Published on March 1st, 2019 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Mazda3 for 2019 Shows Some Italian Flair
Mazda is not one of the bigger automobile groups, globally or even in Japan and yet they have a strong commitment to deliver new technology and great designs, inside and out.
So, it is through innovation and style that this Japanese car manufacturer is trying to make a difference. The uniqueness of the new Mazda3 is identifiable at first glance with very personal lines that revolve around a long aquiline hood and a plump rear end that is reminiscent of the stylish Alfa Brera. On this point, there is a strong bet that Italians will take to this car and Malaysians will love it at first sight.
Technically, the Mazda3 inherits a brand new platform which has nothing carried over from the previous version.
HATCHBACK DESIGN CONCEPT: CONDENSED AND EMOTIONAL
The clean lines and unique proportions of the sporty hatchback convey a sense of anticipation and energy that creates a strong emotional appeal. Powerful C-pillars help to achieve a unique rear design in which the cabin and body appear to form a single solid mass. To achieve the car’s signature look, Mazda eliminated all character lines and relied entirely on beautifully curved body panels which reflect the surrounding environment. The dark metallic colour and bold contouring of the signature wing clearly distinguishes it from the sedan version.
SEDAN DESIGN CONCEPT: SLEEK AND ELEGANT
In contrast, the design of the sedan conforms to a more traditional styling by bringing together the bonnet, cabin and boot as three distinct elements. However, the All-New Mazda3 sedan aims to elevate those elements to achieve a new level of beauty. Flowing from front to rear in a single motion, the sedan’s smooth surface movements evoke simple beauty and a graceful profile. All elements at the front and rear adopt a horizontal layout that accentuates the look of a wide and low stance. Its chrome plated signature wing is a clear manifestation of quality. The combined result is a refined, mature expression of elegance.
COMMITMENT TO CRAFTSMANSHIP
Mazda’s designers, engineers and production departments worked hand in hand to bring the full beauty of Kodo design to life in the All-New Mazda3. One characteristic resulting from the dedication to craftsmanship is the distinctive surface of the body side panels. Depending on the viewing angle and on the way light hits the surface, smooth transitions in the reflections of the body panels are created. Furthermore, the All-New Mazda3 features a new low-to-the-ground front nose design, which adds greater flow and beauty to the car’s proportions. It was made possible by integrating the functions of parts at the front, thus maximising space efficiency. In addition, the panel edges around the wheel arches are fully folded back on themselves, bringing the tyres further to the outsides. The reduced gap between tyres and wheel arches highlights the car’s stylish look.
DYNAMIC LAMP DESIGN
The All-New Mazda3’s updated lamp design shaves away all unnecessary elements to leave only the essence of a light fixture. The resulting round design has an expression of depth and a dynamic presence that is unique to the Mazda brand. The All-New Mazda3 headlamps adopt a simple ring-shape lighting pattern in the centre accented by illumination on the side section. The rear combination lamps feature four round lights with gradations in their illumination that create an appearance of being directed towards the front. In addition, the three-dimensional design of the outer lenses on the hatchback creates a solid look, while the lights for the sedan are placed closer together to convey elegance.
BODY COLOUR LINE-UP
The newly developed Polymetal Grey is available exclusively on the hatchback. The colour combines bright aluminium flakes and opaque pigment, fusing the hard appearance of metal with plastic’s characteristic glossy smoothness. The colour’s tonality changes depending on the light, accentuating the hatchback’s beautiful form. The body colour line-up also includes Mazda’s two signature colours, Soul Red Crystal and Machine Grey, along with Titanium Flash, Deep Crystal Blue, Snowflake White Pearl, Arctic White, Sonic Silver and Jet Black, making a total of 9 colours available for the hatchback version and 8 colours for the sedan.
The All-New Mazda3’s interior likewise incorporates the minimalist ‘less is more’ ideal of the evolved Kodo design. All elements other than the cockpit are kept as simple as possible to give the cockpit zone added presence. To amplify the connection between car and driver, every aspect of the cockpit is laid out in perfect horizontal symmetry centred on the driver. The human-centric philosophy at the heart of every Mazda design ensures that every element of a Mazda car is conducive to the comfort and ease of the driver.
