The smoking hot little car with a very long name; Mazda’s Mazdaspeed3 actually started life with an even longer name: Mazda Mazdaspeed3 Mazda 3. When the second generation of the car was introduced for model year 2010, Mazda’s marketing team wisely decided to drop the triple redundancy, thus rendering the car’s name a bit more wieldable.
(We’re hoping at some point they’ll realize they don’t need to say Mazda twice and simply call the car the Mazdaspeed3—and be done with it.)
As suggested by its nomenclature, the Mazdaspeed3 is based on the Mazda3, a car you’ll find more information about here. As you may have read, we’re quite fond of the Mazda3 and we also consider it a bargain at its price. Nicely turned out, with a handsome appearance and a strong feature set, the Mazda3 is more like a compact entry-level luxury car than the economical runabout its price would lead one to expect.
Thus, as the basic platform for the Mazdaspeed3, the Mazda3 is well suited Its steering is highly responsive and its suspension set up is endowed with both exciting handling and a comfortable ride. The only thing needed to add to that formula to get a serious performance car was an engine capable of moving the Mazda3 with exceptional alacrity, an even more agile suspension system, and brakes to match.
Which, is exactly what the Mazdaspeed3 engineering team proceeded to do.
The in-house racing and street car tuning division of Mazda, Mazdaspeed has fielded a Le Mans-winning entry (something no other Japanese manufacturer can claim) in addition to offering tuned versions of the Protégé, Mazda6, and the MX-5 (Miata).
The group delivered the Mazdaspeed3 in 2007 as the most powerful vehicle in its class.
To date, Mazda has marketed two generations of the Mazdaspeed3.