The MS3 isn't magic. It's a "big engine, little car" situation where the turbo wasn't drastically undersized by the manufacturer. Of course it's quick, and has the potential for real speed with few mods.
My 89 Mirage turbo had a 1.6 liter with a tiny TD04-9b turbo, no IC, and 9 psi of boost for a whopping 135hp. I switched that out with a TD05-14b from a DSM, 450 injectors, and a stock DSM sidemount IC. Then the boost was set to 16 psi. The results? Wheelspin from a 60 roll. It sure was fun
The car went on to get a 2.0 DSM swap and a 20g turbo, trapping over 120 mph for the new owner. Mazda has done nothing new - they were just the first to bring it back.
Hyundai's new turbo coupe should be interesting too -- all the horsepower potential plus RWD traction, all for $20k.