Mazda is putting a lot of energy into positioning itself as a solid alternative to European premium brands, but it seems that they don’t intend to get into a performance race with them. The new Mazda 3 offers a unique, forward-thinking engine, a six-speed manual gearbox and available all-wheel drive, but the revival of a Mazdaspeed version is not part of the long-term plan.
Talking to Australia’s Drive at the Los Angeles Auto Show, the brand’s Vice President Akira Marumoto said 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 not planning for MPS (Mazdaspeed’s name outside the US – Ed.) in the future.”
He also added that instead of making pure electric models, he “prefers the smell of gasoline”, as part of a hybrid powertrain. Given what we’ve learned from our chat with Jay Chen, powertrain manager for Mazda North America, and Dave Coleman, engineering manager at Mazda NA, that remark makes perfect sense.
However, as Jalopnik reports, while the Mazdaspeed model might not be returning, the 250-hp, turbocharged 2.5 liter Skyactiv-G engine will fit in the 3. So perhaps there’s hope for some sort of hot hatch from the brand.