The MazdaSpeed3 disappeared years ago, but a new report suggests a high-performance model could be on the horizon.
According to Autocar, Mazda could green light a hot Mazda3 by 2021. The company has reportedly disclosed multiple engine options for the model, but it appears the car would likely use the turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder that powers the CX-5 and Mazda6.
The engine produces up to 250 hp (186 kW / 253 PS) and 310 lb-ft (420 Nm) of torque. This would be a significant improvement over the naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder which has 186 hp (139 kW / 189 PS) and 186 lb-ft (252 Nm) of torque.
Little else is known about the model and it remains unclear if the car would be offered with front or all-wheel drive or maybe even both. There’s also no word on transmission options, but a six-speed stick could help to smooth things over with fans who were upset when the option was dropped on the US-spec Mazda6.
Mazda3 program manager Kota Beppu wouldn’t confirm such a model is in the works, but he did tell the publication that he wants one. Beppu went on to say there’s been significant interest in a hot Mazda3 from “most developed countries.”
While the car could have more power than some of its rivals, Beppu said the vehicle would need to be “responsible and friendly… more friendly than a Golf GTI.” This suggests model would offer a balance of comfort and performance, which is in keeping with the brand’s upscale ambitions.