Mazda has unveiled a saloon version of its upcoming Mazda3 hatchback. The all-new Mazda3 Fastback will be available later this year with powerplant choices of three naturally aspirated petrol engines and turbocharged diesel engine, all of which come with a start-stop system as standard. The brand-new entry-level engine 1.5-litre petrol provides up to 99bhp and returns an average of 56.4mpg when mated to a six-speed manual gearbox.
It also emits 118g/km of carbon dioxide, paving way for relatively low road tax. The 118-bhp 2.0-liter engine returns an average of 55.3mpg and emits 119g/km of carbon dioxide when paired with a manual transmission. The 162-bhp 2.0-liter engine returns an average of 48.7mpg and emits 135g/km of carbon dioxide.
The 2.2-litre diesel, meanwhile, provides up to 148bhp, returns 72.4mpg and emits 104g/km of carbon dioxide. Buyers could pair the engines with an automatic transmission, but this will result in a reduction in fuel economy and a hike in emissions. For instance, a Mazda3 Fastback automatic diesel averages 58.8mpg and emits 127g/km of carbon dioxide.
Both the Mazda3 hatchback and saloon are wider and lower than the current model. The Mazda3 Fastback could be recognized by a restyled roof, rear window, rear wings and boot lid. Likewise the Mazda3 Fastback is 120mm longer than the hatchback at 4580mm. This allows the Fastback to boast of a larger boot space of 69 liters than the hatchback. Both body styles have the same 2700mm wheelbase.
The saloon version of the Mazda3 features a wider boot opening, which means luggage could be loaded and unloaded easier. More storage space is achievable thanks to its folding rear seat arrangement similar to the hatchback.
The Fastback also features Mazda's SkyActiv range of technologies, which aim to cut weight and improve efficiency. Kerb weights for the Fastback and the hatchback start as little as 1196kg and 1200kg respectively. The Fastback also boasts of a drag coefficient of 0.258, ensuring superb aerodynamic efficiency. [sourceL Mazda]