Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The All-New Mazda 3!!!

Five years after it landed on our shores, the current Mazda3 still looks good. Sure, it may look lumpy now beside the sleek, futuristic profile of the eight-gen Honda Civic, the conservative yet smart, wedge-like shape of the AE140 Corolla or the sporty, shark-like snout of the eighth-gen Mitsubishi Lancer, but it can still hold its own design-wise.

Still, with five years being the average lifespan for a car, it was inevitable that, sometime soon, Mazda would be unveiling the second-generation model.

So it's no surprise then that at the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show on November 19, Mazda will officially unveil the all-new Mazda3.

Although the car being unveiled is targeted for the North American market, it's expected that what they'll be getting stateside would practically be the same as what we'll get here; that is, if Mazda Philippines has plans to bring the new-model Mazda3 to our shores soon. After all, it took a couple of years before we even got the Mazda MX-5 NC model locally, not to mention the fact that we never even got the second-gen NB model.

Also, I doubt that the 2.5 liter engine option the new-model Mazda3 will shares with the mid-size Mazda6 in the US will make it here. With gasoline prices hovering at just over PHP 50, it doesn't make sense to pack a higher-capacity engine into a smaller body and risk cannibalizing the already meager mid-size car market share of the Mazda6.

Still, judging by the looks alone, the new Mazda3 is a real stunner as it follows the company's current design trend. Looking like a downsized Mazda6 from the front, the slanted, upward sweep of the headlights coupled with the wide grin of the air intake and the large front brake cooling ducts suggests a sporty attitude to the car, which the rear lip spoiler and dual exhaust tips only reinforce further. Think of it as looking really fast while standing really still. Really zoom-zoom-like

One problem I have with the exterior design, though, is that from the side, particularly from the A-pillar going backwards, it still looks like the previous-gen Mazda3.

Too bad we don't get to see what the interior looks like, as well, although it's undoubtedly going to be done in Mazda's signature sports-oriented look executed with top-notch craftsmanship.

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