Officially, Mazda will comment on none of this, but the new car will almost certainly be turbocharged, offering output somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 horsepower. All-wheel drive is a possibility. The starting price should be somewhere around $30,000, suggesting Volkswagen Golf R levels of performance for loaded–GTI money.
Wow, this is good news. It means there’s another WRX/STI competitor and the list of competitors is broadening. Additionally, on the horizon is the Ford Focus RS and the Golf R, with both having AWD. This will probably spur Subaru to be more competitive…it’s either that, or they’ll begin to lose market share. I’ve no problem buying a non-WRX if Subaru doesn’t want to compete (the only thing I’ll probably miss is the great resale value). I’ll also link Car & Driver’s FB posting on this topic:
Post by Car and Driver.