Why no AWD?

Mazda has recently said they would like to have AWD in most models, but the current generation has some space/packaging constraints. I was scratching my head over this statement trying to figure out why the existing model Mazda 6 is offered in AWD in Europe with the Skyactiv diesel engine and Mazda is saying they cannot get it to fit.

I think I may have stumbled onto the answer after having a conversation with a friend recently. It is no secret Mazda is working on offering the diesel Cx5 to the US market, but it has been held up in government regulations with the EPA courtesy of VW and FIAT cheating on their engine mapping and emissions. Mazda has the setup which will pass and get the power they want to offer but here lies the problem.

Say you were going to offer a Mazda 6 diesel model that now meets the US emissions with the urea injection. Where are you going to put the tank to hold in the car? In the Cx5, which has more space to put something like a urea tank, it is not as much of a problem with packaging to find a spot. The Mazda 6 doesn’t sit off the ground as high and allow you a space to get everything to work out and be able to still fit the transfer case, drive shaft, and rear differential.

Why doesn’t Mazda offer both? This is a question I wish I could sort out. It wouldn’t be the first time Mazda would have models with different floor plans. Mazda has done this in the past with the 323s and Protégé, so I don’t think this is the reason why. This could be a possible play on the overall strategy with North America and only offer the AWD as a diesel model. This goes against what we have already with the Cx5 2.5 gas engine and the Cx9 gas 2.5 turbo motor, so I don’t think this is it which leaves this question for me to puzzle over a bit longer.

With the announcement of the Mazda/Toyota plant in Alabama and the statement by the chief of Mazda saying Mazda is going to build something different, this could be the queue that they will find a way to give us AWD turbo fun again. If anything the announcement of the new plant will finally get the EPA to give the green light to the Skyactiv diesel engine.

Overall Mazda desire to give us AWD still has me hopeful for the 2.5 Skyactiv gas turbo with all-wheel drive, but all the current signs say nope. Please Mazda, I don’t mind being wrong on this one.


Mazda 3 TCR

Mazda 3 TCR

An interesting article popped up a few days ago in which a John Dagy a journalist with Sportscar365 was discussing the TCR class of car with John Doonan who is the head of Mazda Motorsports program.

I have been following the TCR series for a while now with some interest in it as the car Mazda offers which fits best is the Mazda 3, and I enjoy the time I have had racing CorkSport’s Gen3 Mazda3.

What is nice about the series it is meant to race four-door saloons, all with a 2.0 turbo motor and a price capped ceiling of 135,000.  Most people would freak out a bit with that price but what you are getting is a fully developed car with a spec sheet.  Each manufacturer designates a builder whether it be themselves or a shop to assemble the cars and provide support.

Mazda is in an interesting spot, they have their successful Global MX5 cup series and the IMSA Prototypes with Joest, but there is a middle ground hole that has been filled with the older NC Miatas.  With the NCs not being a current production model, it makes sense to get something in there to fill in the blanks.

 In the past, Mazda had used the Mazdaspeed 3 as the basis, and it did well capturing the championships in PWC and IMSA ST class, but the lack of a turbo model makes this a challenge.

One option out there would be to use one of our upcoming 2.5 Skyactiv Mazda 3 turbo kits and bridge the gap so to speak to have a powerplant.  Granted the turbo kit is for the 2.5 but with enough encouragement and feedback from people, the 2.0 kit is looking likely.


Work on some aero and really good suspension, and you would be set.  Maybe I am just daydreaming too much at work again….



Dear Mazda, I have a Wish List

Dear Mazda,

I want to let you know what’s on my wish-list so that if you ever happen to stumble upon our wonderful little world of CorkSport, you’ll see everything I’ve been dreaming of.

1.      New Mazdaspeed

While I personally prefer the Mazdaspeed3 hatchback look, I’d even be ok with a Mazdaspeed6 iteration. I like to have fun; I like to be pushed back in my seat by power and performance, and realistically I LIKE TO GO FAST. The newest generations of Mazda are missing some of these aspects, and I’ve been dreaming of their return!!

Now, don’t get me wrong, I like the Gen3 Mazda3. It’s a smooth ride, and we’re pretty stoked about what it can offer. However, our customers like to make power, N/A leaves us begging for more despite what HP we can squeeze out of the Mazda3.

So, Dear Mazda, Please bring back the Mazdaspeed!

2.      Mazda CX-3 with a turbo

Genuinely, I like the look of the CX3, I enjoy the size of the CX-3 and even find that it suits my ever changing lifestyle being a little higher off the ground. (For those who don’t, check out CorkSport’s lowering springs for the CX-3). It’s just flat out missing the power that comes with a turbo. It’s “get up and go” is … well… slow. This could, with the right improvements, be a great replacement for the Mazdaspeed3 for those of us waiting for the newest generation. Just please, please, can we get some more POWER?!

