2021 Mazda 3 Turbo Specs Blown Out of the Corporate Wastegate Early
The most powerful Mazda 3 variant will make 227 hp and come with all-wheel drive.
It looks like Mazda Mexico let the brand's upcoming turbocharged 3 out of the bag a wee bit early. Originally slated for a July 8 reveal (according to a teaser Mazda released a few weeks back), the latest addition to the Mazda 3 family had the wraps formally pulled off of it over the weekend in a video posted to Mazda Mexico's YouTube channel and hosted by Miguel Barbeyto, the president of Mazda's Mexican arm.
Per Barbeyto, the most powerful variant of the Japanese brand's compact model boasts a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder under its hood. It's almost certainly a familiar engine to Mazda fans, as a turbocharged 2.5-liter unit is already available in models such as the CX-5 and CX-9 crossover SUVs, as well as the 6 sedan. As in those Mazdas, the 3's new forced-induction four-pot packs 227 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque (likely rising to 250 horses and 320 lb-ft of twist on 93 octane) and a six-speed automatic transmission. Better yet, the engine pairs exclusively with all-wheel drive (the 6 is front-drive only, while the CX-9 offers all-wheel drive as an option).
Sadly, a manual transmission is not on the menu. Well, at least in Mexico. It's possible—although doubtful—the car will offer a stick in the United States. That said, we expect the U.S.-spec turbocharged 3 to be offered in the same Grand Touring and Signature trim levels Mazda will sell in Mexico. Both are new to the model and may signal Mazda's adoption of formal trim levels for the 2021 3 (Mazda currently sells the compact sedan and hatch with various packages instead).
However they're packaged, as in other Mazda products, look for the turbo 3's versions to favor comfort and luxury over all-out performance. Expect a long list of standard features, as well as richer materials such as microsuede and real wood trim inside the top-of-the-line Signature.
For better or worse, it appears the upcoming Mazda 3 turbo is not the revival of the long-dead Mazdaspeed 3. Still, the upcoming model's additional grunt, upscale trimmings, and standard all-wheel drive may prove tantalizing enough to convince a few compact-car buyers to walk past the new Volkswagen Golf GTI or Honda Civic Sport and into the driver's seat of a 3.