2017+ Mazda CX-5 Turbo Lowering Springs are Here!

We are proud to announce the Sport Lowering Springs for 2017+ Mazda CX-5 equipped with the 2.5L turbocharged engine. We took a fresh approach to spring design to offer you the best combination of style, ride quality, and handling in a package that fits just like OEM. The new Mazda CX-5 looks great, but a functional drop gives it just what it needs to look even better. 

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Let’s get right to the point…ride height. The CX-5 looks great but it needs a drop and dropped it we did. Being an SUV, the factory ride height is pretty high up so we were able to make a significant drop while still keeping your SUV functional and practical for a daily driver.  

These springs offer a drop of about 2.1 inches front & rear. We chose this height as it offers a great new look without sacrificing any of the daily drivability of the Mazda CX-5. This height clears the typical driveway with no issues, and retains plenty of suspension travel, even when fully loaded with 5 adults and weight in the trunk. 

Driver + Rear Passenger

The height drop will be noticed when you’re outside the car, but the handling improvements will be apparent when driving. By lowering the center of gravity and stiffening the springs, body roll is reduced in corners, giving you extra confidence when attacking that backroad (Haha we know it’s an SUV). Also, we stiffened the rear springs more than the fronts, reducing understeer. By number, this meant 3.4K front springs (17% stiffer than OEM) and 7.0K rear springs (32% stiffer than OEM). 

CorkSport

While this may sound like a big jump, they ride very similar to the OEM springs. We used natural frequency analysis and referenced our spring designs from earlier CX5 models to ensure we achieved comfortable characteristics over bumps. The spring rates we chose fit well with the stock shocks and struts to prevent any bounciness, plus, the drop ensures you are in the normal operating range of the dampers. This means no prematurely worn shocks/struts due to springs that are too low. 

2017+ Mazda CX-5 Lowering Springs – FWD & AWD

Lastly, the CS Sport Lowering Springs are made from high tensile strength spring steel and come with pre-installed spring isolators to eliminate any unwanted noises common with lowering springs. With that, we are introducing our new CorkSport Blue powder coat for long-lasting quality and corrosion resistance. They install just like stock, reusing all your OEM components. The only permanent modification is trimming the bump stops to match OEM suspension travel. 

Thanks for checking out the new lowering springs for the facelift 2017+ CX-5. Check out our product listing for more details and images!

  • Barett @ CS

Mazdaspeed Cast Exhaust Manifold

Today is a huge day for the Speed community; one that has been coming for a long time with both celebration and frustration. Never the less time is up and this project is ready for the community as a whole!

We are proud to announce the Performance Exhaust Manifold for the Mazdaspeed 3 & 6! With over 2 years in development, the MPS exhaust manifold has been long waiting, but for good reason. A project of this scale does not happen overnight; many variables have to be considered, evaluated, and verified.  

I’m confident you have seen “leaked” images from our 6 Alpha and Beta testers over the recent month, but we can make it official.  

CorkSport

But with so many options currently available what makes the CorkSport option compelling? Why should you care?  

That’s a great question and one that can easily be answered with multiple great reasons. The most obvious is the design: this includes the overall shape and the type of material & manufacturing.  

Mazdaspeed Exhaust Manifold

Material & Manufacturing: In our initial investigation and vetting of this project we strongly considered two primary manufacturing methods; Casting and Tubular fabrication (check out the blog here). In a nutshell, we opted for a cast manufacturing method because it reduced the chance of failure modes, reduced the overall size and weight, and gave us more flexibility in design.  

Like most exhaust manifolds, we opted to use 304 stainless steel because it is corrosion-resistant, handles heat well, and is a common and cost-effective material.  

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Following up is Design: The list of details that went into the design is far too long to list here, but we can cover the major items that define the CS Exhaust Mani. With investment casting, we had a lot more flexibility in design with the bend radius, diameters, and wall thickness of the individual runners. This allowed us to increase the inner diameter of the runners to 1.59 inches, achieve a 0.200-inch wall thickness, and fine-tune the path and bends of each runner to optimize runner length and flow.  

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With that flexibility in design, we were able to increase peak flow and improve flow balance per runner. Overall we were able to increase peak flow 45% over the OEM manifold and 33% over the XS Power V3.  

Next up in design, and arguably the most exciting and unique aspect, is the modular flange system.  

