Another day, another internationally renowned prize for the all-new Mazda3. Mazda’s new compact hatchback has captured the “Red Dot Award: Product Design 2014” and the next major honour could be just around the corner. The Mazda3 was selected as one of the top three finalists for both 2014 World Car of the Year – the automobile industry’s single biggest accolade – and 2014 World Car Design of the Year.
The design-oriented recognition for the Mazda3, which was launched in Europe last fall, replicates the ongoing acclaim for the motion-inspired KODO design featured on the Japanese carmaker’s new model generation. The Mazda3’s superb design innovation, functionality and ergonomics were among the decisive factors for the Red Dot Award’s 40-head jury of independent design experts. The all-new compact thereby follows in the path of the Mazda6, another KODO model that won the same prize last year.
KODO embodies the Mazda brand’s vitality and is thus a perfect match for the company’s convention-defying SKYACTIV Technology – the basis for uncompromisingly efficient* and fun-to-drive vehicles. All three KODO production models (including the Mazda CX-5) have been honoured for their designs on several occasions. Mazda will receive the latest Red Dot Award on 7 July at the Aalto Theatre in Essen, Germany.
As for the 2014 World Car of the Year competition, the Mazda3 is the only non-German model in either group of finalists. Rivals for the overall trophy, chosen from 24 candidates, are the Audi A3 and BMW 4 Series. The jury of design experts, meanwhile, will size up Mazda’s all-time bestseller against the BMW i3 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. The winners are to be announced on 17 April at the New York International Auto Show.
After capturing more than 150 awards to date and surpassing total production of 4 million units in January, this would be the biggest success yet for the Mazda3, which was first introduced in 2003. It would also be a crowning achievement for Mazda and the unconventional direction it has taken with its new-generation models.
“The C segment makes up one-quarter of the passenger car market in Europe, which puts into perspective how special we wanted to make this car and how appealing it needs to be from the very first moment one lays eyes on it,” says Peter Birtwhistle, chief designer at Mazda’s European R&D Centre. “The recognition we’ve been receiving not only acknowledges the Mazda3’s magnetism. It also reflects the way this car raises expectations that it is entirely capable of fulfilling.”
Initiated in 1955 by the Essen-based Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen, the Red Dot Awards comprise three categories: product design, design concept and communication design. For the 2014 edition, the jury evaluated 4,815 entries by 1,816 manufacturers, designers and architects from 53 countries. The winning products, which will be on display in the Red Dot Design Museum from 8 July to 3 August (and online at www.red-dot.de/pd), have earned the right to bear the “Red Dot” symbol, an international seal of design excellence.
* Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions start at 3.9l/100km and 104g/km (combined cycle) on a Mazda3 sedan with 150PS SKYACTIV-D 2.2, six-speed SKYACTIV-MT manual and standard i-stop idle-stop system.
For further information on official fuel consumption and official specific CO2 emissions for new passenger cars, please refer to the “Guide about fuel consumption, CO2 emission and electric energy consumption of new passenger cars” (“Leitfaden über den Kraftstoffverbrauch, die CO2-Emissionen und den Stromverbrauch neuer Personenkraftwagen”), which is available free of charge at all Mazda showrooms in Germany and from Mazda Motors (Deutschland) GmbH, Hitdorfer Str. 73, D-51371 Leverkusen.