New renderings of the next-generation Mazda3 have been circling the Interweb. This image posted by AutoTribute is a shot from an unnamed Japanese magazine that apparently had privileged access to Mazda’s new C-segment contender ahead of its global reveal later this year. It is the real deal?

Our own European spy photographers have seen a taped-up finished product doing test runs just last month. We’ve included some of the shots below for easy comparison. The renderings look legible enough, the rear view especially looking spot on. Less so the front though; the fenders on the test car don’t appear to have such pronounced curves.

In any case, it still gives us a good early glimpse of the next-generation Mazda3 (that will be based on the CX-5/Mazda6’s SkyActiv platform), plus or minus a few details. Compare it to the current model also included in the gallery below and tell us what you think of the styling changes.