Sadly, it’s not street legal.
Do you wake up every morning wishing Mazda would just make a new Mazdaspeed3? Me too, but that doesn’t seem to be on Mazda’s radar in the near future. What has come to fruition, though, is a new race car, buy way of the Mazda3 TCR. It’s a track-only version of the new hatchback, and will make its debut in January 2020. It will compete in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge during the Rolex 24 weekend in Daytona, before moving on to venues worldwide.
Naturally, this looks sort of like a standard Mazda3. That’s the basis for the TCR, though the massive wing, front splitter, wheel arch flares, side skirts and hood scoops denote more serious intentions. As does what’s under the hood: a 350 horsepower turbocharged inline-four. It sends all that power to the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. Other improvements include a single center exhaust, and new racing wheels.
We have the technology!
The Mazda3 TCR looks the business, but it’s not street legal. However, this shows that Mazda can produce a 350 horsepower car hatchback…so why not translate some of this into a new Mazdaspeed3?
Wishful thinking, I know, as Mazda has moved the Mazda3 upmarket, improved materials, and raised the price. But with the company’s other motorsport ventures and now this TCR model, it’s clear that Mazda’s California design headquarters haven’t forgotten its sporty heritage.
Pricing has not been announced for the Mazda3 TCR, but clearly it will not come cheap. Even so, if Mazda could make a less powerful, road-going version to compete with the Hyundai Veloster N and Volkswagen Golf GTI…with its looks both inside and out, that could be a winner.