Mazdaspeed Exhaust Manifold

This is unlike any other manifold available for the Mazdaspeed today…you can choose your flange between OEM Stock Flange, Precision V-Band, or T3. Sure all these options are available today from other options, but none are modular. Say you pull the trigger on the OE Stock Flange today, but a year from now you want to upgrade your build to a Precision V-band flange. With any other manifold, you would have to buy another $900+ manifold to get the new flange, but with the CorkSport Exhaust Manifold, you just have to get the new flange elbow for your setup. This is MUCH MUCH cheaper and easier to change!

CorkSport

Speaking of install, compared to the typical performance exhaust manifold the CS design is cake to install. With the modular design, you are not fighting the entire bulk for the manifold and flange at the same time. You can leave you turbocharger unmoved connected to the downpipe and intake system, you just install the flange elbow after the manifold is in and bolted to the engine.  

Mazdaspeed Exhaust Manifold

Making life even easier…we opted to develop a pre-fabbed dump tube (screamer pipe) for the Tial 44mm EWG. This is an optional feature for the kit, but one we highly suggest because it’s just so damned easy. Designed for MPS 3 and MPS 6, it fits around most standard downpipes and dumps below the sub-frame right behind the drive axle. Also included with each kit is a SS heat shield that is required for the GEN1 and GEN2 Mazdaspeed 3. You Mazdaspeed 6 guys just get a cool garage ornament.  

So how does the CS exhaust manifold stack up on power? 

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First up is a fully bolted CST4 MS3 with a 6th port fuel system: Comparing the CS EM to the OEM EM, this drop-in test we found that the turbo was spooling faster, carried more mid and upper range power and held that gain through to redline. Overall it improved power under that curve which is what truly makes a car fast and fun to drive.  

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Next up is a fully bolted and built CST6 MS3 with 8th port fuel system: Just like the previous graph, we saw an improvement in spool, mid and upper rpm ranges, and carried it to redline. The difference here is the exhaust manifold we are comparing. This is showing the difference between the CS EM and the XS Power V3.  

With that being said, the CorkSport Exhaust Mani has been proven to 685whp on this same car and with the CST6. We are confident the CS exhaust manifold has far more capacity to support; if we have anything to do with that we will prove it. 

Mazdaspeed Exhaust Manifold

Lastly is sound…we’ve been asked a lot about the sound. How will it affect the sound? Will it sound like a Honda now? Will it be louder?  

We knew the sound was critical because let’s be honest…we are all car guys/gals and Mazdaspeed has a great unique sound to it. We did not want to lose that so we did our best to hit performance goals without sacrificing the Mazdaspeed grumble.  

One of our Beta testers put together a great video comparing the sound of OEM vs CorkSport. The car is a GEN1 MS3 with a built engine, full bolt-ons, CST4, and Cobb Exhaust system. Check out this video link for sound!

In our design, we kept a varied length runner design to help maintain the Mazdaspeed grumble. We believe we succeeded in keeping that classic grumble, but also refined the sound a bit. We like to describe it as exotic. Either way, the grumble lives on, and honestly, none of our beta testers can stop grinning ear to ear with every WOT pull.  

With that being said act fast! We know these are going to fly off the shelf and we are going to do our damn very best to keep them in stock for everyone, but don’t wait!

Grab yours here!

Thanks for tuning in with CorkSport Mazda Performance.  

-Barett @ CS

4th Gen Mazda 3 Sport Springs

The 2019+ 4th generation Mazda 3 is a car that certainly divided opinions when it came out. From its divisive looks to the new torsion beam suspension, even we weren’t quite sure what to make of it at first. However, we have since fallen in love with our shop 4th GEN, a big part of it is what we are releasing today: the CorkSport Performance Lowering Springs for 2019+ Mazda 3 (Sedan & Hatchback for both AWD & FWD). Give your new 3 an aggressive look that is sure to turn heads while improving the handling for those twisty backroads!

2019-2020 Mazda 3 lowering springs
Gen 4 Lowering Springs

Let’s start off with the elephant in the room: ride height. When we developed these springs, it was somewhat difficult as we had to account for different body styles, transmission options, and now even driveline options. With all things taken into account, we found the right range of ride height that looks great on the lightest, heaviest, and all options in between.

The perfect balance of lowering for the 2020 Mazda 3
Why Lowering Springs?

On the lightest GEN4: hatchback, front-wheel drive, manual trans, the CS lowering springs offer 1.5” front and 1.8” rear ride height drop. On the heaviest GEN4: sedan, all-wheel drive, auto trans, the CS lowering springs offer 1.6” front and 2.2” rear ride height drop. Depending on your vehicle’s options, you will end up at or between these extremes. Don’t worry though, your ride ends up sitting level no matter what combination of options you have. The images below show the lightest (upper) and heaviest (lower) Mazda 3.

