The hot hatch world desperately needs a road-going version of this.
Mazda is introducing a hotter version of its gorgeous Mazda3, but before you get too excited, you can’t legally drive it on public roads. That’s because this a thoroughbred race car specifically engineered to comply with the TCR regulations, therefore eligible to take part in any of the 36 TCR-sanctioned championships around the world.
It’s largely based on the attractive design of the 2019 Mazda3 hatchback, but it has gained a massive rear wing and fender flares. Other noteworthy changes include a chunky front splitter and a prominent rear diffuser with a single exhaust tip positioned right in the middle. It sits on 18-inch Rays wheels with Michelin Pilot tires and uses Bilstein or optional Öhlins dampers.
Gallery: 2020 Mazda3 TCR
At the heart of the Mazda3 TCR is a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that revs up to 7,000 rpm and produces a meaty 350 horsepower and 490 Newton-meters (361 pound-feet) of torque. All that power is channeled to the road through a six-speed SADEV sequential gearbox or an optional Xtrac setup. The hardware configuration enables Mazda’s race car to top out at a respectable 150 mph (241 km/h) and stop efficiently courtesy of Brembo brakes.
The Mazda3 TCR will take part in the 2020 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge and is scheduled to receive its racing debut with the four-hour Endurance Challenge part of the Rolex 24 at Daytona on Sunday, January 26.
While a race car is fine and dandy, we can only hope Mazda will develop a street-legal version to take on the likes of the limited-run VW Golf TCR. It would be a good opportunity to revive the Mazdaspeed3 moniker, but this is all just wishful thinking at this point. The Zoom-Zoom company has said it could technically give the compact model a more powerful engine, but there are no plans in the immediate future.
MAZDA UNVEILS MAZDA3 TCR
MAZDA MOTORSPORTS BOOSTS CUSTOMER RACING PROGRAM WITH NEW TOURING CAR
October 1, 2019
IRVINE, Calif. (October 1, 2019) – Mazda Motorsports announced today the newest addition to its motorsports program with the unveiling of the all-new Mazda3 TCR race car. The Mazda3 TCR will hit the racetrack as part of the 2020 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, beginning with the four-hour Endurance Challenge that is part of the Rolex 24 at Daytona weekend of racing on January 26, 2020.
By retaining the striking design of the 2019 Mazda3 hatchback, the Mazda3 TCR features the latest iteration of the brand’s signature Kodo – Soul of Motion design language. Envisioned within the walls of Mazda Design America in Irvine, California, designers spent countless hours ensuring the aerodynamics of the Mazda3 TCR are compliant with all TCR regulations, and flow seamlessly with the clean lines found on the Mazda3.
“TCR represents a great opportunity for us to showcase the new Mazda3 and provide our customers another avenue to race Mazda vehicles,” said Masahiro Moro, Chairman and CEO, Mazda North American Operations. “Some of our most important successes in IMSA and SRO TC Americas have been thanks to dedicated customers who chose to race with Mazda, and we hope the next generation of Mazda racers see the same potential in the Mazda3 TCR.”
“The Mazda3 features the outstanding design and engineering that Mazda is known for, and because of that, it is a fantastic foundation for our new Mazda3 TCR,” said John Doonan, Director, Mazda Motorsports. “We have looked forward to returning to the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge for several seasons, and everyone at Mazda is very excited that we will do just that in 2020. We are eagerly anticipating success for the Mazda3 TCR in IMSA, SRO Americas and in TCR championships around the world.”
The Mazda3 TCR will be powered by a turbocharged, 4-cylinder engine producing 350 horsepower and will use a paddle-shifted six-speed transmission. Developed and supported by Long Road Racing, the manufacturer of the Global Mazda MX-5 Cup car, the Mazda3 TCR is homologated to compete in any of the 36 TCR-sanctioned championships around the globe.
More information about the Mazda3 TCR is available at MazdaMotorsports.com and LongRoadRacing.com.