3.     Turbo Diesel Mazda 6

You gave it to everyone else!!! Why in the world would you leave us out?! You have to do ZERO redesigns; just getting it to the states is all I’m asking. The clean look of the Gen3 Mazda6 is something we like, but the power and improvements that come with the Turbo Diesel, I mean COME ON?! Just let us have a chance at it!

Heck, make that an AWD Mazda 6.

If you’re feeling generous, you could make it an AWD Turbo Diesel Mazda 6.

If we’re going THAT far, make it an AWD Turbo Diesel Mazda 6 wagon, because “I love me some hatchback!” that big booty look, and being able to fit all of the things… What’s not to love?!

It’s not a long list, and I realize that it’s selfish of me to ask, but I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one you would be making happy if you would just deliver on even ONE of these items.

Hopefully yours,



P.S Apple Carplay, and Android Auto… have been in the works for about 3 years, and you probably could have just hired a coder and completed a custom code in half the time… so we’re still waiting for that one too.

Mazda’s Game Changer

Recent news has been circulating about the new Mazda and Toyota joint production plant and what will be built there.  In a few news articles, Masamichi Kogai has been quoted saying Mazda will introduce a new and different type of CUV (crossover utility vehicle).

I have been thinking about that statement about a new and different type SUV. Looking in the marketplace, you have pretty much everything out there in size, shape, and quality.  I think there is something which is getting lost in the translation of this message.

My bet is it will be something totally new for Mazda.  

Back in 2015, Mazda showed off the Koeru concept which was hinting to future models of crossover SUVs.

Looking at the current styling and the concept cars Mazda has laid out at the Tokyo Auto Show with the Mazda 3 Kai concept this year.

The front end styling has been sharpened on this concept car, but it isn’t too far outside of what Mazda is currently offering. The changed roofline at the rear points is designed to maximize cargo space, but in a good-looking package.

I will go out on a limb and guess that Mazda is probably working on a new motor to power whatever the upcoming CUV is going to be.

The most powerful motor Mazda offers right now is the 2.5 Skyactiv turbo engine, which powers the Cx-9 and soon to be offered in the Mazda 6. This motor is based on the older Skyactiv tech though, and with Masamichi saying the new vehicle will something new, my guess is that we should expect to see another tech marvel being produced.

The last thought I have on this with Mazda is this:

If they’re coming out with something new, we may see a large-sized vehicle to go up against the truck-based SUVs from other manufacturers. It is a direction Mazda has not gone before and lines up with the statements they are giving us.

Time will tell!


Dear Car Clubs: We Want To Hear From You!

Dear Car Guy,

Did you know there are LOTS of Car Guys and Gals out there in the Mazdaspeed world?

From Nator Clubs and Mazda Nova Clubs to Mazdaspeed and Meet Up Clubs, the branding is slightly different for each area and each group, but the heart and soul of the people who get involved stays the same.

Great people, big appetites (for speed and food), awesome tastes in beers and booze, and a genuine care for their fellow club members. I have made sure to attend meets and get to know the nitty gritty center of our Mazda Community, mostly because who doesn’t want to do Car stuff with their Car friends. However, I also do it because it’s an integral part of CorkSport’s vision, to give unprecedented levels of customer support and connection to the Mazda Community.

We ultimately just want to LOVE OUR CUSTOMERS, and I’ll take one for the team and meet you Guys and Gals face to face.

We’ve been to the MidWest Nator meet, the East Coast Nator Meet, and the Boise Mazda Take-over event this past year. We have also hosted our CorkSport Dyno day and given the west coast Mazda community a place to gather as well! Let me just say, it’s been amazing getting to know everyone, and seeing some awesome familiar faces.

The one thing that really stands out for me is the sense of community that is built at the center of all of this. I’ll admit I’m a people person, so of course YOU are my favorite part of working for CorkSport, however, it’s a community like no other, regardless of the title it goes by. The values of the Mazda community stay fairly similar, with mods, install days, track days, meet ups, and expansion of the love we all share for the Mazda Platform.

A group of awesome individuals, getting together, teaching those who don’t know how, and taking are of those who do (and still break down).

There are Groups all over the US (and I’m sure international), that we don’t even know about. It’s my hope that when you read this, you pass me your group pages, club names, social addresses, etc., so that CorkSport can help others in your area connect!

Near and Far, no matter where you are, let CorkSport hear from you!

Until next time, stay safe, stay fast, stay happy my friends!

-Kim @ CorkSport