Could this be the Golf GTI rival we've been craving?
After years of begging Mazda to bring back its high-performance lineup of MazdaSpeed vehicles, it looks like the Japanese automaker may finally be ready to introduce a faster version of the Mazda3. But it might not be exactly what we were hoping for. Dealership codes for the 2021 Mazda3 Hatchback and 2021 Mazda 3 Sedan that were obtained by Jalopnik reportedly show the option for a turbocharged model with all-wheel-drive as the only drivetrain option.
This is not the first instance of internal Mazda dealership documents being leaked out, with the previous occasion confirming the arrival of the CX-5 diesel. The latest screenshots from Mazda's dealer system specifically show a "MAZDA3 HB PP TURBO," which is likely referring to a hatchback (HB) Preferred Package or Premium Package (PP).
Both the turbocharged Mazda3 models are listed with a "6A," likely referring to a six-speed automatic transmission as the only transmission option. There go any dreams for a turbocharged, manual GTI rival from Mazda. It looks like the only way to get a manual transmission on the Mazda3 will be on the front-wheel-drive hatchback with the 2.5-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder.
Other pieces of new information on the leaked document include a new 2.0-liter base engine, which will likely produce less than the current 2.5-liter mill's 186 horsepower rating, and a 2.5-liter base hatchback model with cloth seats. We expect the new 2.5-liter turbocharged engine to produce the same 250 hp and 320 lb-ft of torque found in the Mazda6 and CX-5 when run on premium gasoline.
Mazda will also introduce an Anniversary Edition on the turbocharged hatchback model, which will be painted in Snowflake White Pearl with a contrasting red interior. The same Anniversary Edition treatment will also be given to the 2021 CX-5. Arriving alongside the Anniversary Editions, Mazda will also introduce a Carbon Edition of the CX-5, CX-9, and Mazda6 for the 2021 model year. We imagine the Carbon Edition models will likely feature dark paint schemes with dark accents.
While a turbocharged Mazda3 sounds great, the lack of a manual gearbox and the likelihood of the model not receiving special suspension put paid to the notion of a GTI-rivaling hot hatch, but with an already performance-inclined chassis, we won't be complaining.