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calendar   Wednesday - July 08, 2020

Mazda Builds An Audi, Mostly

This is what I told them they should have done 4 years ago. Take your little car, make it AWD, and throw a big turbo on it. Because “Zoom Zoom” is how you made your name.

The Mazda 3 Turbo Has 250 HP and 320 Lb-Ft of Torque, But No Manual Gearbox

Mazda USA has released details and specs on the turbocharged 3 that’s coming to our market. The good news? We’re getting more horsepower than we originally thought. The bad news? There’s definitely no manual transmission available.

Like the Mexican Mazda 3 Turbo, the U.S. version will be powered by the company’s 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-four, currently found in the Mazda 6 and CX-5. It cranks out 250 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque on 93-octane fuel, or 227 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque on 87 octane. The company says the engine has been specially tuned “to deliver the unique driving dynamics expected by our most passionate drivers.”

The current Mazda 3 can be had with 186hp and 185lb/ft of torque. This year’s model is available with AWD too. But no turbo. And it’s not a MazdaSpeed ... but maybe it’s the more adult version. A 73% boost in torque is monumental. I had a Mustang GT back in the 80s that I think made 260lb/ft. It was a butt puckering grin machine, utterly worthless in the snow. It ate parts left and right too, but it was fun to play in.

Maybe I’ll wait until the 2nd model year of this, when my 2017 is paid off and most of the first year tweaks have been worked out. Granted, it’s the same engine they’ve had in their big SUVs for several years now, so it should be stable. Power is all done by 4500rpm, fuel cutoff at 5100rpm, so it’s no rev machine. But that much torque in a little car should be like ... curl your toe on the gas and get punched in the gut. But AWD should cure torque steer.

Like I said, it’s an Audi. Mostly. From Japan. For half the price, with equal build quality and interior levels. Sweet.

Sadly, Mazda AWD is not full time, it only activates when the computer thinks it’s needed. So it’s not the same as the Audi AWD experience of turning on a dime while being nailed to the road. Too bad.

Oddly, back in 2006 Mazda made a MazdaSpeed 6 turbo with their AWD and a manual. So the parts are essentially just sitting around.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/08/2020 at 03:10 PM   
Filed Under: • Fun-Stuff •  
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