It’s the crossover that Mazda just has to have. And while the brand’s bosses remain quiet on plans, reports in recent weeks suggest the long-expected CX-3 is now well into development.
For now, the company has confirmed only that it has the capability to deliver such a model - but in a market segment that shows no sign of slowing, the debut of a compact Mazda crossover is likely a case of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’.
If we take the coming of a CX-3 as given, the new model would slot in below the larger CX-5 to take on the Ford EcoSport and Holden Trax, along with Peugeot’s 2008 and the ageing Nissan Juke and Skoda Yeti.
So far, the only official look at the next Mazda2 has been the Hazumi concept that appeared earlier in the year, although recent spy photos reveal that much of the show car’s look will carry through to production.
But, while this latest rendering points to a merely ‘jacked up’ version of the Mazda2’s design, the CX-3 would likely take its looks not only from its lower sibling but also the midsized CX-5.
The usual rugged-look tricks should feature however, including the unpainted grey plastic guards shown here (but expect them to extend over the wheel arches).
As with the new 2, the CX-3’s development focus will be on lightweight materials and efficient powertrains to battle the ultra-low fuel figures of the latest models in the light-car market.
Expect Mazda’s new 77kW/250Nm 1.5 litre diesel engine to feature, mated to six-speed manual and automatic transmissions - just as it will in the new Mazda2.
Watch for whispers of the CX-3 to become reality in 2015.
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