Next-Gen Mazdaspeed 3 Would Tear Apart Honda Civic Type-R

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Equipped with a 2.5L four-banger and a six-speed auto gearbox, the 184hp Mazda 3 Grand Touring is able to match the performance numbers of the 1.5T Honda Civic that’s worth 174hp. Like its Honda rival, it is able to complete a 0-60mph sprint in 6.8 seconds, according to Car & Driver tests.

Unfortunately, we wouldn’t know how Mazda would fare against the Honda Civic Si or Type-R, as the Mazdaspeed 3 nameplate has been dormant since its 2013 model. At 263hp and 280lb-ft torque, the Mazda 3 performance model boasts impressive numbers even by today’s standards.

One could only wonder what it would be capable of if Mazda hadn’t given up on the project. Given that the automaker dismissed the discontinued models as childish, it’s easy to assume that when Mazdaspeed is eventually revived it would prioritize elegance and class as much as performance.

This is the polar opposite of what Honda is pursuing with the Civic Type-R. Judging by its looks, the car maker’s most potent hot hatch is nothing if not brash and polarizing, even more so than the rugged Subaru WRX STI.

With rivals that focus on loud performance, the next-gen Mazdaspeed 3 (whenever it decides to arrive) would be a cut above its contemporaries. More than just impressive output numbers and top-of-the-line hardware, Mazda is doing a fantastic job moving its lineup upmarket and even without the help of hybrids or electric powertrains it remains the most efficient brand in the US.