No Turbo For Next MazdaSpeed 3?

Report Claims Next MPS3 to switch from turbo to naturally aspiration
by Imthishan Giado

2013 Mazda MazdaSpeed3
It’s only been a few scant weeks since the new Mazda3 was unveiled with slyly seductive styling and frugal new engines. Conspicuously absent from the reveal however, was any mention of a new version of the MazdaSpeed3, Mazda’s turbocharged tearaway range topper (pictured) which currently sports a 2.3-litre blown four with 263bhp and 280lb ft of arm-twisting torque. We expected the new car might sport even more, but with more effective software to better control the wayward turbo mill’s tendencies – but we might be wrong.

In a chat with British mag Auto Express, a senior engineer from the Hiroshima firm has reported claimed the new MPS3 will return, “…but not as you would expect.” To whit – the ‘new’ MPS3 will sport an uprated version of the new 163bhp SkyActiv 2.0-litre engine, tuned up to 200bhp and with a redline of 7000rpm, putting it squarely in the sights of the current automotive Jesus, the Toyota 86, when really it should be aiming at turbo hatches like the rather good Ford Focus ST.

Frankly, we find this news a little hard to believe, not just because increasingly restrictive European C02 regulations have largely been responsible for the death of high-revving naturally aspirated engines like the kind Honda used to excel at creating. Beyond the obvious problem of dirty tailpipes, why would Mazda also choose to relinquish its top-dog spot in the turbo hot hatch pantheon to Ford? Doesn’t really make sense, does it?

This is not to doubt that Mazda could actually pull off a good NA MPS3. Don’t forget: Mazda has always excelled at making driver’s cars, even out of the unlikeliest subjects. With extensive use of lightweight materials and a sub 1400kg weight (the current MPS3 weighs a portly 1488kg) this could be an excellent hatch to drive with excellent fuel economy particularly if Mazda uses tastier high-end cams like Honda’s VTEC systems. There’s a bright side for the Middle East as well – we don’t get the current hatch, partly because there are concerns that the fuel in the region doesn’t suit direct-injection turbo systems. No turbo could possibly equal no problem for bringing down the next sporty 3. And Lord knows, we could use some sporty Japanese cars again here. Can’t let the Europeans have all the fun.

Source: Auto Express


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