|Inside and out, the MAZDASPEED3 offers style and performance. |
This fall, Mazda launches the flagship of its MAZDA3 line, the MAZDASPEED3
. With its compact, lightweight body and more than 250-horsepower from a 2.3-liter DISI (Direct Injection Spark Ignition) Turbo engine, MAZDASPEED3
will be a high performance front-wheel drive car.
MAZDASPEED3 is the fourth vehicle to carry the MAZDASPEED name in the US, following the 2003 and 2003.5 MAZDASPEED Protegé, 2004 and 2005 MAZDASPEED MX-5 and 2006 MAZDASPEED6. This will be the first time that two MAZDASPEED-branded vehicles will be sold in North American dealers at the same time. MAZDASPEED3 is called MAZDA3 MPS - Mazda Performance Series - in Europe and MAZDASPEED Axela in Japan.
"MAZDASPEED3 dramatically reinforces the acclaimed dynamics of the original MAZDA3 and deliver s maximum driving pleasure through outstanding engine performance and a superior chassis," said Tatsuo Maeda, Program Manager for development of the MAZDA3 series.
To create this new benchmark, Maeda's team focused on three requirements:
Driving Fun: Formidable performance from the 2.3-liter DISI Turbo engine, along with sharp, responsive handling
Ownership Delight: Exterior styling that gives an immediate impression of driving fun, and an interior with a quality feel that exceeds expectations
Everyday, User-Friendly Convenience: Balancing driving pleasure with everyday functionality and comfort
POWER AND HANDLING
Under the hood of the MAZDASPEED3 is a version of the turbocharged and intercooled 2.3-liter four-cylinder direct-injection gasoline engine that powers the highly regarded MAZDASPEED6 sport sedan and the CX-7 crossover SUV.
Engineered to deliver high performance at all speeds, along with low exhaust emissions and excellent fuel economy, Mazda's MZR 2.3 DISI (Direct Injection Spark Ignition) turbo -charged engine produces in excess of 250-hp in the MAZDASPEED3. Final horsepower numbers will be available closer to launch.
The DISI Turbo engine is engineered to achieve three aspects of performance that are difficult to realize with conventional manifold injection engines: good fuel-economy and low exhaust-gas emissions, powerful acceleration thanks to the turbocharger, and a full and flat torque curve throughout the rev range for exceptional engine response.
SIX-SPEED MANUAL TRANSMISSION
The new MAZDASPEED3 employs the six-speed manual transmission shared with the MAZDASPEED6 , providing the driver with full control over the vehicle's high power, while contributing to a quiet ride and strong fuel economy. A compact three-shaft design made it possible to keep the overall length the same as the five-speed manual transmission used in the standard MAZDA3. In addition, MAZDASPEED3's six-speed transmission uses wide gear ratios to fully exploit the wide torque band of the direct-injection turbocharged engine.
HIGH BODY RIGIDITY AND SPECIALLY TUNED CHASSIS
Like the updated 2007 MAZDA3 , the new MAZDASPEED3 features a body with increased rigidity. The MAZDASPEED version is based on the MAZDA3 5-Door, with local reinforcements added to produce a body sufficiently stiff to stand up to the demands of 250-plus horsepower. Suspension and brakes have also been specially tuned.
Choosing the MAZDA3 5-Door model as the starting point reinforces the MAZDASPEED3's Zoom-Zoom spirit. Front fenders are widened by 20-mm to provide clearance for the large tires and to evoke a well-planted stance. And to forge a uniform identity for the MAZDASPEED series, two design elements are shared with the MAZDASPEED6 : strong lines flowing back along the hood from the upper part of the five-point grille used as the air intake for the intercooler, and the aerodynamically shaped front bumper and large lower grille serving as the air intake for the radiator. An athletic yet elegant side view is created by aerodynamic side skirts and 18-inch, 10-spoke aluminum alloy wheels.
The rear view is characterized by the design of the rear bumper, the large-diameter tailpipe and the roof spoiler with integrated high-mounted LED brake light.
A high-quality black finish sets the tone of the interior, accented by red stitching on the seats, steering wheel, and the six-speed manual transmission shift knob to create a sporty yet refined look. The instrument panel includes a matte black decorative insert panel finished with a hairline treatment to underscore the vehicle's personality. A leather-wrapped shift knob, aluminum pedals and stainless steel scuff plates further contribute to the sporty, high quality feel that distinguishes MAZDASPEED models, while semi-bucket front seats provide firm support and comfort.
UPGRADED BRAKE SYSTEM TO MATCH THE HIGH POWER
Large diameter four-wheel disc brakes, vented in front, and a large diameter master cylinder provide powerful and stable braking. Standard equipment includes four-wheel-ABS, electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD) with brake assist and dynamic stability control (DSC), all of which provide active safety in a range of driving scenarios.
For protection during collisions, MAZDASPEED3 employs the unique Mazda Advanced Impact-energy Distribution and Absorption System to deliver a robust and safe body structure. Inside the cabin, dual frontal airbags, as well as seat-mounted side and roof-mounted curtain airbags, are all standard. A collapsible brake pedal and steering column structure reduce the risk of injury to the driver's lower legs.