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Mazda 3 hot hatch, Golf GTI and i30N rival off the cards again

You can stop holding your breath for a hot Mazda3.

Mazda has no current plans to reincarnate a hot hatch performance version of the Mazda3, despite numerous senior executives demonstrating a desire to do so. 

The fastest Mazda3s we’ve seen since the 2014 demise of the MPS versions that spanned the first two generations of Mazda’s small hatch, have been the petrol SP25 models and the short-lived diesel XD Astina. 

These could be described as warm hatches at best, while traditional hot hatches like the Golf GTI have only been getting hotter alongside new entrants like the Hyundai i30 N

Reports from the Mazda3’s local launch in April suggested there was a plan for the return of a proper Mazda3 performance hatch. These were supported by a recent report from the UK where Mazda3 Program Manager Kota Beppu clearly stated his desire to see the return of such a model. This sentiment has also been echoed by senior Mazda Australia staff. 

There were also chuckles and wry smiles all round when Mazda global development and product planning boss Hiroyuki Matsumoto was asked about such a model at the international launch of the Mazda3 Skyactiv-X last week. 

But his body language changed altogether as he delivered his answer: “We are capable of creating engine to answer such demands for more power, but at the moment we have no plan to do it.”

This comes just a fortnight after news suggesting Mazda is about to enter the 3 in the production-related TCR motorsport series, which would seem an ideal fit alongside a showroom hot hatch.   

Perhaps such a model has been deemed a mere distraction, as the company prepares for the return of a rotary-engined sports car, which we hope will form a centrepiece of the brand’s 100th birthday celebrations in 2020.  

Either way, you can stop holding your breath for a hot Mazda3.

Should Mazda focus on a new rotary sports car or a Mazda3 hot hatch? Tell us what you think in the comments below.