul Red Premium Metallic, which represents KODO design.

    Sporty, high-quality interior design

    • Individual components have been refined to achieve a higher level of quality for a sporty yet composed and dignified interior environment.
    • The sense of breadth and of fore-aft speed is accentuated by visually strengthening the left-right spread from the center of the dashboard and its connection to the door trim on each side.
    • Models with the SKYACTIV-D 2.2 engine feature an electric parking brake and a high-quality, clean console design. The dignified look of the interior conveys a mature sense of composure.

 

Updated Axela manufacturer's suggested retail price (tax included)

Axela Sports (hatchback)

(*model pictured)

Model Drive Engine Transmission MSRP
(tax included)
Tax Reduction*8
(acquisition
tax/weight tax)
15C FWD SKYACTIV-G
1.5
SKYACTIV-MT
(6-speed MT)
¥1,760,400 40%/25%
SKYACTIV-DRIVE
(6-speed EC-AT)
60%/50%
i-ACTIV
AWD
SKYACTIV-DRIVE
(6-speed EC-AT)
¥1,981,800 40%/25%
15S FWD SKYACTIV-MT
(6-speed MT)
¥1,922,400 40%/25%
SKYACTIV-DRIVE
(6-speed EC-AT)
60%/50%
i-ACTIV
AWD
SKYACTIV-DRIVE
(6-speed EC-AT)
¥2,143,800 40%/25%
15S
PROACTIVE
FWD SKYACTIV-MT
(6-speed MT)
¥2,138,400 40%/25%
SKYACTIV-DRIVE
(6-speed EC-AT)
60%/50%
i-ACTIV
AWD
SKYACTIV-DRIVE
(6-speed EC-AT)
¥2,359,800 40%/25%
15XD FWD SKYACTIV-D
1.5
SKYACTIV-DRIVE
(6-speed EC-AT)
¥2,303,640 Exempt
15XD
PROACTIVE
SKYACTIV-DRIVE
(6-speed EC-AT)
¥2,430,000 Exempt
15XD
L Package
SKYACTIV-DRIVE
(6-speed EC-AT)
¥2,689,200 Exempt
22XD
PROACTIVE
FWD SKYACTIV-D
2.2
SKYACTIV-DRIVE
(6-speed EC-AT)
¥2,781,000 Exempt
i-ACTIV
AWD
SKYACTIV-DRIVE
(6-speed EC-AT)
¥3,002,400 (approval
pending)
22XD
L Package
FWD SKYACTIV-MT
(6-speed MT)
¥3,088,800 Exempt
SKYACTIV-DRIVE
(6-speed EC-AT)*
Exempt
i-ACTIV
AWD
SKYACTIV-MT
(6-speed MT)
¥3,310,200 (approval
pending)
SKYACTIV-DRIVE
(6-speed EC-AT)
(approval
pending)

 

Axela Sedan

Model Drive Engine Transmission MSRP
(tax included)
Tax Reduction*8
(acquisition
tax/weight tax)
15C FWD SKYACTIV-G
1.5
SKYACTIV-MT
(6-speed MT)
¥1,760,400 40%/25%
SKYACTIV-DRIVE
(6-speed EC-AT)
60%/50%
i-ACTIV
AWD
SKYACTIV-DRIVE
(6-speed EC-AT)
¥1,981,800 40%/25%
15S FWD SKYACTIV-MT
(6-speed MT)
¥1,922,400 40%/25%
SKYACTIV-DRIVE
(6-speed EC-AT)
60%/50%
i-ACTIV
AWD
SKYACTIV-DRIVE
(6-speed EC-AT)
¥2,143,800 40%/25%
15S
PROACTIVE
FWD SKYACTIV-MT
(6-speed MT)
¥2,138,400 40%/25%
SKYACTIV-DRIVE
(6-speed EC-AT)
60%/50%
i-ACTIV
AWD
SKYACTIV-DRIVE
(6-speed EC-AT)
¥2,359,800 40%/25%
22XD
PROACTIVE
FWD SKYACTIV-D
2.2
SKYACTIV-DRIVE
(6-speed EC-AT)
¥2,781,000 Exempt
i-ACTIV
AWD
SKYACTIV-DRIVE
(6-speed EC-AT)
¥3,002,400 (approval
pending)
22XD
L Package
FWD SKYACTIV-DRIVE
(6-speed EC-AT)
¥3,088,800 Exempt
i-ACTIV
AWD
SKYACTIV-DRIVE
(6-speed EC-AT)
¥3,310,200 (approval
pending)

