Mazda boss Akira Marumoto said last year there'd be no Mazdaspeed version of the new Mazda3 because the hot hatch segment wasn't a priority for the carmaker. Then Mazda engineer Dave Coleman told Road & Track that without "an engine on the shelf that would fit properly," an MPS variant made no sense. The first reader comment on our Coleman post read, "Engine — you have it; cue up the 2.5T." Mazda might have been listening. Program manager Kota Beppu told Autocar he'd like a "hyper" Mazda3, the outlet figuring the 2.5-liter four-cylinder turbo would make the most sense for power.
Autocar wrote "the project had not been officially signed off, [but] insiders suggest that is a formality." When Car and Driver queried Mazda and its sources about the report, the magazine realized "the company is seriously considering a high-performance hot hatch." What's more, "Drew Cary, senior manager for brand communications, said, 'We encourage people to ask for it, though. Our planners and executives are watching and listening to fans.'"