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All-New Mazda3 at Bologna Motor Show - VIDEO ENHANCED

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

LEVERKUSEN, Germany – December 3, 2008: When the first-generation Mazda3 was released, it introduced a level of driving pleasure and a sense of quality which exceeded its class. Five years later, total sales have surpassed 1.8 million units and the Mazda3 has won a total of 90 automobile awards around the globe.

The all-new Mazda3 builds on the virtues of the first generation and reflects increasing concern with environmental issues, the rapid growth of car ownership and fresh diversity in the criteria people use to value cars.

Click PLAY to watch video promo of the new Mazda3

Development of the all-new Mazda3 was carried out by R&D staff in Japan, the USA and Europe working together to reflect Mazda’s long-term vision for technology development, “Sustainable Zoom-Zoom,” which aims to achieve harmony between driving pleasure and environmental and safety features. As a result, the all-new Mazda3 evolves the original model’s acclaimed sporty driving and design, and achieves top class environmental and safety performance.

Program Manager Yoshiyuki Maeda says, “We focused on achieving an exhilarating experience that drivers would sense directly. We targeted dynamic driving performance that responds to the driver’s intention and excellent environmental and safety features that offer pride and confidence whenever the driver is behind the wheel. In order to create exhilaration in every element of the vehicle, we worked to enhance each aspect of the driving quality.”

Design: celebrating Mazda3’s established identity while making it more expressive
The design concept for the all-new Mazda3 was “remaining faithful to an inherited identity while evolving the design to make it more expressive”. While retaining some of the original model’s dynamic lines, richer expression was sought to create a more emotional design. As a result, Mazda achieved a powerful, fresh design that enhances recognition of Mazda3’s unique value.

Exterior design – expressive and emotional styling
A distinctive new frontal treatment is formed by the 5-point grille and intakes at the front corners. These design cues combine with the sculpted shape of the hood and the bold, expressive lines that connect the hood to the A-pillars. All the lines seem to flow into the centre just below the 5-point grille, which creates a stronger expression of power and dynamism.

From the side, the front fender line smoothly morphs into the beltline, clearly identifying the vehicle as a Mazda and communicating dynamism. The line of the side sill curves up and seems to connect with the rear spoiler to emphasise the vehicle’s compact size and express its agility. In order to make the surface more expressive, Mazda designers slightly elaborated the depth of the hood edge, front fenders and the three-dimensional shape of the protruding body sides, carefully crafting curves that subtly reflect changes in natural light.

The rear view boasts a sporty design with wide stance. The strongest features are the protruding shoulders and emphasised centre-focus design. This concept was carried over from the original Mazda3 and made bolder to represent expressiveness. All the lines of the rear view are designed to concentrate on the brand symbol in the centre. The impressive C-pillar design, which was also inherited from the first-generation Mazda3, was made more prominent, thanks to Mazda’s expertise in stamping technology.

Interior design – sophisticated, sporty, and high quality
Inside the all-new Mazda3 is a sporty yet highly refined cabin. The dashboard sweeps out from the centre toward both sides with dynamic flair as though it is flexing powerful muscles. The large centre display and controls are laid out around the driver to deliver just the right feeling of snugness. The angle of the centre panel was adjusted after careful analysis of the driver’s hand movements, producing a more stylish and dynamic design. A soft, wood grained surface with minimised parting lines on the top of the dashboard enhances the interior quality. The new interactive lighting control enhances the driver’s connection with the vehicle.

Driving dynamics - The evolution to a more sophisticated sporty ride
The development theme for the all-new Mazda3’s dynamic performance was “exhilarating driving”. It refers to the satisfaction derived when a car acts in perfect concert with the driver’s intentions. It could also be described as the sense of accomplishment derived when the driver can handle the car easily and have it respond exactly as desired to their will.

Toward this end, the development team didn’t settle for merely adding small changes to the already high levels of body rigidity and driving performance. Rather, they also made every effort to completely eliminate all negative aspects of NVH, from the engine noise, vibration in the body and road noise. At the same time, the team retained all positive aspects including the sound of the engine, the sense of acceleration, the quality of brake response, the feel of the steering and the overall road holding sensations.

Powertrains for all driving experiences
The four Mazda3 powertrains combine Mazda’s typical Zoom-Zoom driving experience with excellent environmental performance to provide exhilarating driving.

