2019 Mazda 3 officially launched in Singapore; first market in the world to receive all-new 1.5-litre mild hybrid powertrain
Photos: Jonathan Lim
The all-new Mazda 3 was officially launched in Singapore on July 19, and local distributor Eurokars Mazda managed to score a coup by being the first in the world to offer the 1.5-litre mild hybrid version for sale.
And it will be the first of many, as according to Mr Kota Beppu, programme manager of the new Mazda 3, the mild hybrid system will be eventually offered to the other models across the Mazda range, with the next in line set to be the new CX-30 crossover sport utility vehicle (SUV), albeit in larger capacity 2.0-litre form.
READ MORE: We’ve driven the CX-30 already! Click on to see what we think of Mazda’s latest crossover
We’ve extensively covered the new Mazda 3 inside out through our exclusive first drives and analysis, which you can read from the links below, but the latest version of Mazda’s strong-selling family car marks a new beginning of sorts for the brand, with the introduction of an all new platform, revamped design language, new cabin concept and human machine interface (HMI) with more connectivity, improved safety and new drivetrain technology.
It also marks the first step towards electrification for the brand, with the new Mazda 3 being the first mainstream production car from the Hiroshima carmaker to offer some form of electric propulsion technology. From here on it will be full speed ahead, as Mazda plans to have its entire model lineup featuring some form of electrification by 2030.
However, it will also remain steadfast to its commitment to internal combustion technology, as only five percent of its planned lineup in 2030 will be full battery electric vehicles (EVs), with the rest comprising of hybrids or other technologies like hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. “We definitely have plans to develop full EVs, but they will not be based on our existing model lineup,” said Mr Beppu, adding, “We have no plans for a Mazda 3 EV.”
In terms of engineering prowess, the Mazda 3 is also a breakthrough vehicle for the brand, as it will debut Mazda’s innovative Skyactiv-X engine that promises to offer diesel-like fuel efficiency with petrol performance.
When it arrives in Singapore next year, the Mazda 3 Skyactiv-X will become the flagship of the model lineup. But a high performance version, in the vein of the Mazda 3 MPS from the car’s first two generations, is not out of the question, if Mr Beppu has his way. “I’ve been asked by many people around the world about a high performance version of this car. While I cannot disclose officially any plans, it is something that I would like to consider,” he reveals.
It’s clear that Mr Beppu is an fun-loving engineer that doesn’t do things the traditional way, judging from his dapper style that is atypical of the usual dark-suited Japanese executive, and his fairly impressive command of English. He shares that his favourite part of the new Mazda 3 is the sound system, because he’s an avid music lover who enjoys driving along to his favourite tunes, calling it “a great form of stress relief”. He adds, “I especially like 60s and 70s progressive British rock, and music from The Beatles”.
It’s a pretty neat reflection of Mazda as a company, and the kind of people they employ: envelope-pushing mavericks with extremely creative minds and a deep passion for people-centred engineering. For Mazda customers, that certainly has to be music to their ears indeed.
First impressions of the Mazda 3 2.0 Skyactiv-X