Wait! A hot hatch AND sedan??
About a month ago we found out Mazda is seriously considering bringing back a high-performance Mazda3 hot hatch for model year 2021. Could this be a revival of the dearly departed Mazdaspeed3, last seen in 2013? It sure sounds like that. The most likely engine candidate is the turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 250 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque currently found in the Mazda6 and CX-5.
The Mazda3 currently comes powered by a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-banger with 186 hp and 186 lb-ft. That would be quite the power jump and we have no objections. It's also possible the new SkyActivX engine could be utilized. Today, however, we think we have some potential proof this new hot hatch exists.
Reddit user Disconaut took this single spy image while on a road trip to Las Vegas, Nevada a few days ago and, quite clearly, that's a camouflaged Mazda3 hatchback parked on top of a truck. Look a bit more closely and you'll see a second camo-covered 2019 Mazda3, only it's a sedan.
Now, why would Mazda add camouflage to new models that have already been revealed? There's no reason unless each one was hiding something new. Not only does this Mazda3 (hot)hatchback have Michigan license plates, indicating it's being tested on both road and track, but there's also a different rear spoiler attached. This is not the same spoiler found on the hatch just hitting showrooms.
As for that sedan, heck, we'd be thrilled if a new hot Mazda3 came in both bodystyles. This could be the poor man's BMW 3 Series. The fact that this test mule is wearing a Michigan plate while spotted near the desert could indicate one thing: hot weather testing.
If Mazda is serious about reviving the Speed3 or whatever else it could be called for 2021, testing would surely underway by now. Hopefully, this is the first proof of that.