These cars are sold in China only, but we need them in Australia! CarsGuide Podcast #236
Episode 236 - China, PLEASE sell these to us!
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Australia will miss out on the turbocharged Mazda3 halo that could have lined up against the likes Hyundai's i30 N and the Volkswagen Golf GTI due to constraints in production.
Speaking to CarsGuide at the launch of the new semi-compression ignition Mazda3 SkyActiv X, Mazda Australia marketing boss Alastair Doak ruled out a local launch of the US-market turbocharged hatchback.
When asked if he envisaged a future Mazda3 range consisting of a compression ignition SkyActiv-X 2.0-litre and a turbocharged 2.5-litre to replace the current SkyActiv-G naturally aspirated 2.0-litre and 2.5-litre engines in the range, Mr Doak said: “I should first clarify, the turbo is left-hand drive only for now. We have no plans to introduce that car to Australia.”
The Mazda3 Turbo as revealed to the US market uses a tweaked version of the 2.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder that appears in the Mazda6, CX-5, and CX-9, with power outputs scaled up to a Golf GTI-beating 186kW/434Nm.
Mr Doak’s comments rule out any imminent plans for a Mazda3 with that engine for the time being, although he did note that the local arm “made a strong argument” to try to get it here.
To answer the question we initially asked, Mr Doak said the current 2.0- and 2.5-litre naturally aspirated SkyActiv-G engines will continue.
“They’ve had upgrades over the years, and they will continue to be upgraded into the future,” he said.
No right-hand-drive production for some upcoming models does fit Mazda’s investor briefing from early 2020, which confirmed the brand would re-focus on the US market, entering into a joint venture with Toyota, and utilise a new straight-six engine architecture in both petrol and diesel to underpin new large vehicles such as the next-gen Mazda6 and rumoured CX-5-replacing CX-50.
It is known Mazda is also developing 48-volt mild-hybrid systems for future products (unlike the 24v hybrid system in the new Mazda3 SkyActiv-X that is for auxiliary support only and is incapable of driving the wheels), as well as a range-extender version of its MX-30 electric SUV – another vehicle which is yet to be officially locked in for an Australian arrival.