For my year-round daily driver, I prefer an automatic. It used to be that you paid a mileage penalty for the automatic, but now it seems to have gone the other way around, making the decision even easier.
My vote is for the 2.5 turbo and maybe put that into my CX-5 with a piggy back controller.
If they can get a turbo on the 2.0 or even 2.5 and throw in the CX 5's lightweigt AWD system that car will be PURE win and kill the competitors in that segment.
It will go directly at mercedes CLA, BMW 1/2 series, WRX, EVO, Audi A3/S3.
Mazda has a legit chance of really being dominant in this market.
Their built quality, handling and driving feel is up there. If they can offer all the features of the 2.5s mazda 3 with a turbo at around 35K loaded this car will be the segment leader.
If they dont throw in the AWD, it will not be so good.
I'm thinking we'll get a variant of the 2.2L turbodiesel that Mazda's been racing in the Rolex Grand-Am GX . They managed to get 400 HP out of it, we'll probably get somewhere between 200 and 300 HP for longevity's sake. AWD would be a nice addition.
There's got to be a reason they're putting money into racing the engine. I smell a Mazdaspeed car in the making. Or maybe that's just diesel fumes.
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If they can increase the rev's on a 2.0 Sky-G to 200 hp, why can they not do the same withe the 2.5 Sky-G for 240 hp being put down at all four wheels. The AWD is necessary to lay down the power without deal-breaking torque steer, and would be easily more cost effective than and LSD transaxle. Even then, it won't be an easy sell at $35k, but there will be takers. The diesel will never see Speed 3 engine bay. Mazda will only be able to certify a 175 hp version in the US, and only if they can redesign the DPF to work without diesel contamination or surrender to urea aftertreatment in the US, lest they risk significant exposure to lemon law repurchases, which they don't have to worry about in Australia, Italy, Japan, Italy, etc.
I think the diesel is more likely. And, since it's a twin-turbo, might be more accepted by the MazdaSpeed fans.
I think N/A is the way to go, but if they rev it high enough, with the right cam profile and such they should be able to get better than 200 HP, maybe 220. The 2.5 should easily get 250.
I still think the best bet is to go with the 2.2L turbodiesel, somewhere around 250-300 HP and monstrous amounts of torque.
From the rumor mill (and down-under)
The next generation Mazda3 MPS looks set to get four-wheel-drive traction and a new turbocharged engine that could give it additional firepower against class leaders such as the Volkswagen Golf GTI and the incoming Subaru WRX.
While Mazda is refusing to go into details about the new performance hero of the Mazda3 small car - or, indeed, if a program has even begun - senior executives admit there is keen interest.
Considering the popularity of performance cars in Australia and a renewed interest in smaller versions it would me more of a surprise if a Mazda3 didn't appear.
"It's difficult to answer," said Mazda3 deputy program manager Takeo Mariuchi when asked when we could expect to see a sporty MPS version of the popular small hatch and sedan.
Mazda Australia managing director Martin Benders said an MPS is definitely of interest.
"It's still on our radar and the factory is still sort of considering it," said Benders.
"The priority is to get all the base cars rolled out and set up and worry about the speciality models going forward."
The turbocharged MPS has always driven the front wheels and has been criticised for steering wheel tug, or torque steer, under acceleration. Sending the power to all four wheels - as was the case in the previous generation Mazda6 MPS - would eliminate this and also provide better traction, for improved performance.
Moriuchi said now that the new 3 shares its underpinnings with the CX-5 SUV it opened the door for a 4WD version.
"From a technical point of view itís not difficult to install a four-wheel-drive system," he told Drive.
Four-cylinder performance models have evolved substantially in the last five years.
As well as speciality pocket rockets such as the limited volume Ford Focus RS there have been higher output models such as the Volkswagen Golf R.
And Mercedes-Benz recently reset the four-cylinder benchmark with its A45 AMG that combines the world's most powerful four-cylinder with a four-wheel-drive system to give it performance that can embarrass more accomplish sports cars.
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The main problem with the Skyactiv-G engines and forced induction is the all of the lightening they did with the rotating assembly. Compression isn't as big of an issue with direct injection. Just look how well the Toyobaru triplets are doing with boost. They are making more torque than horsepower with those F20s. It would just need the 12:1 compression since it won't use the 4-2-1 manifold.
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