From Mazda press: It’s an unwritten law of nature.  When two parents have kids, more often than not, their offspring will be quite different.  One will have Dad’s eyes, another, Mom’s nose.  Some will be mild-mannered, happy and always smiling, and others, well – they will be wicked. 

Enter the 2011 MAZDASPEED3.  From a distance, it may look like its MAZDA3 siblings, with its five-point grille and sleek lines, but one minute behind the wheel will prove otherwise.

Even before it was introduced, driving enthusiasts had pegged the MAZDASPEED3 to be a leader in the front-drive performance car category.  In addition to living up to that expectation, the MAZDASPEED3 has come to be regarded as one of the best bargains on the road and the finest marriage of performance and practicality on four wheels. 

A sporty and aggressive exterior design compliments an avant-garde interior.  Under the hood is the highly acclaimed 263-horsepower MZR 2.3L DISI turbo engine capable of propelling the MAZDASPEED3 to a 155-mph top speed.  Features like an LED turbo boost gauge, air intake and unique MAZDASPEED interior express the MAZDASPEED3’s athletic nature while 18-inch Dunlop tires provide improved grip and steering feel. 

Package/option changes for 2011 include the addition of rain-sensing front wipers, auto on/off headlights, Bi-Xenon headlights with auto leveling, Adaptive Front-lighting system (AFS), and LED rear combination taillights to the MAZDASPEED Technology Package.

The MAZDASPEED3 continues to use Mazda’s award-winning MZR 2.3L DISI Turbo powerplant.  Delivering 263 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 280 lb.-ft of torque at 3,000 rpm, it made the original MAZDASPEED3 the most powerful front-drive performance car under $25,000, and remains one of the strongest engines in its class today.

Gallery: Mazdaspeed3