COCKPIT THAT PURSUES A SIMPLER, MORE BEAUTIFUL DESIGN
In order to deliver a simpler, more beautiful design, the cockpit of the All-New Mazda3 features a symmetrical layout and horizontal orientation based on Mazda’s ‘less is more’ philosophy. It shaves away all unnecessary elements to realise a level of uncluttered comfort and quality not seen before. The steering wheel, three-meter cluster and air vents create perfect symmetry in the cockpit. In addition, the cockpit design places greater emphasis on the ‘vanishing point’ concept employed on the previous Mazda3. The steering wheel spoke at the six o’clock position is narrower and aims straighter down, while the right and left meters in the three-meter cluster are each angled inwards to face the driver. The centre display is also angled towards the driver and its square-edged bezel points towards the vanishing point. This design approach not only emphasises the driver-centred axis running from front to rear through the cockpit zone, but also expresses a second horizontal axis through the layout of the forms that run side to side from the instrument panel to the door trim.
MATERIALS FOR A RICH EXPRESSION
The Japanese mastery of craftsmanship and immaculate design becomes clear in the newly developed materials used in the All-New Mazda3. Parts such as the dashboard employ Mazda’s own grain for a material that closely resembles genuine leather. To reproduce the varying patterns found in natural leather, Mazda introduced creases with the differing depth and shapes of ‘growth marks’. The result is a new grain pattern that gives the interior a lively, rich expression. The newly designed gear lever panel takes advantage of a two-layer moulding technology. It incorporates a laser-engraved black layer covered by a second clear layer. When light strikes the panel, it passes through the transparent layer and achieves a scattered reflection in the engraved surface underneath. This leads to a glossy finish and a look of deep transparency that accentuate the All-New Mazda3’s sporty and elegant nature.
SKYACTIV-G 2.0 PETROL ENGINE WITH MILD HYBRID TECHNOLOGY
The All-New Mazda3 features Mazda’s latest Skyactiv-G 2.0 high-efficiency direct injection petrol engine assisted by Mazda’s new M Hybrid system. The result is a dynamic performance combined with excellent fuel economy and low particulate matter exhaust emissions.
The unit develops 122 PS at 6,000 rpm and maximum torque of 213 Nm at 4,000 rpm. It combines an average fuel consumption of 6.0-6.7 l/100 km with CO2 emissions of 136-152 g/km. This clean and efficient engine comes with a choice of six-speed Skyactiv-MT manual or six-speed Skyactiv-Drive automatic transmissions.
Compared to previous iterations of the Mazda3, an upgraded piston skirt and optimised oil ring profile reduce mechanical friction with the Skyactiv-G 2.0 engine. The coolant control system for thermal management promotes quick engine warm-up to reduce fuel consumption. Combustion noise has been refined and enhanced efficiency achieved through the optimisation of the piston top profile and multi-stage injection. And high pressure fuel atomisation from the injectors increases combustion efficiency by preventing fuel adhesion to the combustion chamber walls. Increased torque across the rpm range offers a dynamic performance that further strengthens the Jinba Ittai bond between car and driver.
Fuel economy in the evolved Skyactiv-G 2.0 is increased by virtually shrinking the displacement of the engine when possible. The system automatically switches between two-cylinder and four-cylinder operation depending on the driving conditions. Thus, the system shuts down cylinders one and four in light-load situations, such as when cruising at a constant speed. This reduces pumping loss and mechanical resistance. Airflow intake volume, fuel injection rates and ignition timing are precisely controlled to make the switch smooth. The driver is able to enjoy fuel savings without any noticeable change in the feel of driving the car.
SKYACTIV-X ENGINE – A REVOLUTION
The All-New Mazda3 will be the first production car to be powered by Mazda’s innovative Skyactiv-X engine. Adopting the new Spark Controlled Compression Ignition (SPCCI) combustion method developed by Mazda, this powerplant marks the world’s first implementation of compression ignition combustion technology in a petrol engine and is scheduled for launch later in 2019. It brings together the superior initial response and fuel economy usually associated with diesel engines and the linear response to rapid accelerator pedal action and free-revving performance of petrol engines. The engine works in accordance with Mazda’s intelligent new M Hybrid system.
Like all of the Mazda3’s clean and efficient engines, the Skyactiv-X will come with a six-speed Skyactiv-Drive automatic transmissions.