Rumor: Turbocharged AWD Mazda3 for 2021 model year

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2014 Mazda3 S GT auto, 2008 MX5 6-speed
And will Mazda allow the 3 to be faster than everything else they offer?
 
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2014 Mazda3 S GT auto, 2008 MX5 6-speed
they can do it with FWD, but it just doesn't make sense to hamper the engine for FWD, mind as well go all out with the AWD.
Wait, isn't the Civic Type R FWD only? Doesn't that have north of 300 HP? If Honda can do it, so can Mazda!
 

sm1ke

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'18 CX-9 Signature
Power figures were leaked in Australia:

That's 227hp and 310tq. I like our chances of getting a tune for our 2.5t a lot better now.
:love: Bring it on Mazda. My CX-9 could use a tune in a year or two!

One thing I noticed is that the Mazda6 GT Reserve/Signature's 0-60 sprint time quoted in the article is wrong. They list it at 7.3s, which is the 0-60 time for the 2.5 NA. Mazda6 2.5T is closer to 6.4s.

Based off of specs from edmunds.com:
  • The Mazda6 with 2.5 NA has a curb weight of 3437 lbs, while the 2.5T version's curb weight is 3582 lbs, a 145 lb difference.
  • The CX-5 GT AWD has a curb weight of 3680 lbs, while the GT Reserve has a curb weight of 3825 lbs, also a 145 lb difference.
  • The Mazda3 AWD with 2.5 NA has a curb weight of 3250 lbs, so swapping the engine for the 2.5T should add about 150 lbs (based on the above specs), making the curb weight of the AWD 2.5T Mazda3 around 3400 lbs.
The CX-5 AWD GT Reserve has a 0-60 time of 6.3s. If the CX-5 GT Reserve can do 0-60 in 6.3 at 3825 lbs, the Mazda3 AWD with turbo weighing over 400 lbs less should be able to clock a sub six second 0-60.

I'm just speculating though. It'll come down to things like transmission tuning, tires, and other things that may be subject to change.

Here's a couple of screengrabs from the Mazda Mexico video posted in the article.

mmss1.JPG

mmss2.JPG


Looks like it will only come with the 6-speed auto, but it will have paddle shifters.

As far as pricing, Mazda Mexico pegs the Mazda3 Signature MSRP at about $23.9k USD after conversion. Mazda Mexico's MSRP for the CX-5 Signature is $26.9k after conversion, while MazdaUSA's MSRP for the CX-5 Signature is $38.3k. Based on that price difference, I would assume that MazdaUSA's MSRP pricing for the Mazda3 Signature will be around $35k.

Golf GTI Autobahn comes in at about $36.5k (228 hp and 260 ft-lb, but adds pano sunroof, park assist, DCC adaptive chassis control). Veloster N comes in around $27.6k (or $29.7k with the Performance Package that adds eLSD, variable exhaust valve system, summer tires, bigger brake rotors and bumps HP up to 275). Civic Type R comes in at $37k (306 hp and 295 ft-lb, 3120 lb curb weight and 0-60 in 5s). If Mazda prices the Mazda3 Signature at $35k, I think it will be a little too expensive. Let's hope it comes to market with a lower MSRP.
 
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2005 Mazda3
Wait, isn't the Civic Type R FWD only? Doesn't that have north of 300 HP? If Honda can do it, so can Mazda!
Torque delivery is micro-controlled(gimped during acceleration, controlled during turns, etc.), plus it has an LSD. It would ironically cost too much and be too much effort and just doesn't make sense when you can readily(since Mazda already built this platform to be AWD as well) distribute the torque more easily and effectively with available AWD.

It's also partially why the Mazda6 Signature isn't as fast as it should be with the 2.5 Turbo(despite the Mazda6 being lighter and lower/more aerodynamic than the CX5 signature, the CX5 Signature is faster, in big part because it can actually fully utilize the engine during acceleration off a straight line with AWD)... but I expect this to be faster than the Mazda 6, if Mazda engineered it right, they can utilize the low torque to push towards the back during acceleration.

