2021-up Mazda 3 Turbo and CX30 Turbo Intake Heat Shield

Cold air vibes for your Mazda 3 turbo

Have you been waiting for the CorkSport Heat Shield to go along with a CS SRI to snag one? Well you don’t have to wait any longer because the CS heat shield is here! Whether you have the CS SRI already or want to get both at the same time, the CorkSport Heat Shield for both the Mazda 3 and CX-30 with the SkyActiv 2.5T is a great mod to include in your build. Keep on reading to see how the CS Heat Shield is able to achieve lower intake air temps that allow your motor to make power easier.

Mazda 3 turbo engine bay intake heat shield

For the Mazda 3 Turbo Heat Shield our main focus was keeping cool air supplied to the filter. The shield was designed to seal off the intake from as much heat produced from the radiator, engine and transmission as possible. This lead to a multiple piece design that is riveted together which allows us to utilize the OEM air ducting which supplies cooler outside air to the filter. The shield does not fully surround the filter because we have also found that there is cool air that also comes from the area in front of the tire and underneath the headlight while driving, helping to ensure that your intake sees as much cool fresh air as possible.

Mazda Cx30 Performance Intake Heat Shield

Now with all of this cooler air being supplied, how does it help performance? The basic concept is that since cold air is denser than warm air, your engine gets more air per cycle, and thus allows more fuel to be added to make more power. However, when a car is turbocharged, the process is a little more complicated. A turbo compresses and heats up your intake air and then sends it to an intercooler that cools the air back down. What that means is that the “colder air will make more power” generalization may not be as significant, especially with the advancements in modern turbocharged vehicles. Colder intake air does offer a benefit in the form of less stress on your turbo system. This means that your turbo does not have to work as hard to flow the same amount of air at the same boost pressure. Also a reduction in intake air temps can translate to slightly cooler air exiting your turbo compressor, which helps take some stress off the intercooler as well.

Mazda 3 turbo cold air intake heat shield installed

With all of the theory covered, let’s get to the real world results! In daily driving testing we found decreased intake air temps with the CorkSport Heatshield installed. When cruising or when it’s cold outside, we were actually surprised at the low intake temps of the CS SRI alone—there’s actually a surprising amount of fresh air that gets into the engine bay. Where the heatshield really comes into its own is when sitting stationary or driving on a very hot day. That’s when we saw our biggest improvements in intake air temp.

3 cold air intake heat shield test data

Lastly about the manufacturing, the CorkSport Heat Shield is made out of carbon steel that is laser cut and precision formed. Carbon steel was selected for its strength and lower heat transfer over aluminum. To fight off corrosion, the heatshield is powder coated wrinkle black and gives the heat shield a great look that helps it blend in with the other parts in the engine bay. Both sections of the shield are attached together using stainless steel rivets for corrosion resistance and a nice look. Lastly, we include rubber seals along the top edge of the CS Heat Shield to keep as much heat out as possible, and to prevent any unwanted vibrations or noise.

Mazda 3 turbo cold air box

If you’re looking to complement your CS SRI with some added heat protection or want to pick them up together, check out the product listing for the CorkSport Heat Shield for additional photos and video! Also, feel free to contact us with any questions you might have.

Cold Air Intake Systems Explained for your Naturally Aspirated & Turbo Mazda

Mazda 6 Turbo Performance Intake

Cold air intake systems, are they necessary? Are they worth the extra cost? Does it matter if the engine is turbocharged or not? Will the engine or its performance be hurt without one? We have repeatedly seen these questions on forums and social media groups regarding Mazda’s 3rd and 4th Generation Mazda 3 & 6. To help the Mazda community grow, learn about their cars, and what to do with them, we have written a blog that we hope will help shed some light on these questions and others. 

Most importantly, you will NOT hurt your engine if you use an SRI only on Turbo or Non-Turbo applications.  

