2018 Mazda 3 CBR – Transmission Modes Comparison

If you didn’t know already, CorkSport recently bought a brand new 2018 Mazda 3 Hatchback Touring Modelwith an automatic transmission.

Yes, I know, a performance aftermarket parts company has an automatic; I’m right there with you, but there’s a good reason for it.  CorkSport has a couple Mazda3 6-Speed Manuals and a couple manual and automatic Mazda 6’s, but no automatic Mazda 3; so it made sense to add that to the garage, especially with the many new performance parts we have in the pipe line.  Check those out here.

Now back to the CorkSport’s new 2018 Mazda 3.

The 6-speed automatic comes equipped with three transmission control modes; Standard (default), Sport, and Manual (aka manumatic).

We became curious about how those three modes affected the driving experience, specifically the shift points. I believe we all understand how the Manual control mode works, as it provides nearly 100% control of the shift points, so for the comparison I am going to focus on the differences between the Standard and Sport modes since those are controlled by the ECU.  

Driving the car on the street, you can easily feel the difference between the Standard and Sport modes of the Mazda3.

The Standard mode feels soft, relaxed, and maybe even lazy between shifts. It seems to default to the highest gear (lowest engine RPM) possible in every driving situation. This is great for fuel economy, but disappointing for smiles-per-gallon.  Push the Sport toggle, and the car comes alive.  The engine pulls through the RPM range longer for each gear and seems more eager to accelerate with the slightest throttle input. MUCH better.

The Butt Dyno is great and all, but it’s subjective, so we decided to strap the car down on the dyno to see what is happening; what exactly is changing between the Standard and Sport modes with the CorkSport 2018 Mazda3.

On the dyno, things become much clearer, but first, we had to set up the dyno to provide us with useful information. Typically we are testing wheel Torque and Horsepower, not shift points. It was interesting to play with the various parameters the dyno has available to find a readout that would convey the shift points and the effort the car was exerting. Check out the graph below; this is not your typical dyno plot.

With this dyno plot we quickly see that is much different than the typical readout.  I’m going to break it down, so it’s clear and easy for you to understand what is going on.

Description: Standard Mode = Red, Sport Mode = Green

The horizontal axis is our independent variable in the test. This is the variable/parameter we can control directly in the test. Since we are trying to understand the difference in shift points between the Standard and Sport modes, Road Speed was the logical choice. To be consistent, the throttle input percent for both Standard and Sport modes was held constant throughout the test runs.

The two vertical axis’s are the dependent variables in the test; these are the parameters that depend on engine RPM. On the right side of the dyno plot, we have engine RPM; this is represented by the lines with dots. On the left side of the dyno plot, we have tractive effort, which is essentially the amount of force the tires are applying to the road surface.

Looking at the two graphs, it’s clear that the Sport mode shift points and tractive effort are much different than Standard mode. This is interesting because we can now visualize what we were feeling while driving the Mazda 3 Hatchback on the street.

In Sport mode, the car carries through the engine RPM longer, and the resulting RPM after each shift is also higher.  Because each gear is carried to a higher RPM the resulting power is much greater, which is shown with the tractive effort plots.

Finishing statement: Sport mode significantly changes the way the car drives and responds. If you are looking for some fun out in the curves, don’t be shy, hit that Sport toggle and let the Mazda do what it was designed to do best.

Happy driving!

-Barett @ CS

What’s in the Pipeline for the 2014+ Mazda3?

Here at CorkSport, we are always working toward the next new product. We create our catalog just like you build your cars. Since there’s so much in development, we thought we would give you all a glimpse into what’s coming for the 2014+ GEN3 Mazda 3.

2.5L SkyActiv-G Turbo Kit

Let’s start with the big one since you’ve all been asking for updates: the 2.5 Liter Skyactive Turbo Kit. We are still making steady progress and are more excited than ever for this Mazda3 Turbo. Our functional turbo kit prototypes are slowly starting to arrive, meaning we are inching closer and closer to having our Mazda3 test car on the dyno (with added turbo noises). Stay tuned folks; this is going to be a fun one!

2014-2016 Mazda 3/6/CX-5 Motor Mounts

 

We already showed you the new and improved CorkSport Rear Motor Mount, but there’s more to come with the CorkSport Transmission Motor Mount. Check out the CAD model above to see what we’re talking about. Keep tabs on the CS blog for more info on the design and function of this motor mount soon.

2014-2016 Mazda 3 Skid Tray

The CorkSport skid trays have been consistently requested for the Mazdaspeed models; so much, that we brought them back for both the Mazdaspeed3 and the Mazdaspeed6. Now we are providing the same benefits to Mazda3 owners. We just received and test fit our first prototype skidplate, and it’s looking very promising moving forward.

