Mazda is finally attempting to move the Mazda 3 into hot-hatch territory, but Mazdaspeed isn’t coming back

Rumors of a performance-oriented Mazda 3 have finally been confirmed via a teaser released by the company. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot to tell at the moment, but you can hear some engine noise, and we’ve learned that it will debut on July 8. Will the Mazda 3 Turbo be a real hot hatch capable of taking on the Volkswagen Golf GTI, Hyundai Veloster, Toyota GR Corolla, and the Honda Civic Type R? And, will the Mazdaspeed name finally make a return? Let’s talk a little more about it.

Mazda 3 Turbo – What to Expect

First and foremost, we have some good news and bad news. The good news is that we’re finally going to have access to a turbocharged Mazda 3, and it will send power to all four wheels. The bad news? The latest rumors peg it as only being available with an automatic transmission. It seems like a waste to me, but maybe Mazda has an extra trick up its sleeve that we don’t know about yet.

What Engine Will Power The Mazda 3 Turbo?

A Mazda 3 Turbo Is Coming, But It Probably Won't Be As Good As It Could Be Wallpaper quality Exterior
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As for the engine, we have no confirmation of what it could be. Chances are it won’t be the same drivetrain found in the Mazda 3 race car used in the TCR-sanctioned championship races. The more likely candidate is the Mazda CX-5’s 2.5-liter Skyactiv-G. In the CX-5, it produces 250 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque, so it’s not exactly a slouch, but it’s likely Mazda will do some tweaking to make the Mazda 3 turbo a little more powerful. After all, it needs to compete with the VW Golf GTI, Toyota GR Corolla, Honda Civic Type R, and the Hyundai Veloster at the very least. Coming into the party this late means you better come prepared.

2016 Mazda CX-5 Drivetrain
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We’re guessing the Mazda 3 Turbo will deliver closer to 300 horsepower and 370 pound-feet of torque. Those would be amazing figures when you consider that the base model delivers just 186 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque. It would also give the chance to hold its own against the 201-horsepower Veloster turbo and maybe even the 306-horsepower Civic Type R. It would give it a considerable boost over the new Golf GTI, and it’s 241 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque.

Is Mazdaspeed Making a Comeback?

2010 Mazdaspeed3 High Resolution Exterior
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Gone are the times when the “Mazdaspeed” name actually existed as a sort of performance sub-brand. There is a Mazda 3 Speed available in the Philippines, but that’s as close as the world has, and Mazda claims a Mazdaspeed revival just isn’t in the cards. However, there’s only so much in a name, and if Mazda is taking the time to build a performance-oriented Mazda 3 Hatchback in a time when cars are slowly dying off, you can bet it’s probably going to do it right.

Final Thoughts

A Mazda 3 Turbo Is Coming, But It Probably Won't Be As Good As It Could Be
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I have to admit that it’s great to hear that Mazda is finally going to inject some personality into the Mazda 3. The hatchback, specifically, has carried the aggressive look of a hot hatch for quite a while now, but its subpar power output has left a lot to be desired. By nearly doubling power output, improving driving dynamics, and actually competing in the hot hatch market, Mazda could find some extra success. Then again, the company is arriving very late to the party and, with car sales being what they are today, has an uphill battle to fight if the Mazda 3 Turbo is going to be worth the time and effort put into developing it.

Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topsped.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read More
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