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Melbourne show: Mazda3, MX-5 specs confirmed

Lock it in: the Mazda3 will have ESC across the range.

Mazda confirms standard stability control and optional sat-nav for new Three

23 Feb 2009

MAZDA has revealed more details of the facelifted MX-5 roadster and redesigned Mazda3 small-car range that will make their Australian debuts at the Melbourne International Motor Show on Friday (February 27).

Mazda Australia is still in price negotiations with its Japanese parent company but has confirmed the new Mazda3 will come with price increases of less than $1000 across the board, which means entry-level pricing will rise from the current model’s $21,490.

As previously reported, the replacement for Australia’s best-selling car in January will go on sale two months earlier than expected in late March, because Mazda has all but exhausted stocks of its outgoing BL-series Three.

The BK Mazda3 sedan and hatch line-up, including garden-variety 2.0-litre, 2.5-litre ‘SP25’ variants and the 2.3-litre Mazda3 diesel, will be followed on sale in September by the turbocharged Mazda3 MPS five-door, which will appear at Melbourne the day after it makes its world debut at the Geneva motor show on March 3.

22 center imageFrom top: Sedan, Mazda3 MPS, hatch and MX-5 (bottom).

Mazda this week officially confirmed its new small-car will offer electronic stability control (ESC, or DSC in Mazda-speak) as standard across the range, just as the new Mazda6 range did when it arrived in March 2008. The company says the move will make it the only one of Australia’s top three car brands to offer standard ESC across its entire passenger car range.

Both the Maxx Sport and SP25 variants – which are expected to account for more than half of all Mazda3 sales – have also been confirmed to feature satellite-navigation and Bluetooth connectivity as standard. The system comprises an integrated 4.1-inch in-dash screen and remote steering wheel controls.

Meantime, the upgraded version of the third-generation MX-5 launched in 2005, which goes on sale in Australia in mid-March, will be available in both soft-top and folding hard-top (‘Roadster Coupe’) configurations – both powered by a 118kW/188Nm MZR 2.0-litre petrol engine.

Six-speed manual and (‘Activematic’) automatic transmissions will be available for both models. However, while the latter will come with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, it is restricted to 6700rpm rather than 7000rpm in the manual transmission version, which features a torque-sensing limited-slip differential.

Topping the freshened MX-5 range will be the Roadster Coupe’s optional ‘Sports Pack’ that adds Recaro sports seats and BBS alloy wheels to a standard equipment list that comprises cruise control, air-conditioning, a height-adjustable driver's seat and a six-CD 200-Watt premium Bose audio system with auxiliary MP3 input.

Read more:

MX-5 make-over

Mazda accelerates new ‘3’ release

Mazda3 MPS for Melbourne

First look: Mad new Mazda3 MPS emerges

First look: Mazda hatches new Three

Mazda3 is cheekier by design

Mazda in small-car three-peat

First drive: Mazda improves its Three breed

Mazda3 to be fast-tracked for Oz

LA show: Mazda's three-box debut

Rotary won’t die but current Mazda3 a hard act to follow

The Road to Recovery podcast series

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