Will There Be a New Mazdaspeed 3??? With All Wheel Drive???

Is All Wheel Drive Possible???

With the news that has come out in the past few weeks about the next Mazdaspeed 3 and it being AWD.  Takeo Mariuchi, the program deputy manager was quoted as saying “from a technical point of view it’s not difficult to install a four wheel drive system” for the next version.  I took this as a non-committal response from Takeo to answer someone’s question.  But in the interest of wanting to see a AWD Mazdaspeed 3 myself I decided to take a look at the CorkSport 2014 Mazda 3 when it was up on a lift this week.

Checking out the rear knuckles you can see they are open in the middle which would make adapting rear axles to be pretty straight forward.

Picture of 2014 Mazda 3 rear hub

I took a peak at the rear suspension of the CorkSport Cx5 as well and it is setup the same.  The next point which would have to be addressed is space for the driveshaft and transfer case for an AWD system.

picture of area for driveshaft

Sure enough there is a larger amount of space at the back of the engine bay to clear a transfer case and drive shaft.  The exhaust manifold looks to be the same from the CX5 AWD to give the clearance for needed systems.

In my opinion the only thing standing in the way of this getting the green light is the bean counters looking at the past sales of AWD performance cars for Mazda.  In North America the 323GTX didn’t sell too well and the 06-07 Mazdaspeed 6 was not the biggest sales success either.  Let’s hope they overlook those and give us enthusiasts the car we have always wanted.

 

-Derrick

10 Replies to “Will There Be a New Mazdaspeed 3??? With All Wheel Drive???”

  1. In my experience with a Japanese multinational, what we need is a product planning manager that truly believes in the idea, is a good negotiator and more importantly, capable of counter balancing the bean-counters’ arguments with studies, feedback from MNAO and their customers (Us through events, dealerships and social media), plus the support of senior engineering, which will actually build it.

    The final OK has to come from upper marketing in HQ, because it’s them who have to understand the importance of taking Zoom-zoom to the next level, with a vehicle that’s so compelling, desirable and an amazing performer, that all of Us would want it in our driveways. Why? Because it requires lots of empowerment to approve investing on a project that’s so daring.

    Like the article mentioned, the 323 GTX and Mazdaspeed 6 aren’t good referrals, and the profitability would be in question. Additionally, the safe bet is to just keep doing the Mazdaspeed 3 in its current configuration; it’s profitable and popular already.

    In my opinion, it would be awesome we could have a new AWD Mazdaspeed 3 with a SkyActiv-D twin turbo. All that torque would be soooo wasted on a FWD configuration, and a Gasoline model would soon be difficult to justify due to pollution requirements. And like I said before, the next level of Zoom-zoom can’t just continue to be spirited handling, great shifting and decent acceleration.
    Other players are already doing that.

    Where do I sign my check for that MSP3 with AWD and SkyActiv-D TT…?!?!?!

  2. A quick look at the Volvo S40 is all you need to see. AWD, same platform. It can be done, Mazdaspeed just chose not to. I owned an 05 Mazda 3, held out for the Speed 3 hoping it would be AWD, and eventually traded it for my MS6. I’m very happy with this car. MS6 is tight quiet and fast. They never addressed the chassis shortcomings on the Speed 3 IMO, cost of upgrade would probably made it too expensive for the target market, and they’d lose sales to the WRX. Don’t hold your breath.

  3. Maybe Corksport needs to contact Mazda and let them know who you are and that it would be a good idea if they made an AWD Mazda?

  4. This all makes sense as the 3 sits on the same chassis as the Cx-5. I think Mazdaspeed is definitely under pressure to reclaim the “hottest hatch” title from the new generation of Focus ST and the up and coming 2015 GTI. Just getting the most power out of an I-4 isn’t going to cut it anymore if they wish to maintain their enthusiasts into the next gen. Couple that with your observations of how the car seems already set up to accept an AWD set up, there has got to be a high likelihood we will see it at some point in the 3… or maybe the 6?

  5. Mazda has a great opportunity to boost sales with a MS3 AWD if they can make it in hatch since Subaru ditched that setup. There are a lot of unhappy Subaru fans wanting a hatch and will be kicked to the curb.

    Also it needs to be sporty, the MS6 was a sedan with a sport motor not a sporty car IMO

  6. I know I’m getting to this late… if it already sits on the same chassis as the CX-5, why not just do a driveshaft swap and tack in on the MS3?

    I know people are doing that now with the third generation Eclipse and the 1999-2000 GTX drivetrain/axels.

    I’m with everyone though, it would be an affordable solution for those of us whom can’t afford the price tag of even a used WRX/STI.

    It needs to be done, it’s 2018 at this point and I still see no signs of the AWD MS3

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