Mazda has taken the wraps off its new TCR contender ahead of the car’s debut in the 2020 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge season.
Announced Tuesday evening, the Mazda3 TCR ends months, if not years, of speculation that the Japanese manufacturer would enter the global touring car ranks with a hatchback version of its fastest-selling Mazda3.
Developed and supported by Long Road Racing, the manufacturer of Mazda’s Global MX-5 Cup car, the Mazda3 TCR features a 350-horsepower turbocharged, 4-cylinder engine and six-speed paddle-shift transmission.
The car features the latest iteration of the brand’s signature Kodo “Soul of Motion” design language, with all design work having been completed at Mazda Design America in Irvine, Calif.
Per series rules, the car is homologated to compete in any of the 36 TCR-sanctioned championships worldwide.
“TCR represents a great opportunity for us to showcase the new Mazda3 and provide our customers another avenue to race Mazda vehicles,” said Masahiro Moro, Chairman and CEO, Mazda North American Operations.
“Some of our most important successes in IMSA and SRO TC Americas have been thanks to dedicated customers who chose to race with Mazda, and we hope the next generation of Mazda racers see the same potential in the Mazda3 TCR.”
Customer teams have not yet been announced, although Bryan Ortiz, the 2019 Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich champion, has been named the first driver of the Mazda3 TCR.
“The Mazda3 features the outstanding design and engineering that Mazda is known for, and because of that, it is a fantastic foundation for our new Mazda3 TCR,” said Mazda Motorsports director John Doonan.
“We have looked forward to returning to the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge for several seasons, and everyone at Mazda is very excited that we will do just that in 2020.
“We are eagerly anticipating success for the Mazda3 TCR in IMSA, SRO Americas and in TCR championships around the world.”