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New Mazda 3 hot hatch to take fight to Volkswagen Golf GTI, Hyundai i30 N: reports

Could Mazda be about to green-light a Mazda3 hot hatch?

Mazda is reportedly mulling adding a go-fast version of its new Mazda3 to its line-up, with approval for a new hot hatch packing a turbocharged 2.5-litre engine that feeds power to all four wheels now just “a formality”.

Reports out of the car’s local launch claim the company will soon meet Australian and global demand to add a hot hatch version to its Mazda3.

By using the brand’s 2.5-litre turbocharged engine (currently at use in the CX-5), Mazda would unlock around 170kW and 420Nm - and that’s before its engineers even began their fettling. Currently, the 3 range tops out with a 139kW and 252Nm.

It is understood that engine would need to be paired with all-wheel drive to help ward off the torque steer that was so characteristic of MPS models of old.

Those outputs would put a Mazda3 hot hatch right in the GTI ballpark, with the iconic VW producing more power but less torque, at 180kW/370Nm. Hyundai’s i30 N, on the other hand, produces 202kW/353Nm.

According to UK media outlet AutoCar, Mazda3 program manager Kota Beppu has confirmed he is pushing for a performance version of the brand’s top-selling small car

“I’m a car guy, so I myself want to drive a high performance Mazda3. I’ll do my best,” Beppu said.

“Mazda3 is a light vehicle, so if there is too much power. And we keep it as front-wheel drive there is the torque steer phenomenon happening.”

The idea of a Mazda3 hot hatch is a tantalising one for the brand in Australia, with the local arm suggesting that while the project remains unconfirmed, if such a model was to become available it would be a sure starter for Australia.

“Of course we’d be open to exploring it,” says Mazda PR chief Sonia Singh

Would you be in the queue for a Mazda3 hot hatch? Tell us in the comments below.