And it's probably for the best.
Mazda skipped out doing a Mazdaspeed3 with the outgoing generation hatchback. But what about the just revealed all-new Mazda3? Will it be given the hot hatch treatment (minus the heavy torque steer of the last one)? Apparently not. Mazda’s newly appointed global boss, Akira Marumoto, spoke to Australian publication Drive.au at the LA Auto Show and confirmed what nobody wanted to hear.
“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,” he said. “Therefore we not planning for MPS in the future.”
MPS, of course, is what the hot hatch, as well as other high performance Mazdas, are referred to in overseas markets outside of North America. And to be honest, Marumoto is probably making the right decision. Why? Because Mazda is a relatively small automaker and it must use its resources very wisely. It simply can’t afford to take a potential financial loss on a relatively niche model the way larger automakers can.
Ford, for example, decided it no longer wants to build hot hatches for the US because of dwindling demand. Furthermore, Mazda has been moving upmarket as it intends to position itself as a Japanese premium brand known for high quality, comfort and refinement – as well as its Zoom-Zoom philosophy.
Driving pleasure has long been a key component for Mazda and it must feel it can accomplish this without a new hot hatch. Just look at the latest Mazda MX-5 and MX-5 RF as proof. In addition, the Mazda6 sedan continues to improve with age in all relevant areas.
But the all-new Mazda3 sounds like it’ll pack quite a punch thanks to its revolutionary Skyactiv X engine with its innovative Spark-Controlled Compression Ignition system. This will allow drivers a smooth and dynamic driving experience without having to sacrifice emissions or fuel economy.