Mazda-3-MPS-rendering

The 2015 Geneva Motor Show was a treat for hot hatch lovers. After so much pent-up anticipation, the Honda Civic Type R was justifiably the centre of attention; but in the blue corner, Ford’s new Focus RS stood proud with over 320 hp and AWD. One segment below, Renault Sport debuted a heated-up Clio RS Trophy while GM rolled out the Opel Corsa OPC a.k.a Vauxhall Corsa VXR.

Let’s not allow our excitement to overshadow the incumbents, for there are some pretty capable hot hatches already on sale. The CTR and Focus RS will meet Volkswagen’s Golf R, which is no longer just highly competent, but also entertaining in Mk7 guise. And of course there’s the Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy-R, the Nurburgring FWD champ that Honda wants to unseat. Also in the frame is the Seat Leon Cupra 280 for European markets.

Could it get any better for fans of the hot hatch? Yes, because Mazda has been reported to be readying a Mazda 3 MPS that will take on the above-mentioned C-segment performance flagships. It’s rumoured that the hot 3 will get a turbocharged version of the 2.5 litre direct-injected SkyActiv-G engine, and 4WD to tame excessive torque steer, something the old 3 MPS was known to suffer from. The expected 300 hp will go through a six-speed manual gearbox.

All rumours at this point of course, but with both Honda and Ford raising the bar to above 300 hp from smaller capacity engines (2.0L VTEC Turbo and 2.3L EcoBoost, respectively), Mazda has its work cut out. Another question for the Zoom-Zoom brand is FWD (Megane and Civic) or AWD (Focus and Golf) for the 3 MPS. Let’s also hope that it will look as good as the renderings you see here, by Automedia and Theophilus Chin.

Exciting times ahead and we can’t wait!

Dressed-up Mazda 3 Hatchback at the 2014 Bangkok Motor Show