A little known formula is that when a diesel engine is added to an econobox, it can turn the car into a fun, torque-filled compact. It’s the formula that Volkswagen uses with its Golf and Jetta, and it’s the next step Mazda should take with the Mazda3. Mazda will be at an advantage here because the current Mazda3 is already fun to drive, and thanks to the company’s creed of cutting weight, it’s fuel-conscious. Rumors are already flying that along with a Mazda6 that’s getting a diesel stateside, the Mazda3 might be getting some diesel love too.
By adding the company’s SkyActiv-D diesel powerplant, the Mazda3 could get the performance chops usually reserved for the Mazdaspeed line of cars. The Skyactiv-D diesel in the international Mazda CX-5 makes 175 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. Imagine that much rubber-burning torque in the tiny Mazda3 and it far too easy to get excited. Just to top it off, that much torque surpasses what is already in the powerful Mazdaspeed3 (310 lbs-ft vs 280 lbs-ft). Mazdaspeed-D anyone?