Could the next Mazda3 boast a fuel-saving breakthrough in engine tech?

Mazda released an enigmatic teaser video that briefly shows two cars. The description boldly calls it the beginning of a new era. We think it’s our first look at the next-generation Mazda3 that will likely make its global debut in November at the Los Angeles auto show.

The current Mazda3 arrived in showrooms in 2013 so it’s due for a replacement. Though short, the video suggests the wait will be worth it. It looks like the next Mazda3 hatchback liberally borrows styling cues from the head-turning Kai concept Mazda introduced in Tokyo in 2017. If that is the case, it will wear a familiar-looking front end with the firm’s archetypal shield-shaped grille but its rear end will mark a dramatic departure from the norm. The slanted, almost fastback-like roofline will give the 3 a look that is both distinctive and muscular.

The 3 hatchback will be joined by a sedan model. It’s the gray car in the video above. Mazda hasn’t previewed it with a concept so it’s difficult to picture what it will look like. Expect a similarly design-led interior with a vastly improved infotainment system and a wide array of available electronic driving aids that will trickle down from bigger models like the Mazda6.

The surprises won’t end at the curvaceous sheet metal. While nothing is official yet, the next-generation Mazda3 is widely believed to inaugurate a fuel-saving breakthrough in engine technology. Mazda calls it SkyActiv-X, and it blends the technology used in a gasoline engine with that of a turbodiesel unit. Many car companies have experimented with this solution and failed; Mazda thinks it has cracked the code.

You won’t be able to tell the difference between the SkyActiv-X engine and a standard, gasoline-powered four-cylinder when you’re behind the wheel. The only thing you’ll notice is that it makes the Mazda3 quicker on its feet than before while using less fuel. It’s a win-win. We’ll have specific figures — and more details about Mazda’s next-generation 3 — in the coming weeks.

When it arrives in showrooms in 2019, the new Mazda3 will compete in the same segment as the Chevrolet Cruze, the Honda Civic, the Toyota Corolla, and the Volkswagen Jetta.

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