The next-generation Mazda 3 has been spotted undisguised during testing in Russia. The image, which appeared on auto.ru, reputedly surfaced originally on Facebook.

Previously, pictures of the all-new Mazda 3 hatchback had been spotted in print, ahead of the car's official reveal.

The images revealed that the car had adopted the styling of the new Mazda 6 and CX-5. According to the source, AutoTribute, the pictures appeared in a Japanese magazine.

Mazda declined to comment regarding the images. Previously, only camouflaged spy shots and concept sketches of the next-gen Mazda 3 had been seen.

It's expected that the new Mazda 3 hatchback, which will use a scaled-down version of the SkyActiv platform found in the CX-5 and 6, will weigh 100kg less than the model it replaces.

The engine lineup will most likely consist of SkyActiv 2.0-litre petrol and 2.2-litre diesel units, much like the more recent model ranges.

A new downsized 1.6-litre SkyActiv diesel is tipped to be available as well, offering a direct rival to the small diesels offered by Ford, Volkswagen and Vauxhall.

The new Mazda 3 is expected to arrive at some point between later this year and early 2014, with a preview possible at this year's Frankfurt motor show.

Thanks to: Autocar