What could it be?
The 2019 Detroit Auto Show is underway, and it's certainly been a memorable show so far with the long-awaited debuts of the 2020 Toyota Supra and 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500. However, some automakers absent from the show are already preparing for the next big event on the auto show calendar: the 2019 Geneva Motor Show in March.
Mazda has confirmed it will host the "world premiere of a new model" at Geneva in a couple of months but didn't provide any further information. Mazda also confirmed it will only attend one motor show per continent each year from now on, which means it won't be attending the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show in September. This doesn't give us much to go on, but the all-new Mazda3 debuted at the LA Auto Show last year and the current CX-5 has only been on sale for two years, so these models can be ruled out.
The facelifted Mazda6 has only been around for a year, so we would be surprised if an all-new model is just around the corner. Likewise, the MX-5 was given a significant update last year including a more powerful 2.0-liter engine and new safety tech. That just leaves the CX-3 in Mazda's US line-up.
Mazda's compact crossover has been on sale since 2016, so the time seems right for a mid-cycle refresh. Last year, the 2019 Mazda CX-3 was revealed with some minor updates, including a newly designed front grille, chrome accents, and 18-inch aluminum wheels. The interior was also updated with redesigned front seats, a central armrest, and an electronic parking brake, while the 2.0-liter direct-injection gasoline engine was retuned to deliver 148 horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque.
However, Mazda is already working on the new next-generation CX-3, which will be roomier than the current model as customers often complain about the lack of space inside the current model. The new CX-3 will be based on the same platform as the all-new Mazda3, which will help it compete with larger rivals models like the Toyota C-HR and Hyundai Kona. It will also likely receive Mazda's new SkyActivX engine paired with a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic. The new Mazda CX-3 is expected to go on sale in 2020, so a reveal at Geneva seems likely.