So, is this happening or not? We are of course talking about a hot version of the Mazda 3. A Mazdaspeed or MPS hot hatch crowned the first two generations of the Mazda 3 hatchback, before going missing in the first SkyActiv generation. Now, word is that a high-performance version of the latest 3 is being planned, and it’s expected to get the green light before 2021, according to Autocar.
The report quoted programme manager Kota Beppu, who was in Australia for the launch of the fourth-generation Mazda 3. The Mazda man said he wants a “hyper” version of the BP five-door hatch.
“I’m a car guy, so I myself want to drive a high performance Mazda 3. I’ll do my best,” he was quoted as saying. The report says that although Beppu claimed the project had not been officially signed off, insiders suggest that is just a formality. Beppu added that there was keen interest for such a car from “most developed countries” including the US, Japan and Australia.
The report dismissed hybrid power, and mentioned Mazda’s current 2.5 litre turbocharged four-pot as the most likely engine candidate. “Generally speaking we would use the motor to get more performance,” Beppu said. In the current US-spec Mazda 6 facelift, the boosted motor makes 250 hp and 420 Nm of torque.
“The Mazda 3 is a light vehicle, so if there is too much power and we keep it as front-wheel drive, there is the torque steer phenomenon happening,” he said, opening the door for AWD.
The Mazda exec added that he doesn’t see any high performance Mazda 3 as a track-focused car, but more of a comfortable and fast hot hatch in the mould of the Volkswagen Golf GTI. “It needs to be responsible and friendly, more friendly than a Golf GTI,” he said, adding that “it should be fast”.
It all sounds very interesting, and all of us want a new Mazda 3 MPS to happen – the more the merrier; but it must be said that the quoted comments above sound rather generic, and it could be a case of enthusiastic media playing up the topic. Whatever it is, ganbatte Mazda, you can do it!