The luxurious ‘reverse-teardrop’ silhouette of the all-new Mazda 3 Astina grips you in the throes of “lust at first sight” before you even notice the almost seamless, unbroken window line, contributing to the sportive, “crouched panther” stance unexpected from a family hatchback: the exterior demeanour of the next-generation Mazda 3 are a mere hint to the level of detail and improvement permeating every aspect of this vehicle.
“We’re excited to bring these powertrains to our future vehicles as we continue on our path to premium. We know our fans will be yearning for additional details, however specific models, performance figures and market rollout will be disclosed at an appropriate time.” – Mazda spokesperson on the new developments
Indeed, the Mazda Vision Coupe concept, which was long hinted to in 2017, had found a voice in the maturing evolution of Mazda’s Kodo design language, which saw its ethos and philosophy executed in consumer production models like the new 1.5L Mazda Astina we test drove. Gorgeously sensual, and delivering a premium aesthetic through the essence of Japanese, there’s little doubt that the rumours of the consumer launch of the Mazda Vision Coupe concept in 2022 sound a tremendous ring of victory for Japanese car making.
Like the brand’s current flagship 1.5L Mazda 3 Hatchback, the new Mazda Vision Coup is a body of art, conveying singular motion and subtle undulations which allow plays of ambient light and reflections to play up its gorgeous silhouette.
Mazda’s Winning Formula: Skyactiv-X Straight Six hybrid engine and refined Kodo design language
Jalopnik did a little digging in the Japanese carmaker’s March 2019 financial report and found a small line item on page 25 listing two potential Mazda Vision Coupe power plants: a Skyactiv-X straight-six, as well as a Skyactiv-D straight-six diesel. The engine development is particularly remarkable because continental brands like Mercedes and Jaguar had been developing their own similar straight-six mild-hybrid setup. At the same time, Toyota borrowed BMW Z4’s architecture and engine for the new Supra, making Mazda the clear leader in this respect. Awkward given that Toyota is clearly the larger auto-maker.
The company’s new 3.0-litre inline-six engine will not only feature mild-hybrid tech similar to what’s already present in the top-of-the-line 2019 Astina but also make use of the brand’s compression ignition system, with a potential for 345-horsepower (257-kilowatt) output from this powertrain: no small potatoes given that its four-door coupe of the sort typical in a family drive.
On the aesthetic front, it’s clear from the success of last year’s top range 1.5L Mazda Astina that they’re going to lean into that aggressive cabin-rearward and go all the way with the upcoming Mazda Vision coupe as well.