As our world changes, so do our needs and desires. People don’t crave v8 gas-guzzlers as much as they use to; instead, they look for 4-cylinders family commuter cars. Those are, of course, the more practical option, but sometimes practicality isn’t as fun or sexy as we might want. If you are a fan of the Mazda line-up, then you might also be a fan of their turbo charged powerhouse that is the Mazdaspeed3. Previous MazdaSpeed3 models have been good, but never did a great job at standing out. When your main competitors are the legendary WRX, Lancer Evolution, and Golf GTI you need to bring something innovative and different to the table.
Over the past 10 years we have not seen much change to the design of this car, but there’s a good reason for that. Mazda claims that 1 out of every 3 Mazda’s sold in North America is a Mazda3. Knowing this, Mazda was dealt with a tricky situation. On one hand they needed to update their current model to keep up with their stylish competitors, but on the other hand, Mazda needed to be very careful not to alienate their existing demographic. Luckily the new KODO design language – meaning soul in motion, in Japanese – was the perfect combination of sexy and sporty, which was received well by critics and fan-boys alike.
The real question isn’t what the newest Speed3 will look like, but rather, what will the internals be? Rumors are circulating that we might be seeing a naturally aspirated motor, which would clearly separate it from the WRX, Evo and Focus ST. However, can a naturally aspirated 4-cylinder be able to compete with a 265-hp turbo? A naturally aspirated 2014 Mazdaspeed3 would mean, no more turbo lag – which was always a small annoyance with Speed3’s of the past. If these rumors are true, the new Mazdaspeed3 could be placing itself in a class all its own – which might be exactly what James O’Sullivan (CEO of Mazda North America Operations) wants. Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing a more refined Speed3 with better gas mileage – but that’s just me.
Previous Mazdaspeed3’s also had an unbelievable amount of torque. It will be interesting to see how Mazda handles this situation. Personally, I liked the torque steer, but if the rumors are true than torque steer might become a thing of the past. This theory is supported by the rumors of an all-wheel-drive Mazdaspeed3 that might be introduced. This drivetrain would defiantly diminish the amount of torque steer, but is the decreased fuel economy worth it? If Mazda designs the car as we depicted, then we will be seeing one well-rounded automobile. Many fan-boys are eagerly anticipating the release – or at least an unveiling – but no such luck just yet. We should be hearing something from Mazda within the next month, and until then, stay with us for more 2014 Mazdaspeed3 news and updates.