CARtoday.com reader Hendrik Nagel spotted a disguised Mazda3 being tested in Gauteng on Wednesday and sent us the pictures.

CARtoday.com reader Hendrik Nagel spotted a disguised Mazda3 being tested in Gauteng on Wednesday and sent us the pictures.


Hendrik saw the car travelling on Nelson Mandela Drive in the late morning and, using his cellphone's built-in digital camera, took two pictures. Although the car's badges were taped over, the driver told Nagel the car was the Mazda3.


FMCSA spokesman Craig von Essen told CARtoday.com that both the hatch and saloon versions of the 3 would be built at Silverton and launched on the market between June and August.


Von Essen would not elaborate on which engine derivatives would be offered, but it is expected that the Mazda3 will début with at least 77-kW 1,6-litre and 104-kW two-litre four-cylinder petrol powerplants, mated with a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmissions.


From the front Mazda's current styling theme is immediately recognisable - big five-corner "shovel" grille flanked by aggressively slanted headlights with three circular units housed in each.