This news follows comments from Mazda Australia boss Martin Benders, who said in August that a compact SUV “is not far away”.
Details of the new compact SUV are still to come, although it is believed the CX-3 will share its platform and engines with the new Mazda2.
Expect Mazda’s new 77kW/250Nm 1.5 litre diesel engine to feature in overseas models, while the local range is likely to get 1.5 litre petrol options.
Engines should be mated to six-speed manual and automatic transmissions, and we can likely also expect the CX-3 to be offered in front-wheel-drive form only.
And, while this highly stylised sketch leaves plenty of room for guessing, it is clear the CX-3’s styling will fall between the Mazda2 and the larger CX-5 SUV.
“Mazda CX-3 is the fifth vehicle in Mazda’s line-up of new-generation products that feature the full range of SKYACTIV Technology and ‘KODO Soul of Motion’ design,” the carmaker said in a statement today.
The CX-3, which should hit Australia next year, could provide Mazda with a significant boost.
Sales in the ‘Small SUV’ segment have now passed 65,000 year-to-date, compared to just under 60,000 for the same period in 2013.
The coming year will also see Australian launches for the small Jeep Renegade and Honda’s new HR-V.
Watch for the CX-3 to go official on November 18/19, when Mazda will also reveal updates to the Mazda6 and the CX-5 SUV.