Mazda unveils its all-new generation of the Mazda 3, a 4-car global car, at the 2018 Los Angeles showe Generation since 2003 and has sold more than six million copies. It opens here both a new technical platform, an unprecedented engine technology with the SKYACTIV-X, a new generation design, but also a concept of the relationship between the vehicle and its owner, which is thought to be unique and multi-level. This goes through the interfaces and the general experience on board, wanted … Premium, the word falls away.
And from the first sentence of the press kit, the message is clear: Mazda wants to become a premium builder. This Grail is a dream that many of its competitors dream, but it is one of the most complicated goals to achieve. Just look at the time it takes Audi to find its current location. But most of all, while a small revolution seems to be under the hood (read our test prototype of the Mazda 3 with the Skyactiv X engine), the manufacturer first introduces the entire driving experience offered to the driver passengers and not the Consumption and emission performance of the new block.
The premium as a leitmotif
The Mazda 3 embodies the first time in a row the latest development of the Kodo design languageto be seen in the concepts of RX-Vision (2015), Kai (which has largely shaped this generation of 3) and the spectacular Vision Coupé, which had its hour of fame at the beginning of 2018 at the International Motor Show. With Such Genes It's no wonder that when she appeared on the NewHouse Los Angeles stage, she thrilled the sight of journalists from all over the world gathering for the occasion. In all simplicity, the design theme is summarized in a typical set of Japanese designers: to make it an object of universal pleasure … Everything with a leitmotif that has enough to dare: car as art or car as art.
"Mazda wants to be a premium builder"
Julien Montoussé, design director of Irvine's studio in California, explained how everything is in the shadow and light plays that reflect on the heavily worked side panels and convey an impression of living matter.
A countercurrent of free lines, which is accepted by many competitors, shows no traits, only subtle inflections, curves, curves that wanted to change with the light … The result is amazing, very round and subtle, with a cuddly general look, in the absence of quarter-glass almost compact, although it is still a big car: 4.46 m long, 1.80 m wide and 1.44 m high in 5-door version, which loses 11 mm in length, but by 25 mm in the wheelbase. The 4-door version is 4.66 m long. The trunk is mixed, as the 5 doors are limited to 295 l (in decay), while the 4 doors reach a total volume of 444 l.
We also notice the exclusive color Polymetallgrau Designed for this body and presented as an attachment to the scene or the minimalist work on the tail lights succeeded. The 4-door version is more mature and elegant.
Life on board
In the cabin, "less is more" (which can be translated as "less is better") applies, and the designers have played the maximum contours, giving the atmosphere a special atmosphere itself. New, unique leather-like grains have been developed. and a special color-specific dark red leather cushions the seats of several versions. Among the new ways to try to do that perceived quality level Inside, coatings on the foils of the console or beautiful brushed metal grilles play.
"The impression of quality is progressing, but Audi is still far ahead"
The impression of quality is progressing, that's for sure, but Audi is still far ahead. The dashboard is very clean, with no big room for a screen, a modest size of 8.8 inches. the Infotainment system, one of the weaknesses of the current Mazda, develops here with a refined display, a very neat steering wheel (the screen does not touch anymore) and a neat haptic feedback.
In addition to the design aspect, the Mazda 3 focuses on the human character (Human Centric) in all its aspects, both in design and in driving performance Soundproofing works in detail, clean environmental performance and rising quality. An extensive program is described which is not always translated very clearly into the way the car works – we are just waiting to give you an opinion. One of the ideas that engineers have developed, for example, is the development of a chassis that can respond to the subtlest impulses of the driver.
But how? Every detail seems to have been redesigned, for example with one driving position more adjustable with + 20 mm telescopic adjustment in addition to the pillar. The center console, shifter and armrest have been moved forward while the seats hold the pelvis in place and keep the spine in the ideal position. The front room is very comfortable, while on the back, modesty is ok, that's all.
At a dynamic level, the contributing elements are a rigid bodya rear suspension with deformable cross member instead of the multi-link axle of the previous model (hope that it does not lose efficiency en route), with the promise to improve the driving pleasure for drivers and passengers in a natural feeling.
A new engine of the new generation
Under the hood we find the gasoline engine 2.0 Skyactiv-G 122 PS derived from the predecessor model, which will be in a slightly revised form the entry level (1.5 will not be expected in France), in terms of the shape of the inlet and the piston, the injection and the injection adding a valve to adjust the cooling. Upon arrival in April 2019, a basic fee of up to € 24,100 is expected, while the previous generation started at € 23,600. At this price, the device is also equipped with LED headlights, digital measuring devices on a 7-inch screen, a projected head-up display, the emergency call, etc.
We also find that 1.8 Skyactiv D diesel of 115 hp, but who has all the questions, of course, everything new 2.0 Skyactiv X SPCCI (Spark Plugged Controlled Ignition Compression) and promises a 20% increase in consumption under real conditions. In use, this engine should provide better initial response, torque, linearity and pitch in free towers for 181 hp at 6,000 rpm and 222 Nm at 4,000 rpm. A system of Microhybridization in 24 volts The name Mazda M Hybrid System is also in play, both on the Skyactiv-X and Skyactiv-G engines, which both provide a small boost and regenerate when braking.
"The all-wheel drive system i-Activ AWD is announced with 60% less mechanical losses"
At this time, the effectiveness of the whole is difficult to assess. It will be necessary to be patient, as Skyactiv-X will not reach it until the second half of 2019. Also note that the system of full transfer The i-Activ AWD is announced with 60% less mechanical losses, while the active G-Vectoring Control Plus torque distribution is included. The transmissions have all 6 speeds, both manual and automatic.
Driver under surveillance
Finally, of course, the aspects of active and passive safety are mentioned. Logically, there is an adaptive cruise control with active function in traffic jams and active queue tracking. More original, the driver is supervised by one Infrared camera To detect signs of fatigue and to prevent them in the event of a detected hazard further upstream. There is also a front cross traffic alarm function, which is useful at the beginning of a blind intersection. This function should work in the same way as similar functions in the backward maneuver. After all, the new Mazda 3 is the first Mazda to feature a standard knee airbag.
New Mazda 3 Discovery Report (2019)
In the end is here an ambitious car In terms of design, embedded technology and positioning, a bet we just want to win.