2021 Mazda3 Turbo packs 250 hp, 320 lb-ft and AWD

Mazda says the Turbo gets a “sleek lower front bumper decoration,” which you can kind of see here.


Mazda

Mazda finally dished all the details about the new Mazda3 Turbo on Wednesday (though it couldn’t be bothered to release more than two shadowy photos, so we apologize for the had-to-brighten-these-in-Photoshop images — they’re all we have for now). No, it’s not exactly the proper Mazdaspeed3 replacement we’ve been hoping for, but even so, it sure sounds like this thing will be great.

At the heart of the Mazda3 Turbo is the company’s 2.5-liter I4 engine, the same one you’ll find in the Mazda6 sedan and the CX-5 and CX-9 SUVs. Here, it’s tuned to produce 250 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque — if you run 93-octane fuel, anyway. Fill your Mazda3 up with regular ol’ 87, and those figures drop to 227 hp and 310 lb-ft. Those lower-output numbers were confirmed in a video from Mazda Mexico earlier this week.

The turbo engine is exclusively paired with the company’s i-Activ all-wheel-drive system. If you were hoping for a manual transmission option, you’re out of luck, and it’s unclear if Mazda made any suspension tweaks for the turbo model. In other words, while this more powerful engine is definitely welcome, don’t think of this as a proper Mazdaspeed variant.

Hey, buddy, get out of the way!


Mazda

Both the Mazda3 sedan and hatchback will be available with turbo power. Mazda says the 2.5T models will have 18-inch wheels, larger tailpipes, a “turbo” badge on the trunk, LED headlights and a “sleek lower front bumper decoration.” After altering the photo Mazda sent us, we can kind of see that slightly different lower front lip.

The turbo engine will only be available on the Mazda3’s highest Premium trim, which means it’ll be fully loaded with things like a heated steering wheel, a power sunroof and Mazda’s 8.8-inch multimedia display, with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a Wi-Fi hotspot. The company’s i-Activsense safety suite will be included, as well, with things like automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist. Opt for the Premium Plus package and you’ll gain leather seats and embedded navigation.

Given how good the nonturbo Mazda3 is to drive, we’re expecting great things from this more powerful version. But fair warning: It’s not going to be cheap. A 2020 Mazda3 Premium hatchback with AWD comes in at $29,845 (including $945 for destination). Assume the turbo engine adds a couple thousand on top of that, and our best guess is that one of these will cost around $33,000 before you add the Plus pack. Mazda says it’ll release official pricing information in the coming months, and the turbo models are expected to arrive in dealerships before the end of the year.

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