Mazda could be about to introduce an all-wheel-drive turbo variant of the Mazda3, leaked information suggests.
According to Jalopnik, an insider has revealed that special codes have been added to the Mazda dealership intranet, showing that an all-wheel-drive turbo Mazda3 is on the horizon. The internal codes are used by the dealer network and manufacturer to quickly identify different models and their drivetrains.
Though the leaked documents were not made public, Jalopnik reports they have been shown confidential screenshots that confirm the mystery Mazda.
It's understood the internal code listed a 'MAZDA3 HB PP TURBO'. In dealership nomenclature, HB signifies that the model will be a hatchback.
Diehard Mazda rotary fans can take a breath, though, as PP probably doesn't stand for Peripheral Port. At this stage it's thought to perhaps translate to Performance Package or Premium Package.
Is this the new MPS?
All turbo models listed in the leaked documents were assigned the 6A code, which indicates they will receive the SKYACTIV six-speed automatic transmission.
While it's too early to rule out a manual option altogether, this information could indicate the turbo Mazda3 will be the beginning of a move towards forced-induction technology across the entire Mazda range.
With ever-increasing emissions and efficiency regulations being implemented around the world, manufacturers are moving towards forced-induction technology (such as turbocharging) to reduce engine size while maintaining performance.
In discussion with CarAdvice in 2018, Mazda flatly denied their MPS models would make a comeback.
Will Australia get the turbo Mazda3?
Mazda has a strong history of weird and wonderful sports cars, from the buzzing rotary-powered coupes to the Miller Cycle V6 of the Eunos 800.
When it comes to Mazdas, Australia really is the lucky country, having been fortunate enough to receive many of the most exciting Mazdas to have ever been offered.
In fact, the first turbocharged MX-5 was actually developed by Mazda Australia engineers, and was so good that Mazda's head office in Japan commissioned its own version... which ended up being not as good.
Though it is too early to make a definitive call as to whether we'll receive the upcoming Mazda3 turbo, we do know the previous versions of the Mazda3 MPS and Mazda6 MPS were well received locally.