2014+ Mazda 3 Suspension Kit

Need some extra handling and style for your Mazda3 but don’t want the hassle of lowering springs? We have created a kit that includes the CorkSport lowering springs, adjustable shocks/struts, and camber plates all assembled with OE accessories and ready to install. No spring compressors needed, for ease of installation. Coming soon…

2014+ Mazda 3 Front Sway Bar

Reducing overall roll or “sway” can drastically change your Mazda’s handling characteristics. We should be receiving our first prototype to test fit on our Mazda3 any day now are excited to see how it complements the CorkSport rear sway bar. Oh, and the new front sway bar is 3-way adjustable just like our ND Miata sway bars!

2014-2016 Mazda 3 Steering Wheel

Last, but not least, our leather steering wheel will be making a comeback in the coming months. Featuring a similar profile to the CorkSport Mazdaspeed3 steering wheels, it is designed to increase confidence in both aggressive and daily driving while staying comfortable and stylish.

As you can see, we are staying busy with the newest generations of Mazda here at CorkSport, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only thing we are focused on.

We still have plenty of upcoming products for you Mazdaspeed guys and gals, and for some platforms you may not be expecting. Keep tabs on the CS blog, Instagram and Facebook page to make sure you don’t miss anything!

Until next time,

-Daniel @ CorkSport

The Mazda 3 Rear Motor Mount 2.0: Back & Better

We here at CorkSport are proud to announce the relaunch of the Mazda 3 Rear Motor Mount.

Yes, you read that correct, this is a re-launch. At CorkSport we push ourselves to design and develop new and interesting products every day, with that, we try new and innovative manufacturing designs and methods in an attempt to create exceptional, competitive, cost-effective products for our loyal customers.

Sometimes those new and innovative manufacturing methods end up not being as awesome as we originally expected. This is just part of the designing and learning process. Let’s get into the details.

The original, let’s call it V1, Mazda3 RMM used a new-to-us manufacturing method of applying the polyurethane to the billet aluminum body called vulcanizing. The billet aluminum body and the steel sleeves are mounted in a fixture then liquid polyurethane was poured into the assembly and cooled until the polyurethane had set to the final hardness.  This process appeared to be very promising; each part was set up identically, it was nearly impossible to have any missing parts not sent to you, and most importantly the polyurethane was adhered to the billet aluminum body and therefore could not fall out.  More on that last bit later.

We moved forward with the manufacturing method and had a few samples made with various polyurethane durometers ranging from 60A to 80A.  After various testing, we determined that 70A was the best compromise of response and NVH (Noise, Vibration, Harshness) experienced by the driver. We continued testing for a few months to verify long-term durability and found no issues.  Hooray! We moved forward with production to get this new great Mazda6 RMM out the door to you.

Unfortunately, it appears that our testing period just wasn’t quite long enough.  Eventually, the polyurethane would fail but fail in a style we had never experienced before.  Long story short, polyurethane has excellent compression strength compared to the tensile strength.  The polyurethane was being pulled/split apart due to the forces of the engine.  

Now we had a few options of how to redesign the Mazda 6 Rear Motor Mount after going through the failure analysis.  

  • We could have simply stuck with the same design and just increased the stiffness of the polyurethane.  Increasing the durometer rating of the poly increases the tensile strength, but this would have resulted in an unsatisfactory driving experience for you which was unacceptable.  
  • The other option was to start from scratch again to create a new design that did not compromise the driving experience or the durability; with challenge comes innovation.

Again we went through many different designs, with the greatest challenge coming in the form of retaining the polyurethane pucks.  Typically the polyurethane pucks are retained by whatever the mount is bolting to, but with the Mazda motor mount, the steel sleeves extend far past the outer edge of the polyurethane pucks.  This leaves the pucks free to slide out of the billet aluminum body and cause a major failure.  

Using the conventional polyurethane puck style, we developed a design that would work, but more than doubled the number of parts needed which increased the chance for something to go wrong and drives up the cost.  This design is shown below:

 

The red arrows show the direction the conventional polyurethane puck would slide out of the body.  The red circles show the puck retention system to hold the washer and pucks in the body.  This retention design required many parts to be successful.

With the cost going through the roof we had to go back to the drawing board. There had to be a better way… and there was.  

The third major iteration shown above solved the problems of the V2 design and got us away from the vulcanized polyurethane of the V1 design.  Things were looking good.  With the V3 design, the polyurethane pucks are pressed into the billet aluminum body.  The pucks have ribs, shown with the red circles that are just large enough to keep the puck in place, but small enough to let the puck be pressed into the body.  

With this, we were able to make some clever designs to the RMM to keep it centered in the engine and chassis brackets on the vehicle.  The smaller diameter puck extends out to the ends of the steel sleeves; this keeps the entire rear motor mount centered.  The large diameter puck retains itself in the body and allows the associated steel sleeve free to slide for easy installation; shown with the red arrows.

