Mazda has trademarked a bunch of new model names in Europe, including one that might herald a sub-Miata sports offering: MX-30. The name recalls the sporty MX-3 hatchback of the 90s, which was sold in Japan as the Eunos Presso and Autozam AZ3. However, we think it might be something Mazdafarians are clamoring even more for.
If we had to place our bets, it would be a on what is essentially a Mazdaspeed 3 based on the new Mazda 3 hatchback. Yes, we know, Mazda has said on many occasions that there will not be a Mazdaspeed 3 based on the recently debuted current generation due to a desire to move upmarket with the brand.
We take that to mean there won’t be a boy racer car named “Mazdaspeed,” but a high-performance 3 could very well be a possibility. The 186-horsepower, naturally aspirated, 2.5-liter engine-equipped 3 is already a hoot to drive. Mazda already offers a 250-horsepower turbo version of the same engine in larger models like the 6 sedan and CX-5.
It’s not a stretch to assume that a turbocharged version of the 3 is coming. And again, if we had to bet, we’d say it would be in hatch form, and here’s our reasoning. Mazda has already stated plainly that the hatch is supposed to be the more sporty of the two. The sedan isn’t even offered with a manual. The hatch is, but only on the top-spec trim level.
Mazda says, in a complete inversion of the conventional wisdom from a decade ago, these days it’s buyers who shop on convenience and price who want automatics. The discerning motorists are the ones who want a manual, and they typically don’t want the stripped-down base models. A 2.5 turbo-powered 3, possibly with AWD, would slot right above and make perfect sense in the trim hierarchy.
So what’s the deal with the MX-30 name? Historically, the MX designation was only reserved for sports models like the MX-3, MX-5, and MX-6. Recently, Mazda launched the CX-30, a 3-based crossover that’s the first to use the double-digit moniker. It should be noted that along with CX-30, Mazda also trademarked CX-10, CX-20, CX-40, CX-50, CX-60, CX-70, CX-80, and CX-90 with the European Union Intellectual Property Office.
While some of these are likely placeholders, or possibly to prevent competitors from using the names, it certainly appears that Mazda is moving to a double-digit naming convention. Of course, that raises the question of whether the iconic MX-5 Miata will remain with that name, and what of the new MX-6 that Mazda also recently trademarked, one that could be a RWD, inline-six sport coupe?
Regardless of what Mazda says officially, we believe that a high-performance 3 hatchback is almost a certainty. That’s great news for enthusiasts looking for the classic Japanese sports coupe driving experience in a new car, no matter what it’s called. y