Things are changing at Mazda as the company eyeballs a long-term push into the premium segment. These days it’s less about “Zoom Zoom” and more about courting buyers away from entry-level luxury options and into Mazda products. Now, it seems that this brand realignment may come with a casualty: Mazdaspeed cars.
During a Q&A with the media today, a Mazda spokesperson made clear that Mazdaspeed cars are gone for now and may never come back.
“We have no immediate plans to bring back the Mazdaspeed3 as we move into the premium space,” said Drew Cary, a spokesperson for the Hiroshima-based automaker.
This isn’t exactly a surprise. We’ve heard for a while now that the brand is laser-focused on elevating the quality of its vehicles, especially their interiors. And based on the Mazda products our staff has sampled lately, that’s going according to plan. The question is whether or not this shift in focus will take away from driving engagement.
Mazda took that concern head-on and expressed that the company has a continued focus on driving dynamics with all of its vehicles.
Gallery: 2021 Mazda3 2.5 Turbo
This brings a car like the Mazda3 2.5 Turbo into question, which we drove this week and will be reviewing in the near future. The Turbo is the unofficial replacement for the Mazdaspeed3, but with more emphasis on power and refinement than hot hatch temperament. And while we’re not allowed to discuss how the Turbo drives just yet, even the car’s styling cues confirm that story.
We look back with appreciation to cars like the Mazdaspeed3 and Mazdaspeed Miata for their lovable personalities and think that it’s a loss for enthusiasts to miss out on reincarnations of those products. That said, the company’s attempt to chip away at the luxury brands is working (so it says), and so far has not resulted in a lineup of boring appliance cars. Even without Mazdaspeed in the future, we’re still optimistic that good things are in store.