And will Mazda allow the 3 to be faster than everything else they offer?
We don't know if it'll be as fast as the MX-5 or faster, but I'd say it'd be faster than the rest(other than the MX5) of the line up, making it at least the 2nd fastest.... Mazda definitely could* make it faster than the MX5 with this new drivetrain, but we'll only know once it hits the road... hopefully Mazda gives it a revamped gearing ratio for the transmission, making it more aggressive.
 
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2018 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring / Deep Crystal Blue / Sand leather
Honestly, I doubt this will be the car for you. This most likely will simply be the existing 2.5T with the 6 speed automatic in the AWD Mazda 3. This is not a hot hatch but a refined (signature) Mazda 3.
Yeah, I see your point. News has come out since your reply that it appears the 3 will simply get the 2.5T with the 6-speed automatic found in the CX-5/9 and 6.

I'm still holding out some hope for some kind of special tuning, but I know it's a VERY long shot and pretty much not going to happen. It'll be a very pleasant surprise though.

That said, I've had a Mazda 3 loaner vehicle while my car has been in for service and I actually really liked it. The thing with Mazda is that they make cars that drive and perform really well but they don't necessarily market them like other "hot" versions of cars on the market are despite having competitive handling feel and performance.

I think having a faster version of the already-great-handling 3 with AWD will still be a compelling option that I know I'll at least test drive. No manual is still a bummer though. I suppose we'll see for sure tomorrow, but I'm not holding out any hope for that.
 
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2018 CX-9 Sig
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2014 CX-5 GT
Yeah, I see your point. News has come out since your reply that it appears the 3 will simply get the 2.5T with the 6-speed automatic found in the CX-5/9 and 6.

I'm still holding out some hope for some kind of special tuning, but I know it's a VERY long shot and pretty much not going to happen. It'll be a very pleasant surprise though.

That said, I've had a Mazda 3 loaner vehicle while my car has been in for service and I actually really liked it. The thing with Mazda is that they make cars that drive and perform really well but they don't necessarily market them like other "hot" versions of cars on the market are despite having competitive handling feel and performance.

I think having a faster version of the already-great-handling 3 with AWD will still be a compelling option that I know I'll at least test drive. No manual is still a bummer though. I suppose we'll see for sure tomorrow, but I'm not holding out any hope for that.
Mazda is trying to make a "refined car". The CX-5 signature feels very refined for its class. Honestly, the 2.5NA Mazda 3 has that same feel. Putting the 2.5T into that car will give it the extra push when called upon. It will be a very nice car that will also appeal to the 40-50 aged crowd. Seeing that the CX-5 reserve is ~5K above the GT makes me think it will be 5K over the top of the line AWD Mazda 3 -so ~35K. That is a lot of change for a car with limited space.
 

Antoine

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Excellent analysis everyone, juicy stuff! (y)

Am I missing something or do we have an official name and release date yet?
 

sm1ke

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It's no longer a rumor! Also, it looks like both the sedan and hatch will be getting the AWD 2.5T 6A powertrain. Coming "Late 2020".

Exterior accents:
  • Black rear lip spoiler (Available on Sedan)
  • Black rear roof spoiler (Available on Hatchback)
  • 18-inch Black alloy wheels
  • Black power side mirrors
  • Black front air dam (Available on Hatchback)
Available tech:
  • Traffic Jam Assist
  • 360° View Monitor
 
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2020 CX5 Signature
Mazda Canada is saying a bit more about it, including pricing

 

sm1ke

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I'm just guessing, but I think the AWD 2.5T will not be exclusive to a trim level, which would be freakin' awesome. The Mazda3 has a different naming convention for trims/packages compared to the Miata, Mazda6, CX-3, CX-5, and CX-9. They call their trim levels Select Package, Preferred Package, and Premium Package (same as the CX-30). Since you can get AWD as an option on any of these trims for the Mazda3, and since they haven't stated that it is exclusive to a trim level, I think it's a fairly safe assumption to make. By comparison, the 2.5T is the only powertrain option on GT Reserve and Signature CX-5s and Mazda6s. Quoted from the website:

"The 2021 Mazda3 2.5 Turbo will deliver 250 hp and 320 lb-ft torque, coupled with our predictive i-Activ AWD®. All of which work in harmony to respond effortlessly to every impulse and make you feel something that no other car can."

