Mazda had a few other things to share during the reveal of the fourth-generation Mazda 3 in Los Angeles recently, which will likely result in enthusiasts being more than upset.
The first involves an MPS version of the new Mazda 3, which stopped at the second-generation model without any replacement in sight since. With the new Mazda 3 out in the open, and Mazda’s 2.5 litre turbocharged four-cylinder SkyActiv-G engine already present in cars like the CX-9, CX-5 and Mazda 6, rumours swirled that two and two would be put together for a new Mazda hot hatch.
However, Akira Marumoto, who is the president and CEO of Mazda, dampened all hope of an MPS revival. Speaking to Drive at the show, Marumoto said, “Mazda is a small player and if [you are asking whether] that segment has a high particular priority for Mazda, my answer would be no. Therefore, we are not planning for MPS in the future.”
Instead, the brand is focusing on establishing itself as a bona fide premium alternative to European marques. This includes improving the quality, comfort and refinement of its existing vehicle line-up rather than expanding into any new segments.
Marumoto also reiterated what his predecessor, Masamichi Kogai, said last time, in that Mazda currently has no plans to produce a rotary-powered sports car as suggested by the RX-Vision. “[The] RX-Vision is a vision model for design development so we didn’t plan for production or commercialisation of this model,” he said.
“I am receiving this question [whether we can make a rotary-engined sports car] maybe 100 times, and I will not commit. That is a dream for all the Mazda executives and employees and it is my job to make employees dream come true. Nothing has been decided” he added, jokingly.
Ever since the RX-Vision made its debut in 2015, many have hoped for a successor to the RX-8 and iconic RX-7 to become a reality. Instead, the only hope of seeing a rotary engine in a Mazda now is as a range extender for the company’s upcoming electric vehicles.
Marumoto also declared that the company has no desire to produce an electric sports car, stating that battery vehicles are more suited to commuter cars. “I don’t want to make such car, I prefer the smell of gasoline,” he said.
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