Report: Mazdaspeed3 Concept Bound for Frankfurt Show

2.5-liter turbo-four to arrive with mid-cycle refresh.

There's a lot of moving and shaking going on in the affordable performance arena, between the departure of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, all-new versions of the Subaru WRX/STI and Volkswagen GTI/Golf R, and the impending arrival of the Ford Focus RS. One player that's been missing from all this action is the Mazdaspeed3, which has been conspicuously out to lunch since the new 2014 Mazda3 launched.

According to a new report from Australia's Motoring, that'll all change when the Mazda relaunches the Mazdaspeed nameplate with a Mazdaspeed3 concept at the Frankfurt show in September, with a production version to follow in early 2016.

The report also posits that the 2017 Mazdaspeed3 will pack a 295-hp, turbocharged four-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive. While the powertrain is not exactly a quantum leap from the outgoing 263-hp 2.3-liter turbo-four, the addition of all-wheel-drive would position the new Mazdaspeed3 against a different set of competitors than it has targeted in the past. The outgoing front-wheel-drive Mazdaspeed3 was the natural foe of another front-wheel-drive turbo-four hatch—the VW GTI. But with all-wheel drive and nearly 300 hp, the next Mazdaspeed3 would possibly enter the ring in a weight class above with heavier hitters like the Ford Focus RS, Golf R, and Subaru WRX STI.

Motoring also indicates that the same 2.5-liter turbo-four would find its way into a 2017 Mazdaspeed6, while a Mazdaspeed Miata is also possible, with an as-yet undetermined powertrain. The 2.5-liter turbo engine is also slated for the upcoming generation of the CX-9 crossover.

This information is consistent with our earlier report from August 2014, which predicted a 300-plus-hp Mazdaspeed3 hot hatch with all-wheel drive and a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder Skyactiv engine.

Keep an eye out for more news on the future of the Mazdaspeed3 over the next few months, leading up to the Frankfurt show in September.

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