It's coming: bigwig says new Mazda3 hot hatch could be on the cards
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It has been almost six years since the last Mazda 3 MPS rolled off the production line with no word as to whether we'd ever see another generation.
Powered by a 2.3-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, the hot hatch only came out in manual and was a hit with almost everyone who got their hands on it.
When the end of 2013 rolled around, it looked like the MPS' days were over, and Mazda even confirmed this.
MZR lovers everywhere can rejoice, because it looks like a turbocharged version of the current Mazda3 could be on the cards.
According to Autocar UK, Mazda program manager Kota Beppu explained that it is a very real possibility.
“I’m a car guy, so I myself want to drive a high-performance Mazda3… I’ll do my best,” he said. Despite the project not being officially signed off, Beppu revealed that there was keen interest from "most countries."
There have been a few drivetrain possibilities thrown around, but the 2.5-litre turbocharged engine from the US spec Mazda will be the most likely choice. When asked about the possibility of a hybrid drivetrain, Beppu simply said: "Generally speaking we would use the motor to get more performance."
Historically the MPS has been exclusively front-wheel drive, but with the 2.5's 420Nm of torque, an all-wheel drive drivetrain is a very real possibility. "Mazda3 is a light vehicle, so if there is too much power … and we keep it as front-wheel drive there is the torque steer phenomenon happening," Beppu added.
The one topic that Beppu didn't touch on was the transmission, but considering both generations of MPS came exclusively in manual (and given the new Mazda3 comes with a manual in some markets), we've got our hopes up for the same outcome.
Though it would fall into the 'Hot Hatch' category, Beppu explained that the focus would be on comfort, and everyday road use, "it needs to be responsible and friendly… more friendly than a Golf GTI."
While this car is still just an idea, we're confident that the world will welcome it with open arms.