How Mazda brought the new 3 to life

Given what we’ve seen from models in the past, we all know the Mazda 3 is an epic little compact, combining fun dynamics with a practical, well-appointed cabin and head-turning good looks. Now, we’re getting an inside look at the new 2019 Mazda 3’s development secrets, which look to bring all the good stuff as the old model, but on a fresh platform.

Making A New 3 Ain’t Easy

Mazda's Program Manager Exposes 2019 Mazda 3 Development Secrets Exterior
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This latest news comes to us courtesy of our friends at AutoGuide, who recently interviewed Mazda 3 program manager Kouta Beppu, who spoke to AutoGuide through a translator.

“With the all-new Mazda 3, it is really [an] all-new developed car,” Beppu told AutoGuide.

Not only is the latest 2020 Mazda 3 based on a brand-new platform, but it also comes with a refreshed set of engine packages, a new AWD drivetrain option, and new interior tech to boot.

That’s a lot of newness, to say the least, but it looks as though Mazda managed to pull it off without breaking the bank.

Of course, it goes without saying that major model redesigns can be hugely expensive, but Mazda managed to cut costs considerably thanks to strong forward thinking and planning, applying the same resources allocated to the new 3 towards other future products.

“One way of doing it is what we’ve always called the bundled planning, meaning that all the successive new models, which will come after Mazda 3, we will try to share a lot of the development resources and efforts in terms of having an architecture that’s common that we can deploy across the successive models.”

Mazda's Program Manager Exposes 2019 Mazda 3 Development Secrets Exterior
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Basically, look for the 3’s platform to carryover to several other models in the future.

Beppu also mentioned more efficient production standards to speed up the assembly process, also as a means of saving money.

Strong relationships with parts suppliers was another critical component to Mazda’s overarching development plan, with the intention being a reduction in time spent in the prototyping phase and quicker overall turnaround.

Mazda's Program Manager Exposes 2019 Mazda 3 Development Secrets
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However, for any fan of the new Mazda 3, the biggest question pertains to the model’s new torsion beam rear suspension setup.

With the new generational changeover, Mazda ditched the old model’s sophisticated multilink suspension in favor or a much simpler (but potentially unexciting) torsion beam. And that has us worried.

Hell, even the Toyota Prius ditched the torsion beam years ago, so what gives? Isn’t the Mazda 3 supposed to be about fun?

We have yet to drive the 2019 Mazda 3, but we’ve got our fingers crossed that this simpler, cheaper, archaic rear suspension design doesn’t dilute the fun offered by the older 3’s multi-link.

Further Reading

2019 Mazda 3 Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2019 Mazda 3.

Mazda's Program Manager Exposes 2019 Mazda 3 Development Secrets Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2019 Mazda 3 Sedan.

Source: Autoguide

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