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Revised Mazda3 to launch early 2012

Mazda has upgraded its Mazda3 hatchback which will go on sale early next year.

The new model has a redesigned front and rear end, new twist-spoke alloy wheel designs and interior changes include new materials, colours and a quieter cabin.

New models include two Sport derivatives - 1.6 Sport and Sport Nav diesel - and new equipment including a gear-shift indicator.

With the upgraded Mazda3, CO2 emissions are reduced by up to 3.5%, depending on model. Six diesel models in the 2012 line-up are rated at 115g/km and seven petrol models are rated at 147g/km, while only the automatic and MPS models exceed 175g/km.

Peter Allibon, Mazda UK sales director, said: “We anticipate that the upgraded Mazda3 will enable us to increase sales of our C-segment contender during 2012.

“The outgoing Mazda3 is the second-best selling Mazda model in the UK and has been successfully competing in a crowded compact-car segment. The 1.6 diesel has been hugely popular and the 2.2D with 183bhp remains one of the highest power C-segment diesel model of any brand available in the UK market place.”

For launch, a limited-edition Mazda3 Tamura model will be available. Powered by either a 1.6 petrol or 1.6 diesel engine and based on the TS model with a sports styling kit including; front fog lights, side skirts, sports grille and unique 17-inch black gloss diamond cut finish alloy wheels. Production of the Tamura Launch Edition will be restricted to 750 models.

Mazda will be looking to boost fleet sales with the new 1.6 Sport diesel model which has CO2 emissions of 115g/km, fuel economy of 65.7mpg, Bose audio system, heated sports seats, 17-inch alloy wheels and side skirts.

The 1.6 Sport diesel CO2 figure means the new model drops in to the lowest company car benefit-in-kind tax bracket for diesels (13%) in 2011/12. Meanwhile, the retuned 2.2 Sport diesel (148bhp) and the 2.2 Sport Nav diesel (183bhp) each drop a company car benefit-in-kind tax bracket.

Prices for the revised Mazda3 will be revealed closer to launch next year.

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