By Manny N. de los Reyes

IT’S NOTHING LESS than a design revolution. Make a car without so much as a single character line; but instead employ curves to give the car, well, character.

Making its Southeast Asian debut right here in the Philippines, the Mazda3 embodies a uniquely emotional design. The Hiroshima-based brand took a revolutionary approach to design that eliminates all character lines and relies entirely on beautifully curved body panels whose lustrous finish reflects the surrounding environment.

“We’re proud to host the ASEAN reveal of the all-new Mazda3. Its distinctive, sporty styling completes the model’s appeal and complements the luxurious character of the sedan,” says Steven Tan, president and CEO of Bermaz Auto Philippines.

Among the Japanese car brands, Mazda seems to be currently exerting the most effort to give its models a more premium and upmarket feel, not only in image, but in actual feel and performance. To achieve this, the company applied its renowned human-centric philosophy for dramatic improvements in every area: design, driving performance, NVH, environmental performance, and quality feel.

Featuring what Mazda calls its 7th Generation design direction, the Mazda3 represents the brand’s decisive shift toward a premium product and customer experience. “Having sold over 6 million units since its debut, the all-new Mazda3 is a global strategic model that has driven Mazda’s growth from both a brand and business perspective,” shares Mr. Tan. “More than 19,000 Mazda3 units have been loved by fans since its 2004 introduction into the country, making it the most successful Mazda model on record in the local market.”

As the first Mazda model to adopt a more mature interpretation of the KODO design language, the all-new Mazda3 has a richer and more powerful expression of dynamism than its predecessors. The Mazda3’s overall form presents a simple and single motion, while subtle undulations on the car’s surfaces bring the design to life through shifting light and reflections.

“Mazda continues to explore the essence of Japanese aesthetic sensibilities, pursuing a uniquely elegant and sophisticated style that elevates car design to the level of art,” says Susumu Niinai, general manager of the ASEAN Business Office, Mazda Motor Corporation. “Our new-generation design vision models, the RX-Vision and the Vision Coupe, have won a number of prestigious design awards, showing that our new design direction is being well-received. Based on these two models, the all-new Mazda3 Sedan and Hatchback have very distinct personalities, the design of the Hatchback is emotive, the Sedan elegant.”

Also elevating the all-new Mazda3’s driving pleasure is the new SKYACTIV-Vehicle Architecture. Designed to enable people to make the most of their natural sense of balance, the updated SKYACTIV Technology will offer a more comfortable and less tiring drive through innovations in engine, chassis, body, and suspension performance. Measures were taken to minimize sound and vibrations, and to make any noises transmitted when the road surface changes reach the ears of cabin occupants in a linear fashion.

“The all-new Mazda3 is the beginning of our journey toward higher aspirations,” shares Mr. Tan. “More than just another nameplate, the Mazda3 has become an important catalyst for innovation and direction for the Mazda brand. Every generation of the Mazda3 has elevated the brand to a higher stature. We believe this new generation will do the same, and even more.”