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Mazda Rules Out Future Performance Models

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On: Tue, Apr 12, 2016 at 1:31PM | By: Carl Malek

Mazda Rules Out Future Performance Models

In a move that could potentially break the hearts of some of its diehard fans, Mazda has revealed that it will not pursue development of future Speed variants for its current model lineup. 

Mazda fans have been waiting several years for a new Mazdaspeed3 hot hatch as well as confirmation on whether the Miata could once again receive the 'Speed' treatment. However, in a recent interview with the Australian publication Motoring Mazda's leading U.S. executive, Masahiro Moro, revealed that no such model is in the works; he also silenced rumors of a potential revival of the Mazdaspeed 6 performance sedan which has been MIA in its own right since the mid-2000s. Moro also took things a step further and claimed that those vehicles were "childish". While these statements are a big slap in the face to fans who remember how the brand embraced its playful side in the ‘90s, Moro did say that the company is committed to developing its next generation SKYACTIV engine technology.

"Our research and development department is 100 percent focused on delivering SKYACTIV generation two; then we are building on that to come up with (performance models)."

Moro added that the company's hot selling utility models are taking an equally prominent role in its broader future development plans. However, even if the Mazdaspeed3 and 6 do somehow make their respective returns, expect them to take on a completely look versus what we have seen in the past. This is mainly due to Mazda positioning itself as a more mature brand, and, as a result, any future product offerings will have to reflect this newfound change in focus while still being relevant to performance buyers.

"Mazda brand has become more mature, more upscale, more sophisticated, and we have a new transmission of the brand to relate in that direction," Moro said. "So if we were to introduce some kind of performance model, that may be diff rent to what we have done in the past." When pressed further on the issue Moro stated that he "doesn't have a particular timeline yet" for the long awaited return of performance to the Mazda brand, but did hint that an "iconic model" might lead the way. This particular statement does add some fuel to the rumors that Mazda is still heavily considering a rotary-powered sequel to its RX-8 sportscar, and this new model could potentially serve as an opening salvo in a renewed push towards performance that would be tailored to the needs of a new generation of performance buyers,


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