AWD Mazda 3 low down springs
CorkSport

We also focused heavily on improving the handling with the CS GEN4 lowering springs. A lower ride height means a lower center of gravity which when combined with a stiffer spring rate, means less body roll. This improves handling feel and driver confidence when attacking a backroad. We even increased the rear spring rate more than the front to reduce understeer and help with turn-in.

All Lowering Springs

The CorkSport 2019+ MZ3 springs went through a few different iterations of spring rate and ride height before we found the best balance of ride quality, handling, and appearance. The final spring rates are 3.4K front and 5.9K rear. Compared to the OEM rates of 2.23K front, 4.20K rear, we made a decent jump in rate; however, the new springs are well within the OEM damping rates. The ride is obviously stiffer than OEM yet is not bouncy and you can still comfortably daily drive on the springs.

The perfect lowered stance for your 4th Gen Mazda3
CorkSport

During development, we even tested for the natural frequency changes in the suspension from installing lowering springs. Essentially, the natural frequency is a good way to compare how “stiff” one car feels compared to another, even if their suspensions are different (for more background info on natural frequency, check out this blog). We went from an OEM of ~1.6Hz front and rear to 1.75Hz front and 1.8Hz rear on the CS lowering springs. This increase is enough to feel “sporty” but not enough that it will ruin your drive to work.

FWD or AWD the springs work on all 2020 MZ3
Gen 4 Springs

As with all CS lowering springs, they are a direct fit install that can completely change your car in only a few hours. The only permanent modifications are trimming the OEM bump stops to account for the lower ride height. To ensure they will last as long as your car, each spring is made out of high tensile strength spring steel, which is then powder coated blue for corrosion resistance and a great look. The rear springs even include spring silencers to prevent any added noise from the lowering springs.

The CorkSport GEN4 Mazda 3 Lowering Springs have really changed our opinion on the new body style. With the right set of wheels, our CS shop car turns heads all day long and would fit right in at any car show. If you’re ready to upgrade your 3’s handling and give it an aggressive look, we are happy to help! Give us a call if you have any questions, and be sure to check out the product video on the web listing!

Performance Parts for the SkyActiv-G Turbo 2.5L

About a year and a half ago we launched our first performance part for the highly anticipated turbocharger 2.5L SkyActiv-G; the Short Ram Intake. This being the first factory turbocharged engine in a Mazda since the long-missed Mazdaspeed 3 in 2013. We were eager to start developing new and exciting products for the Turbo SkyActiv…and trust me that passion has not slowed down.

Today we are going to give you a sneak peek of what’s to come for the Sky Turbo 2.5L through 2020.

2018+ Mazda 6 Turbo 2.5L – Sport Lowering Springs

First up is not necessarily a new product for your Mazda 6, but is an iteration in response to the feedback we’ve received. The current CorkSport Sport Lowering Springs for the 2018+ Mazda 6 (shown above) are sporty, comfortable, and provide a balanced drop of 1.0” Front and 0.75” Rear. While many have praised the springs in their current iteration, some have asked for a more aggressive feel and stance.

We’ve heard you and we are taking action. We are currently developing more aggressive sport springs that will drop the ride height further and bump up the springs rates a bit; we are calling these the “LowLow” springs. Since we are still in development we have not finalized the ride heights and springs rates, but we have a target drop of approximately 1.5” Front and 1.65” Rear.

2018+ Mazda 6 Turbo 2.5L Short Ram Intake

Next up is a new product and one that many of you are asking for. While the Short Ram Intake does increase performance and looks great riding solo in the engine bay, we’ve decided to develop a heat shield kit to further compliment the SRI. We are in the final testing and validation stages, seeing great results with cooler intake air temperatures.

We will be launching the heat shield kit as a solo option so you can upgrade your current SRI system and in a bundle deal if you are looking for a complete kit for your Turbocharged Mazda 6, CX-5 or CX-9.

CorkSport

Next up is a completely new option for the SkyActiv turbo platform…high-performance turbo inlet pipe. This is the first turbo inlet pipe option and is designed to install with the OEM battery, but why is this important or exciting? Just like the Short Ram Intake, improvements inflow in and out of the engine increase efficiency and thus overall power potential.