What are the typical intake systems available for your Mazda? At CorkSport, we have two primary intake system setups: Short Ram Intake (SRI) System and Cold Air Intake (CAI) System. It is essential to distinguish between the two because you (the Mazda enthusiasts) will ultimately decide which system to use. 

Short Ram Intake (SRI) System

This CorkSport system consists of a filter, billet MAF housing, silicone coupler, a few clamps, and may or may not have a mounting bracket (depending on application). This system is efficient and straightforward (an unrestricted airflow path increases power). This system removes the factory airbox and snorkel. The cost is very effective for the results and provides excellent induction sounds. 

Mazda 6 Turbo Performance Intake

Cold Air Intake (CAI) System

CorkSport’s system consists of the SRI (as mentioned above) plus a heat shield or airbox designed to keep the engine bay heat away from the intake system’s inlet and helps direct cold air induction. This system removes the factory airbox and may or may not reuse the factory snorkel. The cost will be higher than an SRI due to the additional components involved and may muffle some of the induction noises but provide better heat control.

Mazda performance air intake heat shield

OK, is a Cold Air Intake System worth the extra cost and complexity? Does it do anything? Well, in our opinion, yes and no. We have tested this, and we have proven that a heatshield does improve (read reduce) “heat soak” of the intake system, BUT not in the ways most people expect. Below is some data from our 2018 Mazda 6 Turbo with our SRI and then also with our SRI + Heat Shield:

This first graph shows the vehicle idling for a period of time, much like sitting at a stoplight or in traffic. The red graph shows the SRI only, and the blue chart shows the SRI+Heat Shield. It’s pretty apparent the heat shield is helping reduce the amount of engine bay heat being ingested by the intake while the vehicle is sitting. The maximum temperature delta is approximately 15-20deg F. That’s a respectable improvement, and this lower amount of heat soak should, in theory, improve the vehicle’s acceleration from a complete stop. Now let’s look at a graph that combines idling and acceleration up to 50mph

The second graph indicates similar data for the stationary idling period, but more importantly, is what the data tells us once the vehicle starts moving. You see a small spike for both systems (this is due to the engine suddenly ingesting more air), then you see the air temp drop rapidly as the vehicle increases in speed. The vehicle’s forward motion/speed is important because that is how fresh cool ambient air enters the engine bay.

You’ll notice that both the red and blue graphs meet at the same point after the rapid cooling then have a small amount of fluctuation. In a nutshell, both the SRI and SRI+Heat Shield perform about the same once the vehicle is moving. Again, they perform almost identically once the car is rolling.

Next question, does it matter if the vehicle is turbocharged or not? Before we answer that, let’s go over the differences between turbocharged and non-turbocharged systems. 

Turbocharged

The engine is equipped with a turbocharger and an intercooler system to cool the boosted air temperatures before entering the engine. The intercooler system is required to negate the by-product of turbocharging an engine (and thus boost), which is heat. The airflow path is intake -> turbo -> intercooler -> engine.

In a turbocharged engine, the need for and use of a Cold Air Intake System is typically not deemed necessary or very useful. The turbocharger superheats the cooler air it receives from the intake before passing it to the intercooler. The boosted air exiting the turbo is substantially hotter than the ambient air temperatures in your engine bay before it enters the intake – especially true while the vehicle is moving.    

More focus is placed on performance improvements of the intercooler system because that is the primary method to cool the incoming boosted (read “hot”) airflow before it enters the engine. The use of a cold air intake system has little effect on the resulting boost air temps, so the cost-effectiveness is not great. This is precisely why the Mazdaspeed platform focuses on increasing the intake size (ingesting more air = more power), adding a larger turbo (more boost), and increasing the size of the intercooler (additional surface area for cooling) coupled with a professional tune to maximize power.

Non-Turbocharged

The engine is not equipped with a turbocharger and, therefore, does not require an intercooler system. The airflow path is more direct and does not have a cooling system built-in; intake -> engine.  

Since there is no intercooler to cool the incoming air (it’s not needed), the best way to improve air density and performance is with cooler air entering the engine directly. So, a cold air intake on a non-turbo engine can be helpful – especially in warmer climates. 

