Mazda has announced a mid-cycle refresh for its 3 compact, which has received mild styling tweaks, and more importantly debuts part of a new set of vehicle motion control technologies that the carmaker is set to roll out across its line-up in the months to come. Dubbed Skyactiv Vehicle Dynamics, the new technology suite will provide integrated control of the engine, transmission, chassis and body to boost what Mazda calls the “Jinba Ittai feel”, which is essentially the level of connectedness between car and driver.
First in the series of new Skyactiv tech is G-Vectoring Control, which uses the engine to enhance chassis performance. Mazda claims this is the world’s first control system that alters engine torque in response to steering inputs, thereby controlling vertical load on each axle, resulting in better traction. Mazda says this helps bring the car’s movement more in line with the driver’s intentions, minimising the need for steering corrections, reducing body roll and improving handling and stability on wet, snowy or unpaved roads.
While this is the big news, the new 3 hatch and saloon also get some subtle visual updates, including a revised grille and new headlights with optional LED technology. The changes are even more muted at the back and limited to slight tweaks to the bumper. The cabin gets a new steering wheel and upgraded trim, lending the 3 a little bit more of an upscale aura than before.
While the updated Mazda 3 has already gone on sale in Japan last week, it is expected to reach showrooms here by end of the year. Also, since Mazda has announced that the mid-size 6 saloon will be the first model to receive G-Vectoring tech in the North American market, it’s likely that the 6 in our markets will also soon be equipped with it.