First images: new Mazda 3

* Pictures lodged with trademark agency * Give clear indications of new car * Official unveiling in December...

First images: new Mazda 3

The photograph shown here gives the best clue yet as to how the new Mazda 3 hatchback will look when it goes on sale early next year.

The picture is among those filed by Mazda at OHIM, the European agency responsible for registering trademarks and designs in the 27 countries of the EU.

The car appears to retain the basic shape of the current model, although there are clear design cues from recent Mazda launches, such as the front grille and tail lamps.

The Mazda 3 saloon will be unveiled at next week's Los Angeles motor show, while the Mazda 3 hatchback will be shown at the Bologna motor show in December.