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Mazda3 Hatchback

The new five-door version of the Mazda3 made its global debut on the eve of the Italy's Bologna Motor Show last night. Known as the Mazda Axela in Japan, the second-generation hatchback follows on the heels of the new four-door version recently unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

Adopting the same design elements as the sedan - smiling front fascia, pronounced front and rear fenders and dynamic profile - the new five-door also incorporates design cues which bring it in line with the Mazda2 and 6, such as the rising shoulder line.

Design boss Laurens van den Acker explained that the aim was to evolve the design to be more emotional and expressive: "It's essential to have a strong frontal identity so we have a more sports car-like front and the front wheelarches have been inspired by the RX-8."

The Mazda3 will be powered by the existing 1.6- and 2.0-liter petrol engines and the 1.6-liter turbo-diesel, which will be joined by a new 2.2-litre turbo-diesel engine launched in the Mazda6.

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