Available for US, Canadian and Mexican markets, the turbocharged petrol 3 is expected to be produced only in left-hand-drive form for the foreseeable future.
While the engine is used in upper trims of Australian-delivered CX-5, CX-9 and Mazda 6, Mazda’s local arm has said today a Mazda 3 turbo is no closer to confirmation for Australia – although it is understood to have made a strong pitch to get the variant here.
For those who like to dream, the Mazda 3 turbo picks up a 2.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine outputting 186kW and 434Nm when run on US-rated 93 octane – roughly the equivalent of Australian 98 octane petrol.
Previous reports – based on promotional footage released by a Mexican Mazda dealer – put the figures at 170kW and 420Nm for the warmed-up hatch. These outputs are still applicable for the engine when run on lower octane fuels.
However, the Mazda 3 turbo’s lower power-to-torque ratio – and the fact the model will only be sold with a six-speed automatic transmission – still suggests the car is not designed to compete with hotter hatches in sportiness.
Sold as GT and Sport GT trims in North American markets, the 2.5-litre turbo Mazda 3 models come standard with the suite of Mazda’s infotainment and safety tech, mirroring much of what is seen on the Australian-delivered G25 Astina trim.
The turbo models will also pick up larger exhaust tips, 18-inch black alloy wheels, 'turbo' badging on the boot and engine cover, and gloss black front grille and heated door mirrors.
A Premium Plus Package adds a gloss black rear spoiler to both hatch and sedan models with a revised front air dam.