Normally we expect to see the lineup from Mazda carry forth the “zoom zoom” mantra that has been around for years and continues to be a true way Mazda can show off its love for giving us cars that are quick and decisive on the road. Most of the time this comes in the form of the Miata, which we still get to enjoy, and the Mazda 3 and Mazda 6 both receiving the Mazdaspeed treatments to make them high performance sedans that can be a lot of fun to drive and offer some excitement for us to admire and love.
Unfortunately Mazda is not going to build these high performance sedans until the next generation of the Mazda 3 and Mazda 6 arrive. What does this mean for us? It means we can think about this two ways. First, we may have to look elsewhere if we want to enjoy a high performance sedan, but it also means we know the new Mazdaspeed variants of both of these cars will be more exciting than ever as the team that adds this performance bonus to these cars will be able to work on the future with no concern for the present.
While the performance models are on hold we will see the next generation of Skyactiv engines arrive to give us even better performance from these amazing engines. The new engines are slated to be in Mazda models as early as 2017 and once these engines are on the road the team can develop the performance models we know and love as Mazdaspeed versions. The word from Mazda is if these engines aren’t developed first there is no reason to have the performance models as the Skyactiv engines will be the basis from which the performance models come.
The engines aren’t the only thing holding back the Mazdaspeed variants; the leadership at Mazda has decided it’s time to head in a different direction from the previous one. If the Miata can offer a more grown up appearance and performance, the performance variants for the two sedans should also be able to offer this mature nature for us to admire and enjoy. With the current models of the Mazda 3 and Mazda 6 having arrived in 2014 it’s not expected that we will see a new generation of either one until at least 2020 and that would cause the Mazdaspeed models to show up a year later in 2021.
Can Mazda keep our interest without these performance models for five years? That’s a question we will have to ask ourselves when shopping for a new vehicle. Yes you can still enjoy a great car in the Mazda 3 or Mazda 6, but it seems as though some of the zoom has been taken away from these two to leave us wanting more. I wonder if sales dip enough if Mazda would introduce a mid-generational change after the new engines arrive in 2017; just something to think about that might help keep us wanting what Mazda has to offer.