I have to take this opportunity to thank some car manufacturers for ensuring that the business I so love remains as interesting and appealing as it is. I specifically want to address makers of “regular” cars such as Ford, Subaru, Honda, Nissan, Volkswagen and, in this instance, Mazda.
These carmakers have never forgotten their enthusiasts, regardless of how small a percentage they represent in the business' bottom line. I'm thinking GTI, GLI, SE-R, 240SX, Z, Impreza RS or WRX, Mustang, Civic Si and MX-3s, MX-6s and all Speeds from the Protegé on.
|Certainly, the Speed3's got just enough visual oomph to let you know that this is not your neighbour's 3. (Photo: Sébastien D'Amour/Auto123.com)
These days, affordable performance cars are far easier to find compared to only 10 years ago. Chrysler, Hyundai, Kia, General Motors and Mitsubishi have all joined the party and believe me, I'm having a jolly good time doing my job.
Mazdaspeed is now synonymous with “good time”. From the first Protegé Mazdaspeed to the latest Mazdaspeed3, these cars hit all the right buttons. Let's ponder these buttons for a moment...
Certainly, the Speed3's got just enough visual oomph to let you know that this is not your neighbour's 3. The most obvious indicators that the Speed3 will take you to the mall and back faster than said neighbour's automatic GX sedan are the roof-mounted spoiler, 18” wheels, side sill extensions, twin-tailpipes, deeper and more aggressive front and rear fascias as well as delectable hood scoop. It's got enough show for most, but I'd drop the sucker an inch or two and slap on some serious gunmetal-coloured alloys, for starters.
The Speed3 can only be had in one of four colours. My tester was draped in Velocity Red which, along with Crystal White Pearl, are the only two shades to consider. Black Mica has only one advantage where it partially camouflages the 3's questionable front-toothed grin, otherwise it kills all definition in the generally well-pleated body panels. And if you want to murder your Speed3's resale value, get Celestial Blue.
Aboard, the Speed3 is not a far cry from what you get in a typical 3 GT. The most noticeable differences are the sport seats which are a must in such a car. The remainder of the details entail red stitching on leather bits such as the steering wheel and shifter. Other goodies include the alloy perforated pedals and foot rest, and Mazdaspeed scuff plates.
|Aboard, the Speed3 is not a far cry from what you get in a typical 3 GT. (Photo: Sébastien D'Amour/Auto123.com)