 

Axela Hybrid (sedan)

Model Drive Engine Transmission MSRP
(tax included)
Tax Reduction*8
(acquisition
tax/weight tax)
HYBRID-C FWD SKYACTIV
-HYBRID
(SKYACTIV-G
2.0 + motor)
Electric
continuously
variable
transmission
¥2,473,200 Exempt
HYBRID-S
PROACTIVE
¥2,651,400 Exempt
HYBRID-S
L Package
¥2,879,000 Exempt
  • - In addition to the MSRP above, a recycling fee of ¥11,450 will be added at the time of purchase.
  • - Price increases by ¥54,000 (including tax) for Soul Red Premium Metallic or Machine Gray Metallic and by ¥32,400 for Snowflake White Pearl Mica.

 

Updated Axela JC08 Mode Fuel Economy*9

Engine Transmission Body Type by Drive Train, JC08 Mode Fuel Economy*9
Hatchback Sedan
FWD i-ACTIV
AWD
FWD i-ACTIV
AWD
SKYACTIV-D
1.5
SKYACTIV-DRIVE
(6-speed EC-AT)
21.6km/L - - -
SKYACTIV-D
2.2
SKYACTIV-MT
(6-speed MT)
21.4km/L (approval
pending)
- -
SKYACTIV-DRIVE
(6-speed EC-AT)
19.6km/L (approval
pending)
19.6km/L (approval
pending)
SKYACTIV-G
1.5
SKYACTIV-MT
(6-speed MT)
19.2km/L - 19.2km/L -
SKYACTIV-DRIVE
(6-speed EC-AT)
20.4km/L 17.8km/L 20.6km/L 17.8km/L
SKYACTIV
-HYBRID
(SKYACTIV-G
2.0 + motor)
Electric
continuously
variable
transmission
- - 30.8km/La
28.0km/Lb
27.0km/Lc
-
  • a  16-inch tires
  • b  18-inch tires, without electric sliding glass sunroof
  • c  18-inch tires, with electric sliding glass sunroof

 

  • *1 Sales of vehicles with the SKYACTIV-D 1.5, SKYACTIV-G 1.5 and SKYACTIV-HYBRID engines begin today. For vehicles with SKYACTIV-D 2.2, sales of front wheel-drive vehicles are slated to begin in August and four wheel-drive vehicles in September.
  • *2 Standard on all models except SKYACTIV-HYBRID
  • *3 Standard on all SKYACTIV-D 1.5 and SKYACTIV-D 2.2 models
  • *4 Standard on all models except 15C, 15S, 15XD, and HYBRID-C
  • *5 Standard with 15XD L Package, 22 XD L Package and HYBRID-S L Package
    Factory-installed set option on 15S PROACTIVE, 15XD PROACTIVE, 22XD PROACIVE, HYBRID-S PROACTIVE
  • *6 Traffic Sign Recognition is standard on all models except 15C, 15S, 15XD and HYBRID-C
  • *7 Advanced Smart City Brake Support is standard on all models except 15C
  • *8 Japan's eco-car tax reduction programs to promote sales of lower emission vehicles
  • *9 Figures screened by Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. The fuel economy figures shown are the results of testing under a fixed set of conditions. In practice, fuel economy figures may vary according to driving circumstances.