Industry rumors and speculation have been rampant, with initial estimates suggesting a possible return in late 2016. However, the best information indicates Mazda has no immediate plans to resurrect the notorious hot hatch, at least no sooner than 2017.
The Mazdaspeed3 is perhaps best known for its steering-wheel-jerking torque and everyday "sleeper" design, hood scoop and unique rumble. The previous generation featured a 2.3-liter 4-cylinder turbo producing 263 hp and massive 280 lb-ft of torque on a front-wheel drive platform.
Rumors had pointed to a 2.5-liter turbocharged four as the Mazdaspeed3's next powerplant. Most assumed this would be a performance-tuned version of the new 2.5T set to debut in the next Mazda CX-9 crossover. However, there has been nothing official to corroborate this.
The hot hatch segment has become surprisingly crowded due to the latest iterations of the Volkswagen GTI, Volkswagen Golf R, Ford Focus ST and upcoming Ford Focus RS. Shoppers even get a more pint-sized option with the smaller Fiesta ST, which has impressed reviewers with its lighter platform compared to its Focus-based big brother.
Disappointing though it may be, no further information is available at this time. Stay tuned for the latest release info as it becomes available.
Pictured: 2015 Mazda Mazda3 (Source: Mazda)