2021 Mazda3 May Get Turbo Power, AWD, Performance Pack: Report
It's everything you've been wishing for...minus that manual transmission.
Mazda won't turn the current Mazda3 into a hot hatchback—it has made that much clear. But the marvelous Mazda3 may yet be made with most of the ingredients of a modern hot hatch, including a turbo engine and all-wheel drive, if documents allegedly leaked from a Mazda dealer are to be believed.
Citing info on 2021 model year Mazdas allegedly attained from the company's dealer extranet system, Jalopnik reports that both body styles of the 2021 Mazda3 will be available with an optional turbo engine and all-wheel drive. Those hoping for a manual transmission to make it a rival to the hotly anticipated Toyota Corolla Sport GRMN will be disappointed, as the manual will reportedly remain available only as part of the top-trim Premium Package.
Curiously, these documents also outline the existence of a "Mazda3 HB PP turbo," wherein HB is said to stand for hatchback, though the PP acronym remains undefined. The most likely explanation is that it simply stands for the aforementioned Premium Package, though dreamers may be inclined to swap "Premium" for "Performance."
Such a car may, however, be more than fantasy, as multiple outlets reported last spring that a rogue faction inside Mazda had prepared a Mazda3 hot hatch prototype without corporate authorization. These stories coincided with Mazda3 program manager Kota Beppu going on record strongly suggesting he wanted a Mazda3 hot hatch to happen, and that if he had his way, it'd have all-wheel drive and a purely internal-combustion powertrain—likely the 2.5-liter turbo engine borrowed from Mazda's crossovers.
Sounds familiar, but don't get your hopes up too high—Mazda declined to comment on future powertrain options for the Mazda3 when The Drive reached out.
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