UPDATE: Mazda has released the first teaser image for the unveiling that will occur in the coming hours.
The carmaker has yet to confirm that the event will focus on the new Mazda3, but there is little reason to think otherwise.
The new 2014 Mazda3 has surfaced once more, this time in a new spy photo that appeared on a Russian Facebook page today.
And, while those earlier 'brochure images' were proven to be a pair of well-crafted fakes, this photo looks to at last be the genuine article.
Compare the shot above to TMR's recent spy photos and you'll see that all details line up nicely, from the fast-rising belt line, to the slender tail-lights, twin exhaust tips and high rear window.
Seems fair to say, doesn't it, that Mazda's new 3 has now been caught in all its sleek, Alfa-like glory. Well, its rear-end at least.
It won't be long until we see the rest, however, with Mazda today confirming plans to unveil a new model in New York on June 26, streaming the event online via Microsoft's XBOX Live service.
And while Mazda hasn't said yet what that model will be, it's been known for some time that the new 3 would be unveiled this month.
For fans that don't have access to XBOX Live, the MazdaUSA.com website will also be frequently updated over the course of the event.
And, of course, we'll be covering the event for you to read about here at TMR.
What do we know about the new Mazda3 so far?
The new model is expected to be built atop a shortened version of the Mazda6 and CX-5's chassis, which makes use of the automaker's Skyactiv construction techniques to save weight without resorting to exotic materials.
Expect a range of 2.0 litre Skyactiv diesel and petrol engines too, as well as the same i-Eloop regenerative braking system used by the Mazda6.
Mazda will be looking to its new 3 to steal back the mantle of Australia's best-selling car from the 2013 Toyota Corolla - and if the runaway success of Mazda's CX-5 SUV is anything to go by, the two Japanese marques are heading for a fight.
Despite being right at the tail end of its lifespan, the Mazda3 led Australia's small car segment in 2012, capturing 18 percent of segment volume.
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