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Unread 03-01-2006, 02:14 PM   #1
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Default 2007 Mazdaspeed 3 +250HP/280TQ, 0-60 in under 6 seconds.

Niiiice...Mazda is really doing well with it's product line up...their cars are really sporty, and not as run of the mill as some of the other manufacturers. Mazda really is one of my favorite car companies right now...they just put out quality stuff that's not afraid to go against the grain. It comes with an LSD to boot.

2007 Mazdaspeed 3

What is it?
2007 Mazdaspeed 3

What's special about it?
Few cars have more tuning potential than the well-sorted Mazda 3, which many consider the most desirable economy car in the U.S. market. Mazda made us wait a good long time for the high-performance Mazdaspeed 3 version, but the payoff is that it has a lot more power than we expected.

That's because Mazda engineers found a way to stuff the Mazdaspeed 6's turbocharged 2.3-liter inline four under the hood of this five-door hatchback. We had doubted the operation would be possible, given that it was already a squeeze to get this intercooled turbo four into the midsize 6, which had to be fitted with a domed hood.

"We changed the 3's dash to accommodate the new engine," Program Manager Tatsuo Maeda explained. "There's a slight indentation in the new dash panel to accommodate it. Also, the hood is raised 20mm."

As on the Mazdaspeed 6, the Mazdaspeed 3's turbo 2.3-liter uses direct injection and has a 9.5:1 compression ratio. However, Mazda is giving an "over 250" horsepower estimate for this 3 compared to 274 on the 6, due to different exhaust routing and emissions equipment. Torque should hold steady around 280 at 3,000 rpm.

In order to save weight and keep the car affordable, Mazda decided not to feed all this power through an all-wheel-drive system. So the six-speed manual gearbox sends the juice to the front wheels, just like on a normal 3. Mazda has released a 6.1-second 0-to-60-mph estimate, though Mazda reps told us the car would do it in "under 6." Top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph.

A standard limited-slip differential should tighten the Mazdaspeed 3's line when exiting turns, and Mazda says torque steer won't be a problem, thanks to precise control over power delivery through the first four gears.

Of course, there are plenty of chassis upgrades to get excited about as well. Engineers widened the front track eight-tenths of an inch to accommodate the Mazdaspeed 3's slightly wider 215/45R18 tires. All Mazda 3s get mild suspension revisions for 2007 to improve rigidity, but the Mazdaspeed hatch also benefits from higher spring and damper rates as well as larger-diameter stabilizer bars. The result is 60-percent less body roll, says Mazda.

Braking hardware is upgraded as well. The 12.6-inch front rotors are almost an inch larger than the ones on the regular 3. The rear discs are about the same size, but are now ventilated rather than solid. For safety's sake, ABS, emergency brake assist and stability control are standard.

A revised front grille that doubles as an air intake for the intercooler immediately distinguishes the Mazdaspeed hatch from other 3s, and in back, the tailpipe is 3.7 inches across. Red stitching accents the black cockpit, and more aggressive sport seats promise to hold you snug through the corners.

What's Edmunds' take?
The '07 Dodge Caliber SRT-4 looked pretty scary when it debuted in Chicago with 300 hp. But with about 280 lb-ft of torque in the Mazdaspeed 3, it now looks like a much tighter battle. If Mazda's hot hatch weighs in lighter than the portly Caliber, it will likely prevail through the turns. Erin Riches
Check out the engine on this bad boy:
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Unread 03-01-2006, 03:28 PM   #2
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As soon as I read that they were doing away with the AWD, I lost interest.
“A successful person realizes his personal responsibility for self-motivation. He starts with himself because he possesses the key to his own ignition switch”
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Unread 03-01-2006, 05:28 PM   #3
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not bad at all, an SRT4 contender... from mazda. where's the rest of the manfacturers gone..?
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