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Hot Hatch: Mazdaspeed3 a Mazda Masterpiece



With big power in an affordable and practical package, the Mazdaspeed3 was a hot hatch that was way ahead of its time


Mazda's rich legacy is not just limited to the Miata, the Mazdaspeed series, particularly the 2009 Mazdaspeed 3, showcases Mazda's spirit of innovation with its turbocharged inline-four engine and subtle yet refined exterior design.

The Mazdaspeed 3's interior combines sportiness and sophistication, with features like sport seats, red accents, and enhanced trim options. Its turbocharged engine, paired with a six-speed manual transmission, delivered impressive power and performance in the hot hatch segment.

For many, the name Mazda immediately conjures visions of the iconic Miata. But scratch beneath the surface, and you'll discover a rich legacy punctuated by masterpieces. Many attribute Mazda's claim to fame to their groundbreaking rotary engines, which powered icons like the RX-7, especially in the vibrant 90s. It was in 1991 that Mazda etched an indelible mark in history by becoming the first Japanese car manufacturer to triumph at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, showcasing the prowess of their rotary engine.

While the rotary chapter has closed, another intriguing facet emerged in the 2000s - the Mazdaspeed series, a hidden gem in the automaker's lineup in the 2000s. Among them, the 2009 Mazdaspeed 3 is a testament to Mazda's spirit of innovation, boasting a turbocharged inline-four engine that rivals current generation counterparts. It's time to spotlight Mazda's forgotten masterpiece. Let's delve into the intricate facets that make this vehicle a true icon of its time.

In 2003, Mazda introduced the inaugural Mazda 3, a precursor to what would eventually be heralded as an underappreciated marvel amongst hot hatches. When the Mazdaspeed version was unveiled in 2007, it subtly challenged titans like the Volkswagen Golf GTI and Ford Focus ST, offering a tantalizing glimpse into the promising future of the segment.

Contrary to its contemporaries at the time, the Mazdaspeed 3 whispered its sporting capabilities rather than shouting about it. The car's exterior metamorphosis was marked by subtlety, epitomizing understated elegance. Minor alterations to the front and rear bumpers and the addition of sophisticated 10-spoke 18-inch wheels portrayed a more refined, automobile than an outright sports car.

This discerning design choice highlighted Mazda's focus on the essence rather than the extravagance, encapsulating the true spirit of a sports car without succumbing to an overt display of aggression.

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Source: Mazda's Forgotten Masterpiece: A 2000s Icon Revisited (

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