According to Britain's Autocar, Mazda of Europe's Ichiro Hirose has confirmed interest in introducing a premium light hatch in the coming years.
"[Mazda is] interested in the premium sub-B class, and we could have a car launched within the next two or three years," the magazine quotes Hirose.
The new model would likely enter alongside the more affordable Mazda2, which is due for replacement in the next two years.
As with Citroen's DS3 and C3 platform mates, the premium light Mazda could share its platform with the new 2.
The report follows comments in 2010 from Mazda of Europe's design boss Peter Birtwhistle, who described the carmaker's future direction as "a Japanese Alfa Romeo, with the right premium feel."
(Interestingly, Mazda has since announced a development partnership with Alfa Romeo.)
However, with Mazda now moving away from the 'Nagare' styling of its outgoing range, the rumoured new model would likely draw on the look of the new CX-5, Mazda6 and - if accurate - this month's Mazda3 rendering (pictured above).
For now, we must watch and wait.