Drool all you want, the Mazdaspeed3 is not happening and that makes us sad

Mazda’s Motorsport arm has unveiled the Mazda3 TCR race car, a vehicle that knows one thing and one thing only: carve through the corners of any given track out there. The Mazda3 TCR is aimed at pumping new blood into the carmaker’s customer racing program, and we’ll see it geared up and ready to hit the track during the 2020 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, which is part of the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona racing event that takes place next year, on January 26.

A New Mazdaspeed3 Isn’t Happening

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Mazda won’t build a Mazdaspeed3 based on the current-generation Mazda3. It didn’t develop one based on the previous-generation car, and it won’t do it now. And that’s coming from the company’s VP Akira Marumoto. Road&Track reports that back in November 2018, Mr. Marumoto was adamant that “Mazda is a small player and if [you are asking whether] that segment has a high particular priority for Mazda my answer would be no. Therefore we are not planning for MPS in the future.” MPS is the Mazdaspeed3 name equivalent outside the U.S., by the way.

Of course, that hasn’t killed our dreams of once again seeing and driving an MPS/Mazdaspeed3-badged hot hatch. Until that happens, we can drown our sorrows - or feed them, for that matter - with the Mazda3 TCR race car.

So, what is the Mazda3 TCR race car?

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At its core, the TCR version uses the nimble and handsome Mazda3 as a building platform.

But it has been extensively tweaked to perform on the track, with designers and engineers working to boost its aerodynamics and firepower alike. With the risk of stating the obvious here, the Mazda3 TCR features a wider and sleeker body kit that’s made of race-bred components such as more aggressive front splitter, a rear diffuser, and a sizeable rear wing. It also gets motorsport wheels, a fair share of decals, a hood scoop and a single, centrally mounted exhaust pipe which turns the car’s appeal all the way to 11. Even more enticing, however, is what lies under the hood.

Instead of the regular hatchback’s 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that pumps 186 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of twist, the Mazda3 TCR makes do with forced induction and 350 horsepower and 490 Newton-meters (361 pound-feet) of torque routed through a SADEV six-speed sequential gearbox with steering wheel paddle shifters and a two-plate cera-metallic race clutch.

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As far as chassis settings go, the Mazda3 TCR sits on Bilstein dampers that are upgradable to a set of ones from Ohlins.

The tires are of the Michelin Pilot ilk while stopping power comes from Brembo brakes on all four corners.

Why is the Mazda3 TCR a good candidate to inspire a hypothetical Mazdaspeed3?

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First of all, it’s the bump in power. If Mazda can grant its sleek hatchback with 350 horsepower and 361 pound-feet of twist, then it can do the same magic trick on a road-going vehicle. Think about it: Honda’s Civic Type R pumps out 306 horsepower, while the ongoing Ford Focus RS churns out 345 horsepower (350 PS). If ever made, the Mazdaspeed3 would top those output values and equally important, would offer a stunningly-designed body that would give every hot hatch out there a run for its money when it comes to flaunting sexy metal.

Secondly, the Mazda3 as it presents itself in stock form is one of the most nimble and fun-to-drive compact cars out there, so imagine what minor suspension and chassis tweaks could do when twinned to a boost in power output. Unfortunately, Mazda has been embracing the “grown-up” attitude in its lineup, and while we love how its cars have matured both design- and tech-wise, a Mazdaspeed3 that would make the delight of many fans and prospective customers is simply out of the question for the time being.

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So, unless Mazda enjoys a major bump in sales over the next couple of years or it somewhat hires a daring chief engineer with a lot of traction within the board of directors, building a spiced-up Mazdaspeed3 just doesn’t make sense financially-speaking for the Japanese carmaker.

On that note, we can only hope that these premises will change in the future. If not, we’re looking at a lot of drooling in front of Mazda’s motorsport-bred models, as long as they’ll look just as good as the Mazda3 TCR. Which we are sure they will.

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