UPDATED: This Is NOT The 2015 Mazda 3

Bank of America Merrill Lynch has issued its annual “Car Wars” analysis of the automotive industry, and we’ve found a couple of gems found within the 2014-2017 industry roadmap. Most notable is that ML has included an image of what looks to be the 2015 Mazda 3 hatchback. EDIT: That’s not the case, as the image was apparently lifted from a Carscoop rendering.

We’ve already spotted the 2015 Mazda 3 clad in camouflage out testing numerous times, so we already have a pretty good idea of what the new compact will look like. The image published by Merrill Lynch only confirms what we already thought: the new 3 will move to Mazda’s Kodo design language with aggressive haunches and a large pentagonal grille. A Mazda representative told us that they could not speak about details of future product, but that no images have been released of any vehicles that aren’t currently on sale. Interestingly, Merrill Lynch lists Mazda North America as the source of the image. Mazda officials had no comment at the time of publication.

Purposeful or not, it’s no surprise that we’re getting a peek at the 2015 Mazda 3 now – we’ve previously reported that the third-generation compact is due to be revealed this fall. ML’s analysis also lists the car as hitting the market in 2014. When it does finally go on sale, we expect the new 3 to be powered by the same 155-hp 2.0-liter I-4 found in the current model, and, potentially, the new 186-hp 2.5-liter four found in the 6 sedan and CX-5 crossover.

An early reveal of the 2015 Mazda 3 isn’t all “Car Wars” has in store: the industry analysis also include product roadmaps for nearly every manufacturer’s plans from now until 2017. As we learned from last year’s “Car Wars” report, there’s a fair bit in store at the Blue Oval, with Ford and Lincoln refreshing almost the entire product portfolio by the end of 2017. We already are well aware of the 2015 Mustang and Edge, but it looks like Lincoln will use 2017 as its year to expand. The Aviator moniker will be revived for an Explorer twin again, a new Navigator will emerge, and there will be a new “MKM” and “MKA” coupe and sedan. Across town, the only surprising news out of General Motors is the addition of a Cadillac-badged three-row crossover called the XTX due in 2017, which we assume will be part of the Buick Enclave/Chevrolet Traverse/GMC Acadia Lambda-platform family. We know a lot about Chrysler’s plans already, but we have now learned that the minivan-replacing crossover will revive the Pacifica name when it bows in 2016.

From the land of the rising sun, notable future product includes a coupe and convertible version for the 2014 Lexus IS; a source told us that the coupe has gotten the green light, but a revival of the convertible has yet to be approved. Lexus will also receive a long-awaited three-row crossover, which should bear the CX name. A new Nissan Rouge is due next year and there will be all-new GT-R and Z sports cars arriving in 2017, while Infiniti will roll out a QX50 (previously known as the EX37) and a replacement for the M/Q70 in 2016.

Unsurprisingly, the European automakers have a slew of models up their sleeves. Big news comes in the form of Jaguar releasing the XS sedan to fight the BMW 3 Series in 2015, followed the next year by the XQ midsize crossover. We’ve already reported extensively on the infinite-niche-filling SUVs planned by Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi; however, it’s worth noting that a new Volkswagen Tiguan will emerge in 2016 and will probably herald in the introduction of a Tiguan TDI for American markets.

Source: Bank of America Merrill Lynch

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