Report: Mazda Cancels Plans for 300-horsepower AWD Mazdaspeed3

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Mazda learned its lesson about building truly high-performance vehicles with the third-generation RX-7, according to a new report, and won't be outfitting a special 'Evolution' version of its Mazdaspeed3 with all-wheel drive and 300 horsepower as a result.

The plans for the car were never solid, but with all of the necessary ingredients already within the corporate portfolio - some borrowed from the now-defunct Mazdaspeed6 - it had been a possibility. But once the tally on price and market position was made, Mazda realized it already has the right balance of performance and value, reports Motor Trend.

The twin-turbo rotary RX-7 that hit the U.S. market in 1993 was a true performance vehicle, but its pricing put it out of reach of the typical Mazda buyer, and the brand apparently isn't confident in its ability to swipe buyers from brands like Mitsubishi and Subaru, which already have dedicated and highly loyal fan bases built around high-performance, AWD turbo cars.

The updated 2010 Mazdaspeed3 will instead soldier on as the highest-performance vehicle in the current Mazda fleet, and as our partner site TheCarConnection found out during their recent time with the car, it manages to keep what made the original Speed3 such a great car while refining most of its rough spots.

[Motor Trend]

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Comments (7)
  1. Mazda needs a bigger set I think. Comparing the Mazda 3 to the RX7 doesn't float for me.
    The RX-7 didn't have a model that starts at 16k. The MS3 is the top of the range, key there, R A N G E. Every RX-7 was expensive. Not so with the Mazda3, if you don't want 300 HP and AWD...don't buy one.
    But don't take that away from the enthusiast that would consider a 300hp AWD Mazdaspeed RS ! Make 500 a year and build an icon. I loved my Type R Integra for that very reason. But Honda is so zionistic about japan that we see now type R models here. It would be refreshing to see the Japanese automakers quit this market selfishness regarding high performance models of their cars.
    An AWD 300HP MazdaSpeed3 would compete well against an Ugly WRXSTI. It has a superior interior compared to both of its other 300hp AWD competitors.

  2. Just wishful thinking here.. if Mazda did build this AWD 300hp 3speed it would be really awesome for them to join the WRC Series and surely that would give them the cred/fanbase they need.. it may even stimulate Subaru and Mitsubishi to return back to the sport..

  3. What? Mazda should at least have 1 bad ass car in there line of cars.

  4. Bastards!!! First they take away my Mazda 6 wagon and now the fun stuff too? They could've stuffed that power plant in the Miata, 6, and done a hot CX7 too. I thought the Japanese invented speading your costs around by sharing power plants throughout ones range of cars?

  5. @ Alister
    did you guys lose the Mazda6 Wagon ? shame really as its amazingly handsome and looks beeter than the hatch
    personally im kind of glad that Mazda arent making a super verison of the 3 MPS. That car is just too manic already, and one of the roughest rides i have had the misfortune of being in. They should concentrate on ensuring that the standard 3 and 6 are up to speed and improving the CX7 performance and fuel economy instead !

  6. Did not need awd, would have made the car too heavy

  7. AWD would be nice. Mazda made a mistake by making their high performance model a FWD car. It seriously takes away from the potential the MS3 did have. AWD or RWD...but not another FWD Turbo inline4 (have they ever heard of torque steer!?)!
    You sacrafice comfort for performance. The ride is rough because you need a stiffer engine mount to withstand that amount of torque. You need a better clutch so you don't blow a clutch rated at 200hp/tq. You need a down rite badass suspension (as badass as stock will get you) because that's one of Mazda's best features in all of their cars.
    Theres always a compromise in comfort when dealing with lower cost, high performers.

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