2019-Mazda-3-air-intake

Let’s Recap: 

In either turbo or non-turbo applications, a heat shield or CAI system will provide varying degrees of benefit in some driving situations. For a turbo application specifically, the usefulness of the CAI system is marginal due to the turbo heating the air it receives from the intake. Instead, investing in an SRI and performance intercooler system is a much better plan.   

For the non-turbo applications, a CAI system is a worthwhile investment because the airflow path is so much more direct, and it’s the only way to help reduce intake air temps and thus increase air density which equals power.  

We hope this has been a helpful and educational blog and lends support as you decide the right path for you and your Mazda! Thanks for tuning in!

-Barett @ CS

2019+ Mazda 3 & 2020+ CX30 – License Plate Relocation Kit is here!

Mazda3 License Plate Kit

If you’re looking for a quick and easy mod to boost the appearance of your 4th Gen Mazda 3 and CX-30, the new CorkSport License Plate Relocation Kit is a great place to look. The factory front license plate location is front and center which detracts from the aggressive front grill of the 4th Gen Mazda 3. The CS relocation kit moves the front license plate out of the center of the grill and over to the side for an overall better look. A comparison between the factory and CS license plate locations can be seen below. The CS relocation kit is also super simple to install and takes only 15-30 minutes to complete. Read on for a detailed look at the components included in the Mazda 3 License Plate Relocation Kit.   

First let’s take a look at the tow hook screw that is used to hold the license plate bracket. The tow hook screw is made out of high strength steel and zinc coated so that it will hold up in all types of environments. The tow hook screw also utilizes the factory mounting location to avoid any permanent modifications to the front end of your Mazda. Now onto the main component of the CS kit which is the license plate bracket. Starting out as an 11 gauge 304 stainless steel sheet the bracket is bent to provide quick access to the main mounting bolt and to also flow better with the lines of your front bumper. The license plate bracket includes a quick detach feature so if you ever need to run through a car wash you can quickly loosen the bolt with the provided low profile 19mm wrench and lift it up and off.

We have also positioned the license plate bracket out of the view of the parking sensors so everything continues to work as it should. Finally, all of the hardware included in the kit is stainless steel and we provide tamper resistant screws to hold on your license plate so it’s more difficult if anyone tried to remove it.    

Thanks for checking out the CorkSport License Plate Relocation Kit for the 4th Gen Mazda 3 & CX-30! Be sure to head over to the product page and scoop one of these up if you want an appearance boost for the front of your Mazda.

Mazdaspeed 3 Lowering Springs – V2.0

Speed3 Lowering Springs

CorkSport is proud to announce the new and improved Version 2.0 Lowering Springs for the 2007 – 2013 Mazdaspeed 3.  While the changes are subtle, it never hurts to go back and refine a product that is so well loved by the community

When designing performance lowering springs we want to find the right balance in performance, comfort, and style.  When done right performance springs can make a huge improvement in the vehicle’s overall driving experience.  That is our goal at CorkSport HQ.

The CorkSport V2.0 springs are very similar to the V1.0 with a ride height drop of approximately 1.1” front and 1.2” rear.  This is a fairly aggressive drop, but does cooperate with the stock struts after a bit of bump stop trimming.  That is all clearly laid out step-by-step in the included installation instructions.

Now ride height isn’t everything.  While it looks great, it also needs to perform great.  The CorkSport Sport Springs have specific spring rates so that they perform and feel great for the spirited and daily driven Mazdaspeed 3. 

Up front the spring rate is a linear 3.5K and the rear is a linear 4.5K.   We specifically design the springs with a higher rear spring rate to help the vehicle understeer vs oversteer characteristics and maintain a proper suspension frequency so your Speed feel solid and planted through the curves and over road imperfections.

Overall, the car is going to feel more lively and connected to the road, giving you more feedback and control to enjoy your Mazdaspeed 3.  

