Tuesday, July 26, 2016
2017 Mazda3 in Machine Gray Metallic: Not Your Typical 50 Shades of Gray
These are the first photos you’ll see of the 2017 Mazda3 in its new hue, Machine Gray Metallic, out in the wild. Taken during a track exercise demonstrating G-Vectoring Control at Mazda’s Mine Proving Ground, we skirted the “no photography” rule by having engineers simply park the car in a “photography safe zone”. They obliged. God bless them.
Normally, it’s hard to get excited about any shade of color in silver or gray, but Machine Gray Metallic is looking quite good on Mazda’s compact car. Designed to specifically play on the lines and surfaces of the KODO design language, Machine Gray Metallic incorporates a reflective layer with thin, high-brightness aluminum flakes applied precisely during the painting process.
During the drying process, the thickness of this layer shrinks to about 2.5 microns—one quarter the thickness of most reflective layers. This causes the aluminum flakes to lie flat with regular spacing with each flake. This high-density finish gives the entire surface sheen when illuminated, for a realistic metallic look. Jet-black pigment is used in both the reflective and color layers and is visible through the spaces between the aluminum flakes giving areas not illuminated a black hue and heightening the contrast between light and shadow.
More information about the 2017 Mazda3 is found here.
Now comes another bit of information. Mazda is already selling the 2017 Mazda3 in Japan built at the company’s Hofu plant in Yamaguchi prefecture. A chat with the same engineering team reveals that the plant has already shifted production for the Oceania market (Australia and New Zealand) with deliveries to start there as early as August. When quizzed about when Philippine units start production, they mentioned that ASEAN market production starts in September.
Though the staff doesn’t know for sure if they’ll be manufacturing left- or right-hand drive vehicles for ASEAN first (they mentioned right-hand drive with a stronger affirmative), with Mazda’s flexible Monotsukuri production process, they can easily build both simultaneously. If this information is accurate, the Philippines may very well see the 2017 Mazda3 as early as end of the year.