The hot hatch segment has become increasingly competitive these days with so many automakers fielding competitive models. Mazda has seen all the action taking place and has yet to release a performance version of the Mazda3 since unveiling its new design. Now it’s looking like a new Mazda3 MPS — closely related to the Mazdasoeed3 here in the U.S. — is near and it’s going to be powered by a 2.5-liter turbocharged engine that may have 325 horsepower.
The news comes from CarsGuide, which reported the Japanese automaker is pushing ahead with plans for a Mazda3 MPS to join the growing hot hatch battle featuring the Ford Focus ST , the Volkswagen Golf GTI, and the Honda Civic Type-R , among other models.
A separate report from Japanese magazine Holiday Auto also suggested that despite repeated denials from Mazda, the automaker will turbocharge the new Mazda3 MPS, meaning that it stands to get an extra dose of power to be able to compete with its rivals.
The challenge for this new model is how Mazda can pair its SkyActiv engine range with a turbocharger, something it has had problems doing in the past. But a source in Japan told Holiday Auto the problem has "already been solved," clearing a hurdle in developing a turbocharged, new-generation Mazda3 MPS.
With that issue reportedly out of the way, Mazda has an easier developmental road in equipping its newly redesigned hatch with a drivetrain to compete with other hot hatchbacks currently on the market. The timetable for the car’s release is still anyone’s guess at this point, but there are those who believe the car should be ready to arrive in 2016. This gives Mazda two years to cover the entire development and production phase of the Mazda 3 MPS.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Mazda3 MPS.
*Image Note: 2012 Mazda3 MPS shown here.