by Jared Rosenholtz
Come on Mazda, here are five cars that could make you cool!
We love the vast majority of Mazda’s lineup, but we know that the carmaker has the potential for so much more. A recent commercial compared the Mazda6 to luxury models like the Audi A4 and Mercedes C-Class. The Mazda 6 does have a premium feel, but is lacking in the way of raw power. We know that Mazda has the ability to build some amazing cars that could truly make it a luxury automaker. Here are five such examples that could help Mazda take that crucial step up and become a genuine luxury automaker.
Mazda’s biggest tease has been its upcoming rotary-powered sports car. The company has been going back and forth on whether it’s going to build this thing and we really can’t understand why. A rotary successor to the RX-7 and RX-8 would be a halo car for the brand that could give every other car in the range a boost. With a new Toyota Supra on the horizon and no sign of a new Z car from Nissan, Mazda could take advantage of having a market to itself with the RX-9. The MX-5 is a great entry-level sports car, but Mazda really needs to show it can build a true performance car.
We understand that Mazda is run by people who want to make money, and that a new rotary-powered sports car would be very expensive. That is why we also propose a revival of the Mazda MX-6. We’ve previously raved about how good this car could be if it was done properly. Unlike the RX-9, the MX-6 could borrow the platform of the Mazda 6, just with two doors chopped off. We would add AWD to give it better handling and the 2.5-liter turbocharged SkyActiv engine from the CX-9 to give it more power. Offer it with a six-speed manual along with an automatic, and we think that the MX-6 could start to steal sales away from BMW, Audi and Mercedes.
The MX-3 is another car from Mazda that people seem to forget. The MX-3 never really took off, and that may be because it wasn’t really a true sports car. The car had FWD, which meant that is wasn’t nearly as fun as the MX-5. We think that a modern version of the MX-3 could be good for Mazda. It could be based on the current Mazda 2 platform and cross swords with cars like the Fiesta ST. Mazda is known for its excellent driving dynamics, so this low-powered sports coupe could be just what the company is looking for.
We would love to see something like the MX-6 or MX-3, but even chopping two doors off of a car can be pretty expensive. We have an option that would be extremely inexpensive for Mazda that requires almost no redesign. Simply take the 2.5-liter turbocharged SkyActiv engine from the CX-9, and place it in the Mazda 3 and Mazda 6 and call them the MazdaSpeed 3 and MazdaSpeed 6. We already know that this engine will fit, but Mazda thinks that new MazdaSpeed models are too “immature” for the brand. Here’s an idea, just call them something else. Turbochargers are no longer solely found in boy racer’s cars, even Ferrari uses them. Come on Mazda, give the cars more power and make them perfect.
We really don’t understand why Mazda thinks that new MazdaSpeed models are a bad idea. In the past, these cars have been very youthful, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing to bring to a brand. The Miata is the only real sports car in the lineup, but many enthusiasts becoming bored with it over time as they develop their driving skills and move on to cars with more power. Mazda used to offer a turbocharged version of the Miata called the MazdaSpeed Miata. There is now the turbocharged Fiat 124, which is built on the Miata’s platform, but we would really love to see Mazda give the Miata some more power to help it appeal to more buyers.