The new Mazda3 engine line up has been tailored for European customers and now includes the newly developed MZR-CD 2.2-litre turbo diesel engine, carried over from the all-new Mazda6, in addition to the gasoline MZR-1.6-litre and 2.0-litre (now with the option of a 5-speed Activematic transmission), and the MZ-CD 1.6-litre turbo diesel.

A high-performance clean diesel engine with top class output, fuel economy and refinement, the 2.2-litre engine will be offered in two variants, a high power version with a maximum torque of 400 Nm at 1,800-3,000 rpm and an output of 136 kW (185 PS) at 3500 rpm, and a standard power version with a maximum torque of 360 Nm at 1,800-2,600 rpm and an output of 110 kW (150 PS) at 3500 rpm.

Both versions have outstanding clean emissions performance, comply with the Euro Stage 5 regulations and feature a Mazda developed unique Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) technology for more efficient regeneration. Fuel economy is also greatly improved by 7 to 10 percent (compared to the MZR-CD 2.0-litre engine in the previous model), attaining 5.4 l/100 km for the standard power version and 5.6 l/100 km for the high power version.

Catalyst that uses single nanotechnology (for gasoline engines)
Mazda’s gasoline engine underfloor catalyst is the world’s first vehicle catalyst to be constructed with single nanotechnology, which controls even finer materials structures than nanotechnology. It is used to embed individual particles of precious metals, which are less than 5 nanometers in diameter, into the catalyst base material. This new development enables Mazda to reduce the amount of expensive precious metals such as platinum and palladium by 70 to 90 percent without impairing catalyst performance. This new catalyst is an important part of Mazda’s efforts to reduce reliance on limited resources.

Power steering, suspension and brake systems
To deliver just the right balance between fuel economy, steering weight, feel and stability, all configurations of the all-new Madza3 are equipped with the Electro-Hydraulic Power Assist Steering system (EHPAS) that has earned high acclaim on the current Mazda3.

The suspension is also based on the current Mazda3 system, and has been enhanced to ensure even crisper responses to steering wheel inputs, and also to improve roll control and maintain a flatter ride by strengthening the suspension damping. In the brake system, the vacuum booster has been retuned and the feeling of initial brake application has been optimised. The overall result is outstanding response and reassuring linearity under all braking conditions.

High rigidity bodyshell
The basic development concept for the bodyshell of the all-new Mazda3 was to improve the overall balance of the body’s rigidity and ensure it firmly absorbs the reaction force of the dampers. To this end, particular attention went to reinforcing the area around the front and rear suspension mounts and the joint sections in each corner, which are subjected to the greater stress.

Structural adhesive was used to strengthen the joints for the front and rear suspension towers, and spot welding was added to reinforce the joints of the door openings. The result is a substantial improvement in rigidity and body hysteresis (the degree of car body deformation due to repeated applications of torsional load).

Class-leading aerodynamics
Mazda adopted a new approach, called “airflow management”, to optimally control the flow of air over, under and around the all-new Mazda3. Conventional car designs create a large amount of drag during the process of taking in ambient air (for cooling) and venting warm air that adversely affects aerodynamic performance and fuel economy.

However, the all-new Mazda3 does not take in excess air and thereby minimises drag. One specific example is the upper and lower front grille openings, which concentrate ram pressure (wind pressure) in a manner that eases the intake of air and directs it effectively to cool the engine. Additionally, the front corners of the upper body were reshaped and rounded front tyre deflectors were added to control the flow of air along the vehicle’s sides.

As a result, the drag coefficient for the European specification 5-door hatchback and 4-door saloon are respectively 0.30 and 0.28 and are now among the best in the segment. These measures helped the engineers attain top-class levels for wind noise reduction, high speed stability and fuel economy.

Cabin environment – sense of oneness between car and driver
Aboard the all-new Mazda3 is a new ‘Human Machine Interface’ that contributes to the sense of oneness between the car and driver – the Jinba Ittai for which the Mazda MX-5 roadster is famed. The cabin interior is designed to allow the driver to concentrate on driving and also appreciate the level of quality in both design and the materials used.

