Mazda's new Mazda3 TCR race car is the Mazdaspeed3 we really need

With a lower, wider stance and a relatively sane engine, this thing is just close enough to a road car to make us crazy.

Kyle Hyatt Former news and features editor
Kyle Hyatt (he/him/his) hails originally from the Pacific Northwest, but has long called Los Angeles home. He's had a lifelong obsession with cars and motorcycles (both old and new).
Kyle Hyatt
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This bad boi looks like it's just a hop, skip and a jump away from being the next Mazdaspeed3.

Kyle Hyatt/Roadshow

Mazda built a large part of its reputation on the back of its racing efforts, and while it's maybe best known for its wild rotary-powered cars from the 1980s and '90s, it's also involved in all kinds of piston-powered series -- the latest of which was unveiled on Tuesday and is called TCR.

The thing about TCR is that its rules specify that cars in the series be three or four-door hatchbacks or sedans powered by turbocharged four-cylinder engines and of course, Mazda didn't really have any of those laying around. Thankfully, it's an industrious little company, so it cooked one up, and the end result is stunning.

The TCR race car looks, at first glance, like a rowdy version of the already gorgeous production Mazda3 hatchback. The most significant visual changes are the extreme widening of the front and rear fenders, and of course the series-spec wing and front splitter. The front fenders, hood and fascia are all new, while the other body panels get some flares and so on tacked on.

"The Mazda3 features the outstanding design and engineering that Mazda is known for, and because of that, it is a fantastic foundation for our new Mazda3 TCR," said John Doonan, director of Mazda Motorsports, in a statement.

The thing about the TCR is that it honestly looks like it could be the next Mazdaspeed3, apart from the ma-hooooosive rear wing and maybe the super-gorgeous-but-wicked-expensive 18x10-inch Volk Racing wheels. The reality is that it's not that much more extreme-looking than the last STi wagon.

Mazda Motorsports was relatively light on the car's technical details, but we do know that it'll produce around 350 horsepower and feature a paddle-shifted transmission.

"Some of our most important successes in IMSA and SRO TC Americas have been thanks to dedicated customers who chose to race with Mazda, and we hope the next generation of Mazda racers see the same potential in the Mazda3 TCR," said Masahiro Moro, CEO of Mazda USA.

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The Mazda3 TCR race car is too good looking for its own good

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