How would a 300 HP, AWD version of the Mazda3 work for you? If this is the car you have been dreaming about as your Gen 1 or Gen 2 MazdaSpeed3 grows long in the tooth, you may not have long to wait according to a report out of Australia.
Mazda of course killed off the Speed3 in 2013 when it launched the Gen3 Mazda3 we now know and love as a 2014 model year car. Motoring.com.au says that the New Speed3 would have a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine making 220kW of power, so we rounded up to 300 horsepower. Putting that power to the ground through just the front two wheels would mean limiting torque in the first couple of gears. After all, the current 2.5 liter, 184 horsepower Mazda3 Grand Touring we tested with the manual transmission could not put even that much power down. The car we tested could spin its tires on the 1-2 upshift on dry ground. Thus, the prediction in the article is that the car will have an AWD system.
Price might be a factor. Our test Mazda3 Grand Touring had an MSRP of $ 26,140. Are buyers in the US willing to shell out $32K for a MazdaSpeed3? Yes, would be my answer. With a loaded Ford Focus ST carrying a $29K price point according to its on-line configurator, it seems possible for Mazda to sell some Speed3s in the low $30K range.
Why would we give any credit to an Australian motor publication? One reason might be that Mazda chose Australia as the place to reveal the current generation of Mazda3. It is an important market for Mazda and the Mazda3 MPS, as the Speed3 is called there, and Mazda's MPS has a lot of fans there.