It's sad news but not entirely unexpected: According to a Motoring interview, Mazda doesn't intend to build high-performance versions of the latest Mazda3 and Mazda6. Instead, it will wait for the next generations of those cars to arrive before applying the Mazdaspeed treatment. When the future performance models do eventually arrive, expect them to take a step upmarket compared to the last ones.

In the meantime, the Japanese brand will focus its engineering resources on the next-generation Skyactiv engine family, according to Mazda's North American operations president and CEO Masahiro Moro.

"Our research and development department is 100 percent focused on delivering Skyactiv generation two and if we don't have this we don't have any other derivatives," Moro told Motoring. Once the new engines arrive around 2017, Mazda's engineers can start to develop performance versions. "MPS or performance model or a sort of iconic model of the future will be a little bit later at this stage," Moro said.

Moro is already thinking about the direction for the future performance vehicles. He calls the previous Mazdaspeed3 "childish" and thinks it's time to go a different way. "Mazda brand has become more mature, more upscale, more sophisticated, and we have a new transition of the brand to relate that direction," he said.

Rumors last year suggested that Mazda might introduce a new Mazdaspeed3 (speculative rendering above) as a concept at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show. It would have reportedly used the CX-9's 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder tuned to 295 horsepower and an all-wheel-drive powertrain. The vehicle never appeared, though.

The current Mazda3 and Mazda6 arrived in 2014, so a new generation of each wouldn't arrive until around 2020. That would put Mazdaspeed derivatives at 2021 or later. In short, it will be a while.

For customers that have the Driving Matters attitude now, Mazda still offers the award-winning MX-5 Miata as a convertible and soon with an impressive folding hardtop. Plus, Fiat will sell its own versions of the car with 160 hp. We wouldn't mind if Mazda turned up the heat a little by introducing something like the Racing concept from last year's Tokyo Auto Salon, though.

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