A couple of weeks ago we were given fresh hope that Mazda might once again use a rotary engine in a performance car context thanks to some patents depicting a rear-wheel drive hybrid Wankel sports car. While we wait to see if these plans come to fruition, someone is beating the Japanese manufacturer to the punch with a heavily modified Mazda 3 hatchback.
That person is ‘Mad Mike’ Whiddett, the pro drifter well known for throwing shapes in various Mazdas. For the 100th running of the Pikes Peak International Hillclimb this year, he’ll be brapping his way up the 12.42-mile ‘The Race to the Clouds’ in a rear-wheel drive-converted 3 powered by a four-rotor engine.
The powerplant will be good for a monstrous 1200bhp and breathe out of a quartet of exhaust pipes poking through the bonnet - an arrangement Whiddett has used before. Despite the outrageous performance on offer, it’ll still be practical(ish), with four seats. So, as Mike pointed out in an Instagram post announcing the car, that means four seats, four doors and four rotors. Neat.
That’s about all we know for now, although from the many decals on the render, we can get an idea of the companies that might be supplying parts for the. Names include Garrett (turbocharger), KW (dampers) and Haltech (ECU). There’s also no missing those Rays wheels and the prominently branded Toyo tyres.
Mad Mike will undoubtedly divulge more about the car ahead of its Pikes Peak run on 26 June. In the meantime, to give you a taste of what the 3 might be like, here’s Mike smoking his way up the Goodwood Festival of Speed hill climb a few years ago in a 1200bhp four-rotor ND MX-5.