Turbo inlet pipes are a common upgrade for the Mazdaspeed platform as performance requirements increase. While most of those turbo inlet pipes are manufactured from aluminum pipe or silicone, the SkyActiv-G Turbo Inlet Pipe will be manufactured from cast aluminum. This allowed us to maximize space with a unique shape and still maintain OEM like fitment. Stay tuned for more info on this project.

Did you notice that there is a blue and red silicone coupler on the intake system? In the very near future, we will be providing silicone color options for the Short Ram Intake: Black, Red, Blue so you can choose a style that fits your car best.

CorkSport

Lastly is the other side of the engine. To complement the CorkSport 80mm Cat-Back Exhaust, we are developing a High-Performance Downpipe in two setups. Race Only Non-Catted and Street Catted setups.

A first for CorkSport, we are designing the downpipe in a “modular” design that will drastically reduce the difficulty in installation and improve durability. The upper section directly bolted to the turbocharger is a cast 304 stainless steel with included heat shield and the lower section is thick-walled 80mm stainless steel piping. They connect via a v-band clamp for a simple install process vs wrestling the entire downpipe into the car and onto the turbo.

Wow, that was a lot, and trust me there is more we are investigating, but we can’t let ALL the secrets out yet. We would love to know what products you would like CorkSport to develop for the 2018+ Mazda 6 SkyActiv Turbo platform, you can do so right here by Submitting a Product Idea.

Thanks for tuning in with CorkSport. We hope you are as excited about the 4th Gen SkyActiv Turbo platform as we are!

-Barett @ CS

2019 Mazda 3 – What’s new with the suspension?

With the introduction of the 4th generation Mazda 3 there are many questions around the new chassis, engine, interior, and many other components. Here we are going to start investigating the suspension as we move through the process of developing sport lowering springs for the 4th Gen Mazda 3.

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If you didn’t know already, we recently purchased a 2019 Mazda 3 Premium with the 6 manual transmission and Snowflake white paint. Right out of the box the 2019 has impressed us with its intuitive driver feedback through the steering wheel, pedals, and gear shifter. The interior is phenomenal and the exterior is…growing on us.

BUT enough of the chatter lets throw the car on the lift and take a look at the suspension.

CorkSport

At the front of the car, we have a pretty typical McPherson strut assembly with a lower control arm. This type of suspension is very common in modern passenger cars because it is simple, durable, and cost-effective. There are tons of aftermarket support for this type of suspension because it is so common, but from a purely performance standpoint, it does leave something to be desired.

Comparing the 2019 to our inhouse 2018 3rd Gen you can see one major difference. The connection from the steering knuckle to the strut body is now a simple clamp collar vs the two-bolt connection on the 3rd gens. We imagine this was purely a cost-cutting design change. For you, the result is just a slightly more difficult installation.

View all of our Lowering Springs

At the rear of the car, things are drastically different. Instead of the more standard multi-link trailing arm suspension, we have a torsion beam style suspension. Mazda says this was “to reduce unwanted movement in the suspension and increase driver comfort”, but sadly we believe this is straight-up cost cutting at the sacrifice of performance.

Check our 3rd Gen Suspension options

We could go into a bunch of nerdy details here, but in a nutshell, going from multi-link trailing arm to torsion beam takes away our ability to adjust and control camber, toe, and rear roll stiffness because all of these major suspension dynamics are integrated (or discarded) with the torsion beam design. Never fear, the Team at CorkSport Mazda Performance is working on solutions to this, but it will be a challenge.

Now specifically looking at the rear springs, you can see that the spring is very short. This caused some difficulty in design, but we have successfully overcome this hurdle.

View all of our current lowering springs

We’ve tested the OEM springs rates and WOW are they soft. We developed prototypes to validate our target springs rates and have been driving on those for about a few months now. Happily, from this testing, we’ve found that the OE struts/dampers damping rate is more than sufficient for proper sport lowering springs. With that complete, we’ve designed multiple sets of lowering springs with various ride height targets and our tested springs rates.

Lastly, we tested various final prototypes to get our final ride height just right. Ladies and Gentlemen, these will be LOW and will work with Sedan, Hatch, AWD, and FWD!

We are excited to release final production units to the public in #twoweeks. It is important to note, CorkSport 7th Gear Members will have an opportunity to purchase these springs a week before the general release and they will receive free shipping (in the lower 48 states), as part of their membership benefits!

If you have not seen what the future holds for your 4th Gen Mazda 3, see our product pipeline blog here. If you have ideas or feedback, please let us know. We are listening, we want to hear from you!

-Barett @ CS