Thursday, July 14, 2016
Mazda Shows Off Refreshed 2017 Mazda3 (w/ 19 Photos)
Mazda’s award-winning compact car, the Mazda3, sees a refresh for 2017 showing off new technology all aimed to enhance the Jinba-ittai driving performance. The development of the refreshed Mazda3 is centered on the human being, particularly in traits and sensations that ensure a pleasurable driving feel.
The 2017 Mazda3 is the first model in Mazda’s line-up that gets the brand’s version of torque vectoring control dubbed, G-Vectoring Control. According to Mazda, this technology is the first in a series of the new “Skyactiv-Vehicle Dynamics” that provide integrated control of the engine, transmission, chassis, and body to enhance the car’s fun-to-drive feel.
Unlike typical torque vectoring systems which apply brakes to a given wheel selectively, Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control varies engine torque in response to steering inputs. This provides integrated control of both lateral and longitudinal forces. By optimizing the vertical load on each wheel, the vehicle feels smoother, more natural, and in tune with bodily sensations. This extracts more grip from the front and rear tires, improving vehicle responsiveness and stability.
According to Mazda, G-Vectoring Control allows more effective control in every situation from everyday driving to collision avoidance maneuvers. It’s particularly effective in improving handling on slippery roads. And by changing the acceleration forces that act on all vehicle occupants, it makes for a more comfortable ride thanks to lesser torso sway.
Outside, the 2017 Mazda3 sees some design tweaks that emphasize a more horizontal form. It starts with a thicker chrome strip that runs from the grille to the corner of the headlights. The grille itself is new, with the Mazda logo now more prominently displayed in the middle. The signal lights are now wider as is the lower grille opening. The re-shaped headlights now offer Adaptive LEDs that offer unparalleled nighttime visibility that doesn’t cause discomfort to other motorists due to unwanted glare. The rear sees a new bumper with re-designed reflectors and a tweaked taillight design. New colors join the color palette. This includes the new Machine Gray Metallic that achieves both high-contrast shadows and a high-density finish. All in all, 9 exterior colors will be available.
Inside, several changes have been done to highlight the width of the cabin and connect it better to the door trim on each side. Several key components have been enhanced or changed giving it a more refined, higher-quality feel than before. The steering wheel, in particular, is new offering better grip at every position. The Enhanced Active Driving Display has been upgraded to full-color graphics with higher definition and contrast making them easier to read. Some models also come with an electric parking brake for a high-quality, clean console design.
In Japan, where the 2017 Mazda3 (Axela) goes on sale today, is available with Mazda’s first Traffic Sign Recognition (TRS) system. A forward-facing camera picks up speed signs and can alert the driver via both visual and audible warnings when the speed limit has been exceeded. It can also detect “no entry” and “stop” signs. It also has Advanced Smart City Brake Support that uses infrared sensors to automatically stop for both vehicles and pedestrians at speeds from 4 to 80 km/h.
In terms of drivetrain configurations, the 2017 Mazda3 come in both Skyactiv-G and Skyactiv-D flavors. The diesel comes in both 1.5 and 2.2-liter versions while the gasoline comes in 1.5 and 2.0 (hybrid) versions. All models come with the same 6-speed MT or 6-speed AT except for the 2.0 Hybrid that has a Continuously Variable Transmission.
We have reached out to Mazda Philippines as to the time frame of the 2017 Mazda3’s release. Though they’ve yet to issue a statement, the likely release date will coincide with the arrival of the CX-3 crossover, which has already been confirmed for an end of 2016 release.
We’ll have more on G-Vectoring Control when we get to test it first-hand by the end of the month. Stay tuned for that.