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Mazda 3 diesels power up

Date: 30 November 2006   |   Author: Hugh Hunston

Mazda will give the 3 a broader company car appeal next February when it launches a 143PS diesel addition to the range.

The 2.0-litre engine, mated to a six-speed manual gearbox, is fitted currently to the 6 and marketing director Mark Cameron claimed that, although it will be proportionally dearer than the 3's existing diesel 1.6-litre 106PS model, the more powerful diesel's CO2 and fuel consumption figures will not be "markedly higher".

Cameron said: "We plan to capitalise on a trend among user-choosers to move up the power band, and that is more attainable for business drivers if the effects on emissions and fuel economy - partially because of six instead of five gears - are minimal."

Cameron revealed that his department is debating how to badge the 143PS diesel derivative, possibly naming it Sport Diesel: "We are considering giving it a distinctive identity for greater diesel prominence. Only 10% of 3 sales are diesels so we are well behind the sector mix, which averages out at around 30%."

The £15,700 five-door hatchback, 1.6-litre diesel TS2 has a combined fuel consumption of just below 59mpg and a 128gm CO2g/km rating but equivalent figures for the 143PS car are not available.