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Mazda3 Speed adds bodykit but no extra grunt

The name is inspired from Mazda’s previous hot hatch 3, but we’re yet to see anything hot under the bonnet.

Are we about to see the return of the Mazda3 MPS? Not quite.

Mazda Philippines has unveiled its local lineup for the fourth-generation Mazda3 and it includes the brand’s first Mazda3 Speed model.

The name is similar to the Mazdaspeed3, which was introduced in 2007 in Australia as the Mazda 3 MPS. It was a hot hatch version of the 3, powered by a 2.3-litre turbo petrol four, producing 190kW and 380Nm through the front wheels. Pretty big numbers when you consider that 12 years later the new Ford Focus ST develops 206kW and 420Nm.

No official images are out yet but YouTuber Jaywalker posted a first look during the model’s launch.

Instead of getting a power bump, the Mazda3 Speed is an aesthetic option pack, riding on the same shadow chrome 18-inch alloys Australian spec cars get and adding a front splitter, side skirts and rear diffuser. Inside are red leather seats.

In the Philippines market, the Speed is powered by the base 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine producing 112kW and 200Nm of torque. It’s hardly going to worry even warm hatches at the lights, but in Australia there is the more muscular 2.5-litre four available, producing 139kW and 252Nm, and the incoming Skyactiv-X engine with 132kW/224Nm.

We’ve heard rumours that Mazda is considering a hotter version of its new Mazda3, which could see something like the brand’s 2.5-litre turbo four plonked upfront. That engine currently produces a much more serious 170kW and 420Nm, though the whole idea remains on the wish list until Mazda introduces Skyactiv-X first.

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Alex Rae

Alex Rae