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Listen to this screaming rotary powered Mazda 3

Heard the one about the 630bhp Wankel hillclimb hatch? You will once the video starts

This, boys and girls, is a video of a Mazda 3. And not even the latest 3. But before you tut loudly, conclude “Top Gear’s lost it” and move on elsewhere, this is a Mazda 3 with 630bhp. From a rotary engine…

Rotaries are a Mazda ‘thing’, of course, and like other Wankel-powered cars – like this Mazda RX-8 rally car, in fact – it sounds the absolute business. Speakers on, then. Probably headphones in, too, if you work in a quiet office.

The car itself looks fantastic, too, a plain family hatch transformed very successfully into a mad, ground-hugging hillclimb car. With rear-wheel drive and a penchant for spitting flames.

Hillclimbing might just be the best form of motorsport for truly absurd vehicles. These are cars that have one-shot sprints up twisty mountain roads, so combine the utter madness of a drag car (no need for any real reliability or endurance, see) with the components needed for a car to actually go round corners.

This 3 – with around five times as much power as standard and a humongous wing and diffuser – is right up our street. Or, indeed, hill.

Volume up, remember…

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