Now… does it work? YES! Pretty fantastically, we might add!  

We have had this design on a handful of vehicles, one of those being the CorkSport Mazda 3 Racecar during the SCCA Run-Offs at Indianapolis Speedway.  Other than some dirt and grime, the tested RMM looks great.  

You were probably expecting this blog to be all about the details and reasons you should buy this performance RMM for your Mazda 3, Mazda 6, or CX-5.  All those details can be found on our website, and I invite you to check them out.

What we really want to get across here is this:

First and foremost, we will always do the best we can to take care of you and your car if there is ever an issue or concern with your CorkSport part.  

Second, if you are a driving enthusiast, if you go driving for the sake of just driving, then you need this RMM in your life. It will completely change and improve your driving experience, plain and simple.  

-Barett, CS Engineering

 

The First CorkSport Branded Ride Mod + Vote For The CBR Graphics!


For those of you who have forgotten or who did not see the initial post we recently purchased a brand-new 2018 Mazda 3 Hatchback. Dubbed the CorkSport Branded Ride (CBR), we set out to start making it less like your mom’s car and more like something that suits the CorkSport name.

We turned to you all for suggestions and got some great feedback. We heard everything from wide bodykits, “slam it to the ground”, turbos and engine swaps, to easier mods like wheels, coil overs, and a new front lip.

We’re sure you’re anxious to find out where we’ve started: Intake? Exhaust? Springs? Our choice might surprise you.


But before we dig in to the first mod for the CBR, we first want to give you guys an opportunity to do something really fun:

Vote To Pick One of The 4 Graphic Concepts For The CorkSport Branded Ride!

Following up on our introduction to the CBR, our team here has decided to involve you guys in a whole new level of making this car look sick: Body Graphics!

Not only are we asking of your ideas and feedback for the mechanics of the CBR, we want you to decide on the aesthetics too. We want YOU to choose what this things actually looks like.

 
Our design team has developed 4 different concepts for the CBR graphics, and we must admit, they look pretty sweet. The concepts bring in a bunch of different styles, from racing to street, and are sure to make this baby an attention-grabber.

Here’s where you come in: We need you to cast a vote for your favorite concept for the CBR.

A few different ways you can vote:
  1. Repost a pic of your favorite concept with #CorkSport & #CorkSportCBR on social media so we can see your vote. Then, tag a friend and ask them to pick their favorite!
  2. Comment on one of our CBR social media posts for your vote with #CorkSport & #CorkSportCBR.
  3. Leave a comment on this blog post with your vote.
Here’s an example:
“So stoked to get to pick the design of the #CorkSport Branded Ride! My vote is on Concept #3 for sure. – @TagYourFriend, what’s your vote?? #CorksportCBR”

We will gather votes together and whatever concept the CorkSport Community chooses will ultimately be brought to life on the real CBR!


Now, on to the First CBR Mod:

 
We did not want to go crazy right off the bat, so we looked at where the average Mazda 3 owner might start. Maybe a license plate kit, short ram intake? Catback exhaust? Lowering springs? – All good guesses.

We decided to go for a reliability mod that many people may not consider right away: a CorkSport Oil Catch Can kit.

Now, why would we install this right away on a brand new car? It shouldn’t have any issues with engine health. – Well, that’s the exact reason we installed it.

If it doesn’t have any issues right now and the engine is clean and new, then why not keep it that way?
As an engine operates, oil mist, fuel vapor, water vapor, and other gases can pass from the crankcase to the intake using the stock PCV system. Over time, as these gases condense, they form gunk and carbon buildup on valves, piston tops, and other vital engine components. An oil catch can exists to catch all of the oil mist and other vapors before they get back to the intake and dirty all of the nice clean engine components. Additionally, these other gases do not do any favors to the combustion cycle. – Just ask anyone who has emptied one during an oil change; what an OCC collects is pretty nasty.

Now let’s get to the install.

Locating the can itself is a snap, and finds a home in the driver’s side fender well. Routing the hoses is the difficult part, surprisingly, as you have to gain access to some of the factory PCV hose. This means removing the air box, intake tube, and even the starter. Once the factory hose is removed, the new hoses are installed and routed to the OCC.

Finally, we added the ball valve to the bottom of the CorkSport Oil Catch Can, which means next time the CBR needs an oil change we have an easy way to drain the OCC as well.

So what’s next for the CBR? That’s completely up to you!

Help us decide by submitting ideas for what YOU would do if this was your car.
REMINDER: We will give you cred for submitting an idea that we use for the mods. In short: This means Your Name will actually be put on the CorkSport Branded Ride!
Stay Tuned, you’ll be seeing more of the CBR soon.

Remember to cast your vote for the CBR Graphics!

