Mazda has finally added a turbocharger.
We knew it was coming after Mazda's Mexico division spilled the beans but the turbocharged Mazda3 we've all been waiting for has finally arrived. Dubbed the Mazda3 2.5 Turbo, the 2021 Mazda3 Sedan and 2021 Mazda3 Hatchback will both be available with the same turbocharged Skyactiv-G 2.5T engine found in the larger Mazda6 sedan, CX-5, and CX-9. And there's some good news about the engine's output.
Reports indicated that the turbocharged 3 would produce 227 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. These numbers may be accurate with 87 octane fuel but if you feed it the premium 93 octane stuff, the output increases to 250 hp and 320 lb-ft of torque. All of this grunt still goes out through a six-speed automatic transmission to Mazda's i-Activ all-wheel-drive system. Unfortunately, no major handling improvements have been made, so this is not the return of the MazdaSpeed3 that enthusiasts were hoping for. A manual transmission is also unavailable with the turbocharged engine.
No pricing information has been given for the Mazda3 2.5 Turbo yet but the turbocharged engine will certainly carry a premium over the regular 2.5-liter Skyactiv-G engine, which sends 186 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque out to FWD or AWD. Mazda will also add a new 2.0-liter engine to the mix, sending 155 hp and 150 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels only. The 2.0-liter engine will act as the base powertrain and should undercut the current base price of $21,500 for the sedan and $23,700 for the hatchback.
The 2.5 Turbo will be the more premium option and come well-equipped with Bose audio, a larger 8.8-inch display, and keyless entry. This model will also gain access to exclusive features such as a heated steering wheel with paddle shifters, a frameless rearview mirror, and chrome finishes around the push-button start and glovebox.
The 2021 Mazda3 2.5 Turbo will be differentiated via larger tailpipes, 18-inch black wheels, gloss black door mirrors, and "TURBO" badges on the trunk and engine cover. If you opt for the Mazda3 2.5 Turbo sedan, it also receives a gloss black front grille and lower front bumper decoration. Only two, shadowy images of the model have been revealed so far.
Both of the turbocharged models can be equipped with the Premium Plus Package, which adds a gloss black rear lip spoiler for the sedan and a gloss black rear roof spoiler and front air dam for the hatchback. This package also adds smart rear brake support, a 360-degree camera, steering functions for the Traffic Jam Assist, adaptive front lighting, navigation, and leather.
Mazda says the naturally aspirated 2021 Mazda3 offerings will arrive in dealerships next month while the turbocharged variants will come by the end of 2020. Pricing will be revealed before the cars arrive in showrooms.