You probably also notice a new color!  Yes, our new V2.0 are now blue via a durable and corrosion resistant powder coat finish.  

Thanks for checking out the new CorkSport Lowering Springs for the Mazdaspeed 3.  If you have any questions you connect with us via Facebook, Email or give us a call; we’d love to help.

Mazda 6 Turbo Down Pipe

Mazda 6 performance exhaust downpipe

Time for more horsepower and boost with the Skyactiv 2.5 Turbo engine.

The Mazda 6 just got its next upgrade in the form of the CorkSport Downpipe for 2018-2022 models equipped with the 2.5L Turbo engine. We took the OEM downpipe and improved on it in every way, including sound, flow, power potential, and even ease of install! Help unlock power with the Mazda6 Turbo down pipe and take a step forward to more making power!

The CorkSport downpipe uses a 2-piece design that starts with a cast 304 stainless steel bellmouth. This provides a high flowing, smooth transition from the turbocharger to the piping that will stand up to the test of time and the high heat of the turbo. The piping is upgraded from the OEM 65mm diameter to 80mm mandrel bent piping to maximize flow and reduce restrictions. The bellmouth is joined to the piping using CNC machined v-band flanges which ensures a leak-free seal.

The two piece design is not all about flow though. We optimized the casting design to be easy to install and tighten all the hardware. Since you do not have the piping in the way, like you would with a one-piece downpipe, the mounting hardware at the turbo is very easy to access! Fitment is also spot on, as we used 3D scan data from the OEM downpipe when designing the CS downpipe. That means great fitment with your existing aftermarket exhaust, or even the OEM one! With exhaust, the CorkSport downpipe will change the exhaust note of your Mazda 6. With the full CS catback exhaust, we noticed a different tone with some extra “growl” and a very slight increase in volume. This goes for both the catted and catless setups, with just a hint more drone with the catless setup.


All of the efforts to reduce flow restrictions are in the name of power! By smoothing the exhaust path and eliminating restrictions, the turbocharger can breathe better. While we have not been able to fully tune the car to take advantage of the flow gains (more on that later), typically an upgraded downpipe offers faster spool times, better peak power, and can help hold power better at higher RPMs. We hope to be able to test & validate the power potential of the MZ6T downpipe soon, but for now, know that the CorkSport Downpipe has enough flow capacity to efficiently support 500+ WHP, assuming you’ve got the mods to make that power!

So the elephant in the room: tuning. While the CorkSport Downpipe can be installed and driven on an otherwise stock Mazda 6 Turbo, we strongly recommend a tune after installing the CS downpipe. There are some fairly strict limits to airflow and torque in the OEM tune that can result in some mild surging or “hiccups” especially when at wide open throttle. This is simply the car hitting those limits and pulling back power. We have experimented with these limits and have found no long term effects of hitting the limits or even going beyond. They are very conservative limits for safety with stock parts. With more efficient parts, your engine is working easier and is able to produce added power/torque and consume more air so the limits are simply hit easier.

Let’s go through some housekeeping on the Mazda 6 Turbo downpipe. We offer the downpipe in both fully catless and with a high flow 300cel cat. As modifying or removing the primary cat is illegal in most areas, both options are sold for off-road or race use only. The fully catless setup will be the best for power gains but also comes with an all but guaranteed check engine light. The catted option cuts down on the smell of a fully catless setup but will sometime still throw a CEL. This CEL can however be disabled with a tune.

Finally, what comes in the box with your MZ6T downpipe? Each kit comes with all hardware needed for install. This includes: new turbo studs & crimp nuts, exhaust connection hardware, a Remflex exhaust gasket, and the stainless steel v-band clamp for connecting the upper and lower sections. Also included is a support bracket for the downpipe and even a custom heatshield to deflect heat away from engine bay components. Both come with required mounting hardware as well!

Be sure to check out the product listing HERE for more images, a product teaser video, and pricing. Ready your Mazda 6 Turbo for some big power with downpipe kit from CorkSport!