A sporty cockpit that improves functional beauty
The new ‘zone layout’ approach focuses on improving visibility and creating more intuitive controls which provide “a sense of the car and driver as one” and “a reassuring sense of confidence that frees the driver to concentrate on driving”.

First, the new Mazda3 development team integrated the information display and positioned it towards the front in the optimal ‘zone’. This placed the information necessary while driving where it can be seen with the least amount of eye movement. Next, the engineers placed all the controls and switches within a single ‘zone’ closer to the driver’s hands. Designing the cockpit with controls and information display in separate zones frees the driver to concentrate on driving.

Multi information display (MID)
Based on the concept of the zone layout, Mazda developed the Multi Information Display (MID). It clearly shows information on all the equipment needed while driving, such as the trip computer, audio system and compact GPS system (optional), which can be operated easily by switches mounted on the steering wheel.

Seats that fit better, provide greater support and are more functional
The raised sides on the front of the seat cushions were made 20mm larger than on the first generation Mazda3 to increase the leg support for a better fit. The seat backs were also extended by 35mm to better support the occupant’s posture. Seat position adjustment controls were also evolved. The new power seat has a 3-position memory function. Upon approaching the car, the driver’s seat automatically adjusts to the settings chosen by up to three different drivers by recognising the code of the key fob. High-grade models feature standard sports seats.

New welcoming functionalities
The interactive lighting control increases anticipation of a Zoom-Zoom driving experience. For example, when the driver unlocks the car door, the cockpit spotlight, room lamp and lights in the door handles illuminate in sequence, along with the instruments and centre display, to gently welcome the driver and passengers (depending on grade). The illumination even responds when the driver operates the controls, strengthening the interactive communication between driver and car.

Substantially reduced road and wind noise
Many improvements were made to structural rigidity and powertrain NVH performance to provide a quieter, more pleasant ride, including the reduction of high frequency booming noise sometimes heard when decelerating, while further evolving a sporty engine note.

Increasing the rigidity of components and joints also helped to deliver a quieter ride which is now among the class leaders. The sound pressure level of road noise was curtailed by 6-11 percent over the previous model, and wind noise was reduced by approximately 6 percent, to 59.0 dB at 100 km/h with a 5 m/s crosswind – placing the all-new Mazda3 among the quietest cars in the C-segment.

Advanced safety and environmental performance

As well as improving passive safety technologies, Mazda focused on enhancing active safety equipment that supports the recognition and avoidance of hazards. Specifically, the cutting-edge active safety technologies featured on the all-new Mazda3 include ABS, Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) and Emergency Stop Signalling system (ESS) as standard equipment, and bi-xenon headlights with a pivoting adaptive front lighting system as an option.

New optional features (depending on grade) include the Rear Vehicle Monitoring system (RVM), Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) and Heated Windscreen. The new model’s passive safety systems are comprehensive and include Mazda proprietary highly-rigid and safe vehicle body technology, the Mazda Advanced Impact-energy Distribution and Absorption System, as well as front seat active headrests and a complement of six airbags, placing the all-new Mazda3 at the top level for occupant safety.

Environmental performance
The all-new Mazda3 offers excellent environmental performance with many models conforming to Euro Stage5 regulations, or Euro Stage4 for the 1.6-litre gasoline and diesel engines. This level of clean emissions was achieved thanks to innovations including the introduction of the new MZR-CD 2.2L diesel engine, optimised engine control, Mazda’s Electro-Hydraulic Power Assisted Steering system (EHPAS), outstanding low-drag aerodynamics and comprehensive weight reduction efforts. The MZR-CD 2.2L standard power version is approximately 10 percent more efficient than the MZR-CD 2.0-litre engine of the first-generation Mazda3.

Promoting vehicle recycling
Mazda has achieved recyclability ratios of over 90 percent with some of its product line-up. Beginning in 2005, Mazda also became the first company in the auto industry to fully implement ‘bumper-to-bumper recycling’ that recycles material from damaged bumpers. Additionally, Mazda has completely eliminated the use of lead, hexavalent chromium, cadmium and mercury, with the exception of exempt parts.

Mazda led the motor industry by being the first to adopt a low-VOC sealer that reduces toluene emissions to less than one tenth of conventional sealers. Furthermore, all of Mazda’s domestic production sites in Japan have attained ISO 14001 certification.