The way it is written makes it sound like they will offer the 2.5T as an engine option on all trim levels of the Mazda3, with the only prerequisite being AWD (since they state that AWD is standard).

Right now this is just wishful thinking, but I think a sub $30k car that is AWD, does 0-60 in about 6s, handles well, has a bunch of safety tech, and an above average interior (for the segment) would be a great seller for Mazda.


EDIT: Just read up on Mazda Canada's info. An MSRP of $24.3-26.3k USD (before freight and PDE, taxes, title or additional fees) is much lower than I had expected.
 
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2020 CX5 Signature
I'm just guessing, but I think the AWD 2.5T will not be exclusive to a trim level, which would be freakin' awesome. The Mazda3 has a different naming convention for trims/packages compared to the Miata, Mazda6, CX-3, CX-5, and CX-9. They call their trim levels Select Package, Preferred Package, and Premium Package (same as the CX-30). Since you can get AWD as an option on any of these trims for the Mazda3, and since they haven't stated that it is exclusive to a trim level, I think it's a fairly safe assumption to make. By comparison, the 2.5T is the only powertrain option on GT Reserve and Signature CX-5s and Mazda6s. Quoted from the website:

"The 2021 Mazda3 2.5 Turbo will deliver 250 hp and 320 lb-ft torque, coupled with our predictive i-Activ AWD®. All of which work in harmony to respond effortlessly to every impulse and make you feel something that no other car can."

The way it is written makes it sound like they will offer the 2.5T as an engine option on all trim levels of the Mazda3, with the only prerequisite being AWD (since they state that AWD is standard).

Right now this is just wishful thinking, but I think a sub $30k car that is AWD, does 0-60 in about 6s, handles well, has a bunch of safety tech, and an above average interior (for the segment) would be a great seller for Mazda.
Mazda Canada is saying it's only available on the GT trim, which is the top trim in Canada.
 
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2014 Mazda3 S GT auto, 2008 MX5 6-speed
I'm just guessing, but I think the AWD 2.5T will not be exclusive to a trim level, which would be freakin' awesome. The Mazda3 has a different naming convention for trims/packages compared to the Miata, Mazda6, CX-3, CX-5, and CX-9. They call their trim levels Select Package, Preferred Package, and Premium Package (same as the CX-30). Since you can get AWD as an option on any of these trims for the Mazda3, and since they haven't stated that it is exclusive to a trim level, I think it's a fairly safe assumption to make. By comparison, the 2.5T is the only powertrain option on GT Reserve and Signature CX-5s and Mazda6s. Quoted from the website:

"The 2021 Mazda3 2.5 Turbo will deliver 250 hp and 320 lb-ft torque, coupled with our predictive i-Activ AWD®. All of which work in harmony to respond effortlessly to every impulse and make you feel something that no other car can."

The way it is written makes it sound like they will offer the 2.5T as an engine option on all trim levels of the Mazda3, with the only prerequisite being AWD (since they state that AWD is standard).

Right now this is just wishful thinking, but I think a sub $30k car that is AWD, does 0-60 in about 6s, handles well, has a bunch of safety tech, and an above average interior (for the segment) would be a great seller for Mazda.


EDIT: Just read up on Mazda Canada's info. An MSRP of $24.3-26.3k USD (before freight and PDE, taxes, title or additional fees) is much lower than I had expected.
This is great news! I am almost certain that the 0-60 MPH time will dip below 6 seconds.
 

sm1ke

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This is great news! I am almost certain that the 0-60 MPH time will dip below 6 seconds.
Just keep in mind that according to the Mazda Canada website, the 2.5T will only be available in the top trim Mazda3. Still great news about the price though! They also mention that front and rear parking sensors and a 360 cam with improved clarity are available, so it seems like they're hearing and addressing a few of the complaints we've had on the boards.

