Kota Beppu, program manager for the Mazda 3, has confirmed he is interested in creating a "hyper" version of the popular small car.
Unnamed insiders have told the magazine approval for the new variant is virtually a certainty. Indeed, the company's US research and development centre has reportedly developed a proof-of-concept vehicle.
In the crossover and family sedan the turbo motor generates 170kW of power and 420Nm of torque. For comparison's sake, the Volkswagen Golf GTI Performance has a 180kW/370Nm 2.0-litre turbo engine.
To overcome the engine's torque and the car's low mass, it's likely the hot hatch will employ all-wheel drive. All-wheel drive variants of the Mazda 3 have been available in certain markets past and present, like North America and Japan.
Should the hot Mazda 3 be given the green light, it's unclear what label it will be given. The last turbo Mazda 3 was sold as the MPS (above) in Australia and Europe, and as a Mazdaspeed model in other markets.
Unlike that car, Beppu thinks any new Mazda 3 hot hatch should be both fast and "more friendly than a Golf GTI".