Torque News has now received multiple reports form Mazda dealership employees who say that Mazda will soon allow the 2015 Mazda3 to be ordered with the 6-speed manual and the larger of the two production engines, the 2.5 liter, 184 horsepower in-line four. Previously, the Mazda3 in its current generation (Model Year 2014) with a manual stick shift transmission was only available with the 2.0 liter, 155 horsepower engine. Our recent series of stories about the Mazda3, Mazda6 and Mazda cars with stick shifts has been very popular with forums, and the commentary back to us has been solid. We took the time to back-track a couple of the comments, and they are indeed from Mazda Dealer people who order vehicles. We wish to clarify that this news is NOT from Mazda’s official excellent PR network staffers. They have no comment.
Gen 3 Mazda3 Is Crazy Light
For generation three, Mazda added in serious lightness to the Mazda3. The 2015 Mazda3 hatch 2.5 will weigh in at just 2950 pounds. This third generation Mazda3 is way down in weight from the second generation (called “Gen pu” as opposed to “Gen two” by the enthusiasts). The Gen Two had a curb weight of 3300 pounds. That is a huge difference. With the new 2.5 liter, 184 horsepower engine and its 185 ft-lb of torque, the 2015 Mazda3 with the stick shift will be a blast to drive. We recently tested the Mazda3 with the smaller engine and loved it. However, more power would change the car’s personality, particularly in first and second gear.
Don’t Expect MazdaSpeed3 Performance
The new car will not have the same power to weight ratio of the Gen Two MazdaSpeed3. That car’s 2.3 liter turbocharged engine pounded out 263 HP and had 280 lb-ft of torque. So much torque that it could not put all of it to use in first and second gear with its front drive system. Still, the car could (and does) run with the Ford Focus ST, Subaru WRX, and similar affordable, fast cars. This new car with 100 ft-lbs less of torque will not need a torque limiting system and will put the power down. I just finished a week with the larger Mazda6 manual, and it would spin the tires when shifting from 1 to 2 with a speed shift (er, so I heard…). The new Mazda3 with the 2.5 engine and manual will be a very fun car, but don’t go looking to pull a Suby STI from a stoplight anytime soon unless you like the look of its rear wing.
We wish to reaffirm we are reporting chatter from dealer-related folks who reached out to us. Mazda’s public relations and product management have not officially confirmed this car. We will soon know the facts. The 2015 Mazda3 will start appearing on dealer lots in less than three months.
Photography by John Goreham