The automaker may use the 2.5-liter turbocharged mill instead, but it still won’t be a Mazdaspeed 3

The 2020 Mazda 3 was launched at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show and looked quite impressive overall. The first two generations of the Mazda 3 were offered with turbocharged versions, moniker’d as MPS, or Mazdaspeed 3, depending on the market it was sold in. However, Mazda decided to break the pattern with the third-gen by not offering the performance version, and it is doing the same with the fourth-generation 3 as well.

Survival Is The Priority For Mazda

Mazda Says Hell No to a Performance Version of the New-Gen 2020 Mazda 3 Hatchback
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According to Akira Marumoto, Mazda’s Chief, the reasoning behind banishing the MPS/Mazdaspeed is that the automaker wants to establish itself as a premium carmaker that can take on the competition fiercely. Marumoto told Drive"Mazda is a small player, and if [you are asking whether] that segment has a particular high priority for Mazda, my answer would be no. Therefore we not planning for MPS in the future."

No Autonomous or Electric Sports Car As Well

Mazda Says Hell No to a Performance Version of the New-Gen 2020 Mazda 3 Hatchback
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Marumoto stated that Mazda would rather establish itself as a genuine premium carmaker comparable to its European rivals, than expanding into other segments. He stressed the fact that this would be achievable through quality, comfort, and refinement improvements in the existing lineup.

Going against the tide, Mazda also declared that it is not working on any autonomous or electric sports car.

Marumoto added that for Mazda, autonomous capabilities would serve to bring the car to a safe halt in the case of an incapacitated driver, instead of doing the driving. “I don’t want to make such car, I prefer the smell of gasoline,” Marumoto said.

We Fell For The ‘Prank’

Mazda Says Hell No to a Performance Version of the New-Gen 2020 Mazda 3 Hatchback
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Putting the news to rest once in for all, Marumoto said that the RX Vision showcased at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show was not to introduce a new sports car; it was to preview the evolution of the Kodo design language. “[The] RX Vision is a vision model for design development, so we didn’t plan for production or commercialization of this model,” he said.

Well, Mazda is clearly focused on getting volumes from passenger cars instead of making driver-oriented cars.

So, What’s The Replacement?

Mazda Says Hell No to a Performance Version of the New-Gen 2020 Mazda 3 Hatchback
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Mazda informed that the turbocharged, 2.5-liter, naturally aspirated engine does fit into the new 3’s header.

The automaker will monitor the demand and then take the call if it wants to plonk the 250-horsepower engine into the new 3 or not.

We strongly believe this engine will make its way into it eventually because it justifies the introduction of an all-wheel-drive system in the new Mazda 3. Not to mention, this ‘monitoring’ is what led to Mazda introducing the turbo engine on the Mazda 6 and the CX-5.

A Walk Down The Memory Lane

2009 MazdaSpeed3
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Talking about the Mazdaspeed 3, it was introduced in 2007. The second-generation of the car came out in 2010 and lasted for three years of that generation before going into exile forever. Now, if you are wondering why the internet world is making such a big deal about the Mazdaspeed 3, it’s because this hot hatch was fun to throw around, thanks to its sweet handling and abuse-friendly nature.

It came packed with 2.3-liter, four-cylinder, turbocharged engine that churned out 263 horses and 280 pound-feet of torque.

The engine was so ridiculous that it was listed in Ward’s ten best engines for three years straight. That is why Mazda decided to retain it for the second-gen as well. Power was sent to the front wheels via a six-speed manual. Yes, a manual! Sounds like a luxury these days, right? The first-gen zoomed to 60 mph from a standstill in 5.4 seconds, while the second-gen saved 0.1 seconds doing the same. It is a pity that Mazda has no plans to revive it.

Now that the Mazdaspeed 3/MPS 3 is definitely not coming, do you think the 2.5-liter turbocharged unit will provide some consolation (assuming that it will be offered in the Mazda 3)? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Further Reading

2019 Mazda3 Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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Read our speculative review on the 2019 Mazda3.

2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring- Driven
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Read our full review on the 2018 Mazda3.

2017 Mazda Kai Exterior
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Aggressive front end

Read our full review on the 2017 Mazda Kai concept.

2016 Mazda RX-VISION Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2016 Mazda RX-VISION Concept.

2009 MazdaSpeed3
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Read our full review on the 2009 MazdaSpeed3.

Source: Drive

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