Mazda could be planning to build another Mazdaspeed3 for the first time since 2013.
Representatives have confirmed to Autocar
and Car and Driver
the Japanese brand is seriously considering adding a performance version of its new Mazda3 to the lineup.
According to Mazda program manager Kota Beppu, Mazda is very
close to approving the proposed vehicle.
It would directly face off against the Volkswagen
GTI, which has been the benchmark for hot hatchbacks for many years.
Mazda already has all the ingredients for the perfect hot hatch recipe, namely a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder from the CX-9 and CX-5 SUVs that makes up to 250 horsepower and 310 lb.-ft. of torque.
That's a huge bump up from the 228 horsepower found in the GTI and encroaches on Honda Civic Type R territory and Golf R territory, which also means that the zero-to-96-km/h times could be as slinky as 5.0 seconds.
All that twist would be sent to all four wheels, a serious upgrade from the front-drive-only models.
It won't just be a track toy, however; Mazda has gotten much better at injecting luxury into the everyday norm, and this new model could be no different. The previous-generation Speed3 was a little harsher than most and was more suited to performance driving, but this new one, if it happens, will be more livable while still delivering thrills.
After all this though, it will be down to the enthusiasts to decide if Mazda will build a new Speed3 or not. Mazda has said if people really want them to build the vehicle to let them know. So scream loud, hot hatch fans!