Mazda3: Turbocharged engine and AWD coming soon
It is clear that Mazda has taken a premium turn in regards to design, quality, and model range during the past years. At the same time, the Japanese automaker is tied with the “zoom-zoom” philosophy – the Mazda MX-5/Miata is hands down one of the most driver-oriented models in the market. But what about a hot hatch?
The current generation of the Mazda3 was unveiled at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show and stunned everyone with its design. Since then, the model has been exclusively offered with naturally-aspirated engines, leaving room for speculation. After all, the last true hot hatch from the company was the Mazda 3 MPS (BL) which went out of production in 2013, phasing out the turbocharged 2.2-litre engine that produced 191kw (260hp).
Fast forward to 2020, the new flagship of the range will be available as a 5-door hatchback and as a 4-door sedan. Under the bonnet there is a good chance we areiare going to see the turbocharged four-cylinder 2.5-litre producing 231 PS / 170 kW of power and 420 Nm of torque which is already available in the Mazda6, CX-5 and CX-9. Power will be sent to all four wheels through a six-speed automatic gearbox offering more than adequate performance figures.
If you want our guess, the most powerful version in the Mazda3 range will be a gentleman’s warm hatch with a character close to grand tourers. Mazda doesn’t seem interested to compete with the likes of Hyundai i30N, Ford Focus ST, Renault Megane RS or even Volkswagen Golf GTI, something that would be fitting to an old-school MPS version. In that context, the hot Mazda3 will probably get subtle design tweaks (if any), and it is highly unlikely that it will look like the ultra-aggresive Mazda3 TCR racecar you see in the pictures accompanying the article.
Having said that, we would love to see some suspension and steering modifications to enhance the driving dynamics of the Mazda3 which is already one of the best driving cars in its segment.
We don’t know if the new Mazda3 derivative will reach Europe or Australia, but it is definitely going to be offered in the US market as a 2021 model. Until we hear more about their new offering, you can check out all of Mazda’s hot hatches here.