Someone intrigued by the discrepancy between the power and the torque figures from the leaked specifications of the new Mazda 3 Turbo now has an answer: if you fill it with the right gas, it will increase up to 250 horsepower. This makes it not only a real bargain, but very competitive in the hatch market.
With 87 octane gasoline, the new 2.5-liter Mazda 3 turbo will produce up to 227 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. If you refuel with 93 octane, the same engine can deliver up to 250 hp and 320 lb-ft of torque – a dozen horses short of the original Mazdaspeed 3.
The turbo 3 will only be available with all-wheel drive and a six-speed automatic transmission, which is somewhat disappointing. While the “Turbo” will be its asset in the range, it will essentially be supplied with the same equipment as the current “Premium Package”.
The mysterious “PP” option of the leaked dealer guide that we published a few months ago, in fact, turned out to be a “Premium Plus” option, which adds leather seats, Traffic Jam Assist, a 360-degree camera and automatic braking in reverse on top of the regular Turbo set-up
Aesthetically, the regular Turbo trim gets its own “Turbo” badge and shiny black mirrors, and the Premium Plus option adds a black lip spoiler on Turbo sedans or a front air dam and roof spoiler on the hatch.
Let’s see how the new Turbo accumulates:
- Power: 1.5-liter four-cylinder turbo with 180 hp and 177 lb torque.
- Price: $ 28,150
- Equipment: six-speed manual or CVT, standard front-wheel drive.
- MPG: 29/37/32
- Power: 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo with 250 HP and 260 lb-ft of torque.
- Price: $ 27,600
- Equipment: standard six-speed manual, standard front-wheel drive.
- MPG: 22/25/29
- Power: 2.0-liter in-line turbocharged engine with 241 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque.
- Price: $ 29,000 + (At the revelation of Mk. 8, VW said it expected a slight increase in prices compared to the current GTI, which starts at $ 28,595.)
- Equipment: six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic, standard front-wheel drive.
- MPG: fuel economy will be announced later, but the outgoing GTI currently gets 24/27/32
- Power: 1.6-liter 3-cylinder turbo with 269 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque.
- Price: the car starts at £ 29,995 in the European market and is not sold in the United States, but if it were, it would probably be priced around $ 30,000.
- Equipment: six-speed manual, standard all-wheel drive.
- MPG: to be announced, and frankly who knows!
Mazda 3 Turbo
- Power: 2.5-liter four-cylinder turbo with 250 HP and 320 lb-ft of torque.
- Price: The current naturally aspirated Premium Mazda 3 hatch with all-wheel drive starts at $ 28,900, so let’s assume the Turbo starts at $ 30,000 or higher. Prices will be announced later this year.
- Equipment: six-speed automatic only, standard all-wheel drive.
- MPG: the same engine as the Mazda 6 sedan is back on 26/23/31, so we’ll guess around here.
It was obvious enough to get into this slight comparison that the Mazda 3 Turbo would need enough extra to compensate for the unavailability of a manual, competing with some real old and new heavyweights.
As for Civic, I rated it as close to the Turbo as possible without going full $ 37,000 in Type R, which I don’t think will ever be Mazda 3’s money. At least hopefully. However, while the Type R has over 50 more horsepower, it has less torque than the Mazda 3 Turbo with 87 octane.
I didn’t make the Civic SI, which has 205 hp and 192 lb-ft of torque and starts at $ 25,200, because it’s not a sedan!
Unless you’re obsessed with saving fuel, compared to the rest of the pack, Civic is a toast. I like that it comes with a manual and I like it to be a Honda. But isn’t it nice to watch and be the slowest? It looks like Honda has a hole in their Civic lineup now.
The Veloster and GTI are impossible to overlook. They beat the Mazda 3 Turbo in saving the manuals and the new GTI has more power, but the Mazda has two aces in its sleeves. One is the all-wheel drive and the other is the torque.
There is a reason why this exciting new Turbo trim is packed with premium options. It’s the same reason the naturally aspirated Mazda 3 manual is even higher than the base model. While the market demands features like all-wheel drive, the features are also more expensive.
To make your car feel worth its weight, so to speak, and to minimize production complexity for a smaller automaker like Mazda, it’s best to group performance updates, like a manual transmission or all-wheel drive, with luxury items and increase the margin on each car sold. At least that’s what guys in suits think with millions of people. Literally the price we pay for “passionate” things.
Depending on the final price, an all-wheel drive Mazda 3 with the same power as the Veloster and front-wheel drive GTI should carve out a comfortable corner in the hatch market.
In addition, the new Mazda 3 Turbo also offers torque, a much greater torque than that of those two aspiring competitors. If this can translate into a driving experience, the new Mazda may hurt some feelings.
The only real competition that I think Mazda has to worry about is another sedan with all-wheel drive, similar power, at the same price – of course. While that may have been the Ford Focus ST in another life, Ford drove that car out of the country. However, Toyota has made fun of The Corolla in tune with GR is coming.
If it’s something like the Yaris GR-specific ones I’ve listed here – and reports claim it is – Mazda will have to lean harder on its premium and luxury proposals to keep the Turbo competitive. I can’t wait to drive every single car I have just mentioned, regardless of which is the best calculation rule.