by Ronan Glon
Mazda doesn’t want to branch out into new segments.
Mazda has no interest in returning to the hot hatch segment, the company has confirmed. The all-new 2020 Mazda3 (pictured) unveiled recently at the 2018 Los Angeles auto show was not designed to spawn a hot-rodded MazdaSpeed model.
“Mazda is a small player and if [you are asking whether] that segment has a high particular priority for Mazda my answer would be no. Therefore we not planning for MPS in the future,” explained Akira Marumoto, the company’s global boss, in an interview with Australian website Drive. MPS was the name given to the MazdaSpeed3 in some global markets.
Instead of chasing performance like it has in the past, Mazda wants to establish itself as a credible alternative to European premium brands. Marumoto told Drive that credibility will come by improving quality, comfort, and refinement rather than by expanding into segments the firm’s isn’t present in right now.
Interesting, Marumoto also shot down the on-again, off-again production version of the stunning RX-Vision concept introduced during the 2015 Tokyo auto show.
“[The] RX Vision is a vision model for design development so we didn’t plan for production or commercialisation of this model,” he told Drive. And while he didn’t rule out the return of a rotary-engined sports car, he made it clear developing one isn’t the highest bullet point on the company’s to-do list.
Photos by Brian Williams.