Mazda Motor Corp. used the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show to reveal a new product concept vehicle that likely provides a glimpse into the next-generation Mazda3. The Japanese carmaker said the Kai Concept, which makes its worldwide debut at the show, is a compact hatchback.

The next-generation Mazda3 is expected as a 2019 model and Mazda executives hinted that the show car is a precursor. The company’s president and CEO, Masamichi Kogai, said the concept “will define a whole new generation of Mazda cars.”

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Elegant and sporty design

Featuring a muscular design with flowing bodysides and a a longer nose, the back of the hatch appears rounder than the current generation Mazda3. The Kai Concept exudes an elegant and sporty design. The advanced styling and technology are designed to complement a “human-centered design philosophy for optimal functionality,” Mazda says.

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The concept rides on Mazda’s SKYACTIV Vehicle Architecture and features the newly announced compression ignition SKYACTIV-X engine. This diesel-like engine that burns gasoline boosts torque and fuel economy and is slated for a 2019 debut.

“Dynamic performance has been dramatically refined and next-generation design condensed to create Mazda’s ideal compact hatchback,” the automaker says. Mazda is keeping other details and specs under wraps until its reveal later this month.

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