Would be great to see it clock 5.7-5.8s with the OEM tires. Tag on another $1-2k for bolt-on modifications and tires, and another $1500 for a tune, and it could come close to the Civic Type R's 0-60 of 5.0s (at about $7k cheaper and with a more premium interior).
 
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2018 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring / Deep Crystal Blue / Sand leather
Acceleration times in the high 5s range or right around 6s put this in the same territory as the VW GTI, which is the other hot hatch that I personally would cross-shop against the Turbo 3.

That said, the GTI is obviously built to be a sportier offering while Mazda is aiming for more upscale, so there may not be many comparing the two like I will be, but I think Mazda will have a very competitive offering here in the hot hatch segment if the 3 drives well enough with the 2.5T. People who care more about track days though may be better off with the GTI (the GTI has an electronic LSD and performance brakes, for example). For public roads and the average driver's skills though, the performance of the two could be very close.

The pricing and value with features included will be very tough to beat too if the US pricing is around what the announced pricing was for the Canadian market(after conversion to USD of course) since the GTI has ballooned in price lately for the higher trim levels (MSRP on a GTI SE is around $32k). I've read that recent generations of the GTI have started to skimp on the quality of the interior materials too, so Mazda's got that going for them.

Edit: I fully anticipate though that pricing on the AWD turbo hatch will reach in to the low-mid $30k range though as the AWD hatch right now comes in at about $29k for a more fully featured trim. That is, unless Mazda decides to lower the price of the rest of the entire lineup for some reason.

Edit 2: I'm very interested to see what Mazda means when they say that the "engine is specifically calibrated to the Mazda3 so as to deliver the unique driving dynamics expected by our most passionate drivers" and how that influences the performance of the vehicle. Definitely looking forward to seeing some reviews!
 
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sm1ke

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Edit: I fully anticipate though that pricing on the AWD turbo hatch will get to the low-mid $30k range though as the AWD hatch right now comes in at about $29k for a more fully featured trim. That is, unless Mazda decides to lower the price of the rest of the entire lineup for some reason.
Definitely strange that the current top trim Mazda3 in Canada costs $24.8k USD, while in the USA it costs nearly $30k. Canada's pricing converted to USD works out to a difference of about $1600 USD from the NA to the 2.5T, so maybe the USD pricing will be around the $32k mark.
 
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2020 CX-9 GT Sonic
Canadian Pricing:

MSRP FOR THE 2021 MAZDA3 TURBO IS AS FOLLOWS:

SedanHatchback
Mazda3 GT Turbo AWD$32,900$33,900
Mazda3 GT Turbo AWD Premium Package$34,600$35,600
Mazda3 100th Anniversary Edition AWD Turbo$36,100$37,100
MSRP does not include $1,750 for freight and PDE, taxes, title or additional fees. Dealers set actual sale prices.
 
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2018 CX-9 Sig
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2014 CX-5 GT
Canadian Pricing:

MSRP FOR THE 2021 MAZDA3 TURBO IS AS FOLLOWS:

SedanHatchback
Mazda3 GT Turbo AWD$32,900$33,900
Mazda3 GT Turbo AWD Premium Package$34,600$35,600
Mazda3 100th Anniversary Edition AWD Turbo$36,100$37,100
MSRP does not include $1,750 for freight and PDE, taxes, title or additional fees. Dealers set actual sale prices.
Wait, 37K Canadian dollars is like 30K USA dollars - that would be a steal!
 
I like everything I see, but the acceleration times in the 6 isn’t anything special, and the CX-5 is only .1 sec quicker than the extinct Forester XT while boasting much more TQ and the Forester has a stinkin CVT!! I’m sure the 3 will be fun to drive, but I expect more out of that type of power. I hate to be a Debbie Downer, but the 2.5T is underwhelming based on its claimed numbers.

I think it’s a brave attempt by Mazda, and everyone has been crying for Mazda engines with more power, but no one is buying their turbo models. They don’t sell.
 
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