The 2010 Mazda Mazdaspeed 3 is a pre-tuned hot hatch that first appeared in a downloadable car pack for Forza Motorsport 3. Since then, it has appeared in all subsequent main releases of the Forza series with the exception of Forza Horizon.
The Mazdaspeed 3 is a performance model tuned by Mazda's performance division Mazdaspeed. The 2010 model replaces the 2009 model from the first generation, codenamed BK. Being part of the second generation Mazda 3, codenamed BL, the 2010 model adopted Mazda's Nagare design language. Production of the Mazdaspeed 3 lasted until 2013, although it has not been replaced by a newer model.
For 2010, the much-loved Mazdaspeed 3 both changes and stays the same. What’s different is the revised sheetmetal that brings a distinctive trapezoidal grille to the entire Mazda 3 range as part of the new “Nagare” design language—although in the Mazdaspeed version, the 3 gains a large hoodscoop to keep the intercooler cool. As you would expect, the Mazdaspeed 3 comes with stiffer suspension than the normal version, as well as a new torque management system to deal with the twist produced by the 2.3-liter four cylinder that is turbocharged to the tune of 263 horsepower and 280 ft-lbs. of torque. The result is just a hint of torque-steer, although not nearly as much as there would be without the limited slip differential. Thanks to these technologies, the Mazdaspeed 3 is quick off the line, and pulls hard out of corners, almost as if it was equipped with all-wheel drive. It’s not; but for a front-driver with this much power on tap, the results are highly impressive. Also of note is the new boost gauge, an LED indicator vertically sandwiched between the tachometer and speedometer—just the kind of little sporting touch that Mazda is known for.
The 2010 Mazdaspeed 3 reuses the 2.3 litre inline-four turbocharged engine from its predecessor but with the same power and torque figures. The six-speed manual transmission was updated with longer gearing to allow a slightly higher top speed. Although the 2010 Mazdaspeed 3 gained 68 lb (31 kg), it features improved handling characteristics due to upgraded suspension components, making it less prone to torque steering than before.
The 2010 Mazdaspeed 3 features noticeably more power than other front-wheel drive hot hatches, which allows the car to go from 0 to 60 mph in under six seconds and reach a top speed of 158 mph (254 km/h). The engine provides plenty of pull as evident by a torque rating of 280 ft·lb (380 Nm), although this also affects the car's cornering abilties due to an increased probability of understeer.
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