2021 Mazda3 to gain a turbocharged engine, finally, probably

Zac Palmer

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Buckle up, Mazda fans. The Mazda3 turbo might really be happening, says a report from Jalopnik. Some details from Mazda’s dealership extranet system observed by Jalopnik suggest we’ll see a 2021 Mazda3 turbo in both sedan and hatchback form.

We don’t have eyes on the documents ourselves, but the report says both the sedan and hatchback versions will be all-wheel-drive only with no option for front-wheel drive. In addition to that, it looks like the turbo models will be exclusively automatic, as they’re both only listed as “6A” in Mazda’s system. Sorry to break the hearts of those who were hoping for a manual turbo. The intel obviously isn’t official yet, but the chance of a three-pedal Mazda3 with extra power happening doesn’t look great for the time being. The hatchback manual with the naturally aspirated 2.5-liter from the model’s first two years appears to be sticking around for a third, in case you were worried.

There is one minor mystery and a possible glimmer of hope for someone wanting more performance, though. The report says that a “MAZDA3 HB PP TURBO” is listed in the docs. Our hearts are yearning for the PP to stand for Performance Package, but it probably stands for “Premium Package.” That’s the name of Mazda’s highest trim Mazda3 right now, and it’d make sense to offer the turbo engine on the upmarket model.

Last we heard on this front was from a report published over a year ago. It suggested Mazda’s 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder as a possible drop-in. That motor makes 250 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque when run on premium fuel and would be a big upgrade to the 186 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque made by the naturally aspirated 2.5-liter under the hood now. Without a manual, the obvious transmission would be Mazda’s traditional six-speed automatic. It’s a solid transmission for cars like the Mazda6 and CX-5, but it’s not meant for sports cars, as we recently found in the automatic Miata RF. So no, this Mazda3 turbo won’t be a Mazdaspeed. It’d simply be a quicker Mazda3, and while we can still pine for a true Mazdaspeed, this will be a welcome addition to the lineup.

There’s even more ancillary news in the report, too. The docs that Jalopnik saw say we’ll be getting a Mazda3 with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder in 2021. That one has to be the Skyactiv-X engine we’ve been patiently waiting for. It’s already launched in Europe, but was delayed in the U.S. Those 100th Anniversary Edition Mazdas get a callout, too. The Mazda3 version of that is reportedly set to be equipped with the turbo engine, making that particular model even more enticing.

Lastly, the CX-5, CX-9 and Mazda6 are all in line to get a “Carbon Edition” for 2021. Details aren’t available, but we can assume it means a decently comprehensive carbon fiber and blacked-out appearance package for all of them.

We’ve reached out to Mazda to see if it has any news to share on the turbo front and will update when we hear back.

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