It may be a bit rough around the edges, but the MazdaSpeed3 is a solid hot hatch that produces bonkers power.
It may not be nearly as precise as a Volkswagen GTI or as technically enriched as the new Ford Focus ST, but the MazdaSpeed3 is truly its own unique beast. It simply leaves guest drivers with a large dosage of "What the hell did I just drive?" type of reaction. While other Japanese automakers make their hot hatches all-wheel drive, Mazda's is all in the nose. In this week's episode of Motor Trend's "Ignition" video series, Carlos Lago gets behind the wheel of what he calls a front-drive muscle car.
Powered by a 2.3-liter turbo four that produces 263 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque that's mated to a six-speed manual, the Speed3 is about as torque-steered as they come... and a barrel of fun at that.