For a decade, Mazda has been selling factory-built, performance-tuned models under the Mazdaspeed banner, brilliant driving machines built for hard-core driving enthusiasts on a budget. But now, with the impending arrival of a redesigned Mazda 3, and Mazda’s new focus on combining fuel-efficient SkyActiv engines with light weight and the company’s trademark fun-to-drive handling, it would appear that Mazdaspeed’s days are numbered*. It is against my prediction that Mazdaspeed models are about to become extinct that I borrowed a Velocity Red Mica version of the 2013 Mazdaspeed 3 and took it for a rousing romp on many of my favorite sections of twisty Southern California 2-lane roads. Call it a goodbye tour of sorts.
* Pure conjecture on the author’s part. No official announcement has been made as this is written.