Again, here’s how to vote:
  1. Repost a pic of your favorite concept with #CorkSport & #CorkSportCBR on social media so we can see your vote. Then, tag a friend and ask them to pick their favorite!
  2. Comment on one of our CBR social media posts for your vote with #CorkSport & #CorkSportCBR.
  3. Leave a comment on this blog post with your vote.

The Wait Is Over: The CorkSport Performance Intake Manifold Is Here

Can you believe we started this project back in 2012?

Yes, it’s been a long journey, and a few too many “two weeks”, only to find that more improvements were needed. We’ll be frank, this has been a challenging project to tackle, but we have prevailed. We have pushed past the challenges faced in manufacturing the complex design, and are proud to announce that we are ready to present you with the most complete solution for the Mazdaspeed 3 and Mazdaspeed 6 platform.

The CorkSport Intake Manifold is here for those of us wanting some more flow in our lives.

Our design focuses on performance without sacrificing OEM fitment or drivability. With equal flowing runners, higher flow than OE, and TMIC fitment, it truly is a complete solution to the OE intake manifold.

Fitment is huge when it comes down to large engine components like intake manifolds. While designing the CorkSport IM, we wanted to retain as many OE features and mounting locations as possible while maintaining neat and tidy packaging. By doing so, we were able to keep components such as the TMIC, OEM throttle body, MAP Sensor, and even the oil dipstick bracket in OE locations. This all means a relatively quick and easy part to install, but we made it even easier by clearing some space around hard-to-reach areas.

The CorkSport Intake Manifold may fit like OE, but that’s where the similarities end.

The CorkSport Mazdaspeed Intake Manifold is designed with performance and drive-ability in mind, with the larger plenum design and long cylinder runners. Since the intake plenum is about three times larger than OE, there is an increase in high RPM power capacity without sacrificing throttle response and drivability. By maintaining the length of the cylinder runners (vs the typical aftermarket intake manifold), we improved mid-range power while still having peak RPM capacity with the single runner design vs. an OE split runner design.

The increase in performance also comes with an increase in engine health.

By optimizing the design for equal flow between runners, the CorkSport IM eliminates the flow imbalance of the OE intake manifold. This significant imbalance causes cylinders to run excessively lean or rich, affecting engine durability and performance. Check out the graph below to see the difference. Not only does the CorkSport Intake Manifold outflow the OE design by 70CFM per runner on average, but also significantly reduces the flow imbalance to 2% or less vs the OE imbalance of 21%.

This means your engine can run stronger, longer, and have a higher potential to make power.

But enough talk about numbers and flow, let’s SEE some numbers. The dyno graph below shows the difference before and after the CS IM on a Mazdaspeed3 with a CorkSport TD05H-18G turbo equipped. Not only was there an increase in power and torque across the entire RPM range, the turbo spooled around 100RPM faster than with the OE intake manifold.

But wait there’s more! Along with the overall design improvement over OE; there are additional design features that you need to know about.

  • Firstly, we increased the size of the throttle body opening. This allows the OE throttle body to work great but also allows for a larger throttle body to be installed without modification.
  • Next there are added fueling ports for each runner. They are standard 1/8-27 NPT ports that can be used with methanol nozzles or other fueling options.
  • Finally there is an extra 1/8-27 NPT port that can be used for boost controllers, gauges, or the like.

Now you may be thinking, “But there aren’t any larger throttle bodies available.” To that we say, “Not just YET!”

Along with the great features of this new Performance Intake Manifold, we are also providing nearly all of the hardware you need for installation; that is, the brass fittings that come pre-installed on the intake manifold and the additional hardware and hoses needed for auxiliary components.

Now we would like to circle back to where we started with this conversation:

We here at CorkSport pride ourselves in doing everything in our power to provide you, our customers, with the best possible products out there. We also are committed to being real with you guy as well, because we too are Mazda-lovers who get a thrill out of overcoming the toughest challenges that stand between us and the ultimate car experience.

The most challenging aspect of this project has been getting the manufacturing to an acceptable quality, and consistent among each intake manifold. We have tested the intake manifold on multiple cars in-house and with various beta testers, the results speak for themselves: this is an exceptional performance product that your Mazdaspeed will love to have.

Believe us when we say that this design is tough to manufacture,  and that process results in no two parts being exactly the same visually; but it also means that each manifold has its own unique look and character, the same way our cars do.

We guarantee that the CorkSport Intake Manifold will give you the best performance out there, but if for whatever reason you’re not satisfied with the unique look of your IM, please contact us and we’ll be more than happy to take care of you like we always do. – We’ve got your back!

That being said, if you’re looking to take your Mazdaspeed to the next level in both speed and reliability, the CorkSport Intake Manifold is the best comprehensive solution on the market.

These babies are only available while supplies last, so don’t wait, they’ll be gone before you know it!

Order 2007-2013 Mazdaspeed 3 & 6 Intake Manifold