Article by Anthony Alaniz. Images courtesy of Mazda Worldwide.
Rumor has it—try to get that song out of your head now—that a new Mazdaspeed 3 will be bowing soon to satisfy our automotive loins. When the Mazdaspeed 3 disappeared into the night without even a goodbye kiss, many were worried if we would see it again.
Now, rumors are swirling that the new Mazda 3 is already receiving a refresh in 2016, and a Mazdaspeed version will drop for the 2017 model year.
Car and Driver reported that a Mazdaspeed 3 was likely in 2018, but a new report from Automotive News says it has been pushed up a year.
Mazda is of course mum on all the juicy details, as they usually are, but that hasn’t stopped the automotive community from speculating.
What we do have is a good idea of what could be in store—we hope. If all these rumors come to fruition, Mazda will have one helluva car on their hands, considering their recent successes, which don’t seem to be ending anytime soon.
"From a community standpoint, I think there is nothing but excitement,” said JP Alonso, founder of EdgeAutosport.com, a high performance auto parts store built upon the MS3 platform. "The community was wondering what the future for this car was going to be since the first and second platforms, which shared the same powertrain, were such great cars. If this is the answer, I think it's a great start to continuing what was an awesome practical performance car with great aftermarket potential.”
The new Mazdaspeed 3 will likely have a turbocharged, four-cylinder engine producing somewhere around 300 horsepower. With the Golf R and rumored Focus RS in the works, Mazda needs to up the ante with its new offering to stay competitive.
"I don't know how a turbo Mazda Skyactiv motor will be received in the public eye, but as long as it's as "torquey" and as fun as the last one, I'm sure it'll gain many fans quickly,” added Alonso.
With the Focus RS looking to go all-wheel drive, there is the possibility the Mazdaspeed 3 could follow down that path. Price should be pegged around $30,000, comparable to the GTI and other hot-hatch offerings.
"As far as changing to all-wheel drive, if that's what happens, how could anyone not like it?” Alonso opined. "The aftermarket attention will undoubtedly increase.”
Power will likely come from the Skyactiv 2.5-liter engine already found in the 3, but with a large turbocharger for more power. Other than that, not much is known.
With the redesign already in the works, look toward the Mazda 6 for where the design language could be heading for the new Mazda 3. The Mazda 6 should be redesigned before the 3 and preview the changes to come. Rumors about the Mazda 6 include a new center console and dashboard, which is supposed to be thinner, with optional LED headlights. There should be other improvements and refinements as well.
"Compared to other models, I think Mazda has what it takes to do well,” said Alonso. "They have a rich heritage in performance platforms and this isn't their first rodeo. I think it'll be fine in the market.”
We can only hope the new Mazdaspeed 3 is as good as we remember it. If Mazda continues on its winning streak, we don’t doubt anything less than an exceptional performance product.
"I'm excited to see how unique the Mazda will be and to see how it'll stack up,” Alonso concluded . . . And so are we.
Note the images shown here are of the Mazda 3, not the Mazda MPS 3. For some Mazda MPS Mazdaspeed 3 renderings, check out this blog: Theo Chin, automotive designer.