It is done. After months of rumors, the expectations of some of the Mazda3’s customers are being met with the arrival of the turbocharged engine variant, available as a sedan and as a hatchback, which now sits at the top of the range.
That being said, it is important to clarify that the new Mazda3 Turbo is not a modern version of the MazdaSpeed3 produced between 2007 and 2013, which was also powered by a turbocharged engine. In the case of the MazdaSpeed3, we were dealing with a type car hot hatch traction with a very strong sport character. With the Turbo, Mazda’s aims are to develop this model even more towards the high-end segment. In short, less Fast and furious and more Audi-BMW…
If the Mazda3 Turbo is coming now, it is because the Mazda3 customer base has evolved, and the best-selling version of the range in Canada today is the GT, that is, the one that fills up with equipment and order the highest price.
And while many Mazda3 GT buyers were won over by the exterior styling, the Mazda3 won last year’s Design of the Year award at the World Car of the Year Awards, by the quality of its interior finish and its standard equipment, the fact remains that some of them wanted to have more power in reserve. The presence of the 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, delivering power and torque to the road through a six-speed automatic transmission and standard all-wheel drive, fills this gap.
Lots of couple
True to the tradition established at Mazda, this turbocharged engine can run on premium gasoline as well as regular gasoline. There is, however, a variation in horsepower and torque depending on the fuel used: 250 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque consuming super or 227 horsepower and 310 pound-feet with regular gasoline.
Also this engine operates with a very high compression ratio, set at 10.5 to 1, which is close to the compression ratio of the turbocharged flat-six of the Porsche 911 Carrera, which is 10.2 to 1.
At the wheel, you immediately feel the contribution of the turbocharger which greatly improves performance. The thrust is really very linear, very sustained and, above all, Mazda engineers have achieved a real masterstroke insofar as the delivery of power and torque is directly related to the way in which the driver acts on the control of the gas.
Clearly, if the car is moving at a constant speed and the driver quickly presses the accelerator, the automatic gearbox immediately controls downshifting and the turbo kicks in so that maximum torque is delivered from 2,000 revolutions / minute (regular fuel) or 2,500 rpm (super fuel). On the other hand, if the driver acts more gradually on the accelerator, downshifting does not take place and the blast of the turbo will be enough to increase the speed.
What is amazing is precisely the fact that the engine responds perfectly to the driver’s commands by showing a remarkable symbiosis, and that this turbocharged four-cylinder behaves with a flexibility which is very similar to that of Porsche engines. and BMW. On this side, it’s a great success.
With the turbocharged unit being 60 kilograms heavier than the naturally aspirated engines that power the other Mazda3 variants, engineers have increased the firmness of the front springs by 15% so that the Turbo generates the same sharp dynamics as the other versions, while at the same time reviewing the calibration of the shock absorbers.
Also, the device G-Vectoring Control adopts more aggressive calibrations, which allows the Mazda3 Turbo to demonstrate more responsive and direct dynamics, without penalizing comfort. In addition, we note that the interaction between the G-Vectoring Control system and the standard all-wheel drive is very harmonious.
Clearly, the G-Vectoring Control Slightly reduces the torque delivered to the front axle as soon as the driver turns the steering wheel, which results in a transfer of weight to the front axle, which allows the car to fall well on the ideal trajectory when cornering, while the all-wheel drive allows more torque to be sent to the rear axle during the turn in order to stabilize the automobile. It all works brilliantly on the Mazda3 Turbo whose drive is truly inspired. The only downside on this side is the lack of a manual gearbox.
The Mazda3 Turbo also adds several advanced security systems to a very complete standard equipment. Among them, we note the Traffic Jam Assist combining adaptive cruise control with keeping in the center of the lane, allowing you to relax a bit in heavy traffic.
For the rest, the Mazda3 Turbo, like the other versions, impresses with the quality of materials and interior finish, and the newcomer has a high-performance audio system.
As for the exterior look, the Mazda3 Turbo is subtle, standing out from the other variants only by its 18-inch alloy wheels in black, by its side mirrors also in black, by the affixed “Turbo” inscription. on the rear hatch, as well as by larger diameter exhaust nozzles.
The price range ranges from $ 32,900 (sedan) to $ 37,100 for the Mazda3 Sport 100th Anniversary Edition, and we note that the standard equipment is more complete than those of the rivals Acura ILX A-Spec, Audi A3 40 Komfort, and Mercedes-Benz A220.
Finally, with the new Turbo variant, the Mazda3 becomes even more upscale while demonstrating enhanced dynamics and performance. In fact, the only thing missing is the logo of a luxury brand.