More mature Mazda not planning performance Speed models
Mazda has ruled out high-performance Speed variants of its current model line, the company’s North American chief executive officer has confirmed.
Mazda fans have been waiting with bated breath for a third-generation Mazdaspeed3 hot hatch, but Mazda North American head Masahiro Moro told Australia’s Motoring in a recent interview that no such model is in the works. Moro also dashed hopes for a revival of the Mazdaspeed6 sedan.
Taking things a step further, Moro went on to label those vehicles as “childish.” Ouch.
Moro wouldn’t completely rule out the return of Mazda’s performance sub-brand, but said that the company is solely focused on developing the next-generation of ti SKYACTIV engine technology first.
“Our research and development department is 100 percent focussed on delivering SKYACTIV generation two and if we don’t have this we don’t have any other derivatives,” Moro said. “So let us focus on delivering SKYACTIV generation two, then we are building on that to come up with (performance models).”
Moro also indicated that hot-selling utility models are taking priority in Mazda’s future development plans.
But even if the Speed3 and 6 return, they will take a different form than they did in the past. Mazda views itself as a more mature brand these days, and any future product offerings will reflect that positioning.
“Mazda brand has become more mature, more upscale, more sophisticated and we have a new transition of the brand to relate that direction,” Moro said. “So if we were to introduce some kind of performance model, that may be different to what we have done in the past.”
Moro said he doesn’t “have a particular timeline yet” for the return of performance to the Mazda brand, but hinted that an “iconic model” might lead the way, supporting rumors that the automaker is still planning a followup to its RX-8 sports car.