Hottest Mazda3 produces 183kW and 434Nm, but is not available in right-hand drive for Australia, yet.
This more potent version of the Mazda 3, badged Mazda 3 Turbo, is powered by a turbocharged 2.5-litre four-cylinder Skyactiv-G petrol engine developing 186kW and 434Nm of torque. The powertrain is already used in Australian-delivered versions of the Mazda 6, CX-9 and CX-5 Turbo.
This new engine is mated to a four-wheel-drive system as standard – although Mazda has swapped out the six-speed manual gearbox for a new six-speed automatic, which is also found in the US Mazda 6 and CX-5.
There’s no official word yet on the engine’s performance specs or fuel economy figures but, given that this new powertrain has around 52kW more than the Mazda 3’s existing 132kW 2.0-litre petrol engine, the hatchback’s 0–100km/h should dip to under seven seconds.
North American buyers will also get a little more equipment for their money, with this new, faster Mazda 3 receiving a set of 18-inch gloss black alloy wheels, larger twin exhaust tips and a subtly more aggressive styling package, with a deeper front splitter, broader side skirts, a new rear diffuser and a black tailgate spoiler.
Inside is a pair of heated leather sports seats, 12-speaker Bose premium audio system and an 8.8-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There’s a couple of swish convenience features, too, like a frameless auto-dimming rear-view mirror, a roaming WiFi hotspot and adaptive cruise control.
It’s on sale in the United States now, priced from $30,900 (roughly $42k) for the hatchback. While it’s a perfect fit for the Australian market, a spokesperson at Mazda Australia says that for now, it will remain left-hand drive only.