Well, there goes competing with the Volkswagen Golf R or the Honda Civic Type R

At the end of June, we broke the news that a turbocharged Mazda 3 was in the works and, while we knew it would lead to a Mazdaspeed revival, we thought it would at least have some performance chops. Unfortunately, thanks to a video posted by Mazda Mexico, we know that isn’t the case at all, and the Mazda3 turbo will be little more than a range-topping hatch will a little bit of daily-driving power. Talk about dropping the ball, huh?

Mazda 3 Turbo Power Figures Revealed – Skip to 5:47

Sadly, The Mazda 3 Turbo is About Daily Drivability, Not Performance

Mazda 3 Turbo Power Figures Unveiled, And It's Disappointing As Hell
- image 917974

When we first broke the news that a turbocharged Mazda 3 was in the works, we speculated that Mazda would be aiming to compete with the Honda Civic Type R, Hyundai Veloster Turbo, and even the Volkswagen Type R. Unfortunately, we were only partially right, and by right, I mean that the best you’ll get is a competitor for the Veloster Turbo, and that’s if you’re lucky.

In the video that you see above, if you skip to 5:47, you’ll see that the Mazda 3 turbo will boast 227 horsepower (170kW) and 310 pound-feet (420Nm) of torque from a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-banger. That four-banger happens to be a dead ringer for the same engine found in the Mazda CX-9, CX-5, and Mazda 6 in some markets. Power will be passed through a six-speed automatic and eventually to all four wheels. Unfortunately, it looks like a six-speed manual is also out of the question.

Mazda 3 Turbo Power Figures Unveiled, And It's Disappointing As Hell
- image 917969

So, what do these figures mean? Well, it damn sure won’t be going up against the Honda Civic Type R and its 306 Horsepower or 295 pound-feet of torque, and even the Volkswagen Golf GTI will best it in the horsepower department with 241 ponies. The turbo Mazda 3 will deliver some impressive torque that beats both of these models, but I wouldn’t expect it to stand a chance against either unless it sheds some considerable weight. In terms of improvement over the standard model, we’re looking at an improvement of just 41 horsepower and 124 pound-feet.

I must take the time to give credit to Mazda for making a decent improvement over the standard Mazda 3 – that improvement of 124 pound-feet of torque is nothing to sneeze at, but it seems pretty clear that Mazda isn’t interested in actually competing with other hot hatches on the market. It seems that the Mazda 3 turbo is more about catering to people that want a little more. Does it go along with Mazda’s tagline “power comes to those who wait”? No, it really doesn’t. On that note, the video posted by Mazda Mexico also tells us that the Mazda 3 Turbo won’t look all that different either. It’ll be a range-topping model, so it might have a few bits that stand out here and there, but don’t expect it to look too extreme.

Mazda 3 Turbo Power Figures Unveiled, And It's Disappointing As Hell
- image 917975

At this point, we can only hope that the Mazda 3 Turbo is at least more fun to drive than the models that sit below it. That extra power and torque should be good for something, and some spirited driving might be possible, but I have a feeling that it will leave us wanting more – especially if you were around to enjoy the Mazdaspeed days.

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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