Mazda3 TCR Race Car Program Axed Due To Coronavirus Pandemic

Before the turbocharged Mazda3 was born, the Hiroshima-based automaker teased the world with a hotter version of the compact hatchback – the Mazda3 TCR. As

its name implies, the force-inducted Mazda3 is meant to race at TCR-sanctioned championships around the world, starting with the four-hour Endurance Challenge part of the Rolex 24 at Daytona. It's scheduled to take part in the 2020 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge.

But as we know, that didn't happen, and a recent report confirms that the Mazda3 race program won't come to fruition at all.

Gallery: 2020 Mazda3 TCR

The report came from Grassroots Motorsports, Mazda USA’s Director, Communications & Experiential Marketing Emily Taylor giving the confirmation to the publication last August 11, 2020.

Taylor said, "Given the recent conditions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) has elected to cancel the development program for the Mazda3 TCR car. We thank all our fans and partners for their continued support for Mazda Motorsports."

This news is quite understandable, though. The coronavirus pandemic has huge adverse effects in the automotive industry, with automakers either optimizing their lineups or worse, axing names completely.

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Nevertheless, at least the U.S. and other markets get a turbocharged road-going Mazda3. Fed by 87-octane fuel, the 2.5-liter turbo four-banger makes 227 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque (420 Newton-meters) of torque. On 93 octane, however, it can produce up to 250 hp (186 hp) and 320 lb-ft (434 Nm). Power is sent to all four wheels via an automatic gearbox.

The 2021 Mazda3 2.5T will arrive at U.S. dealers by the end of this year. The sedan version starts at $29,900, while the hatchback counterpart will be a bit pricier at $30,900.

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