Ever since the Mazda3 ‘hatchback’ was transformed into a ‘sportback’, we can’t help but think that the all-new 2020 model with its chunky c-pillar kinda looks like a shoe. There. I said it. Are you happy now? But thanks to their Mazda Motorsports division, we strongly believe that the Mazda3 is now a looker after it was reworked for TCR race duty.
Developed by Long Road Racing, the same people behind the Global MX-5 Cup car, the Mazda3 TCR is lower, wider, and a whole lot faster than its road-going counterpart. And they did it without deviating from the brand’s ‘Kodo – Soul of Motion’ design language.
Those subtle but oversized fender flares are able to house massive 10-inch wide slicks, while the huge front splitter and rear wing combo helps keep it glued to the road. All four corners are then supported by Billstein coilovers and Brembo brakes.
The stock engine has also been swapped out with a race-spec turbocharged inline-4, one that produces 350 hp and 490 Nm of torque so it could keep up with the rest of the TCR grid. Meanwhile, a SADEV 6-speed sequential box w/ paddle shifters sends the power down to the front wheels.
Once they’re done with testing, the Mazda3 TCR is scheduled to make its competitive debut in early 2020 at the IMSA Michelin Pilot Spot Challenge. But ultimately, their main goal is to go up against the likes of Alfa Romeo, Audi, Honda, Hyundai, and VW in any of the TCR-sanctioned championships around the world through some sort of customer racing program. We’re also keeping our fingers crossed that Mazda Motorsports will have the budget to run a factory-backed entry in the WTCR.