The Sleuth has learned that the automaker is readying a serious contender to the Volkswagen GTI and the upcoming Toyota Corolla GR that’s also expected for the 2021 model year. The Mazda3 hot hatch will be available with a turbocharged four-cylinder, most likely the same 2.5-liter engine available in the Mazda6 sedan and the CX-5 and CX-9 utility vehicles. It those applications, it delivers 227 horsepower (250 horses using premium-grade fuel) and 310 pound-feet of torque. Model designation for the turbo Mazda3 is not known, but The Sleuth thinks now would be a perfect opportunity to revive the Mazdaspeed brand that years ago was applied to both the Protégé sedan and MX-5 Miata performance models.

A new performance version of the Mazda3 is expected for 2021, complete with a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder. PHOTO: MAZDA

Mazda bulks up the Mazda3 for 2021: