The managing director of Mazda Southern Africa has dropped a heavy hint the firm plans to once again offer turbocharged petrol engines locally.
Speaking during a media briefing at the launch of the new Mazda3, Craig Roberts said the local arm of the Japanese automaker intended to re-introduce turbocharged petrol engines to South Africa “at a certain stage”.
Currently, the local range comprises only naturally aspirated petrol units and a handful of turbodiesel powerplants.
“In terms of turbo technology, there are plans afoot here and in Hiroshima [Mazda’s global headquarters] for us to actually move back in that direction,” Roberts said.
“We’re just not sure of the exact timeframe and which models they [the turbocharged petrol engines] will be introduced in,” he added.
Interestingly, though, Roberts ruled out turbo power for the new Mazda3, the CX-3 and the upcoming CX-30.
“There are no immediate plans to introduce turbo engines to our C-segment vehicles nor to our small SUVs,” he said.
That last comment suggests the CX-5 would be the most likely model to benefit from forced induction.
Of course, back in October 2018 a turbocharged 2,5-litre petrol engine was confirmed for the Japanese-market CX-5, offering 169 kW and 420 N.m. A similar engine, although in different states of tune, is used in the Mazda6 sedan and CX-9 sold is some other countries.
Ryan has spent most of his career in online media, writing about everything from sport to politics and other forms of crime. But his true passion – reignited by a 1971 Austin Mini Mk3 still tucked lifeless in a dark corner of his garage – is of the automotive variety.