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.

View all Mazda 3 Parts

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

Performance Parts for the 4th Gen Mazda 3

Today we are going to lay it all out; we are going to tell you about what we are working on for your Mazda 3 and WE ARE EXCITED!  Who are we?  If you don’t know already, we are CorkSport Mazda Performance based out of Vancouver, Washington.  We are the number One Performance Aftermarket Mazda Parts Company and we have set our sights on the 4th Generation Mazda 3.

Below are the first projects we are developing for the 4th Gen Mazda 3 and CX30.  Engine performance, suspension performance, and styling are all covered here and we are closer to launch than you may realize.  Sit back and enjoy, there’s a lot here and we want you to see it all. 

CorkSport – Lowered on CS Springs

One of the most sought after and anticipated performance items for the 2019+ Mazda 3 are the CorkSport Sport Lowering Springs.   The CS springs provide the most aggressive drop on the market today while providing a sporty and comfortable ride for daily driver use.  With that, we have confirmed fitment on FWD manual transmission hatch and AWD automatic transmission sedan.  We found that the Auto AWD Sedan rides just slightly lower, but is still within proper ride height for suspension function.

See all of our Lowering Springs

We design our springs with more than just looks in mind (but they do look great).  Spring rates and the suspension frequency are critical to performance and comfort.  With that being said we increased the front spring rate 52% and rear rate 40% based on the OEM 2019 FWD Hatch MT springs.  

CorkSport

Now if you’re looking at the images and thinking “Damn those wheels look good” then you are correct and we agree; they look amazing and fit the car and CorkSport springs perfect.  

Here are the specs: Advan RS 19×8.5 +38 with 235/35 Kumhos.  We have just the slightest rub on the inner fender on large bumps.  Besides that they are perfect and you can have this setup too!

See all of our Axle-Backs

Next up is the CorkSport Axle-Back Exhaust.  Off the showroom floor, the Mazda 3 is ghostly quiet which is pretty disappointing. Our goal with the Performance Axle-Back Exhaust is a noticeable but mellow tone that you can enjoy every single day; gents this is Wife/Girlfriend approved. 

CorkSport – Using OEM Springs

We are proud to announce that will we be supporting multiple models on launch.  We have confirmed the Sedan, Hatch, Hatch w/Aero Package, and the CX-30.   Along with that we have confirmed fitment for both FWD and AWD models for all cars listed.  

See all of our Strut Bars

Look closely, there’s a couple new products in this engine bay…long in development is the Short Ram Intake System which replaces the OEM airbox with a high flow dry element filter, billet aluminum MAF housing, 4-ply silicone coupler, and stainless steel T-bolt clamps.  

Upon launch we will be offering various color combinations between Black, Red, and Blue.  You can see them below.   

See all of our Intakes

In our testing we have seen repeatable 5whp gains at peak with a nice increase across the RPM range.  Street driving our butt dyno agrees with crisp throttle response and a lovely intake induction noise.  The combination of induction noises, exhaust note, and sporty feedback from the sport springs really turns the Mazda 3 from an A-to-B car to a great enthusiast hot hatch.  

CorkSport

The other project sitting in the engine bay is the CorkSport Front Strut Brace.  Bracing the strut towers to each other improves chassis stiffness and reduces suspension complicity.  This results in increased driver feedback and thus a better driving experience.  The powder coated steel brackets and polished aluminum cross bar add a nice loot to the engine bay.  

See all of our Swaybars

Lastly, and still in development, are the rear sway bars for the FWD and AWD 4th Gen Mazda 3.  This project has been interesting because of the new torsion beam rear suspension found on the 4th Gen Mazda 3.  It’s interesting because there is no factory equipped sway bar.  Instead of just developing a larger rear sway bar, we are developing a sway bar from scratch along with the attachment methods.  

You also notice that there are two different bars in the image.  This is because the AWD and FWD torsion beams are different due to the AWD drivetrain.  Long story short, we are developing a RSB for each drivetrain specifically because that’s the correct way to do it.  

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 2019+ Mazda 3 platform, you can do so right here by Submitting a Product Idea.  

Also, we love sharing with the community directly and have been doing so in these groups.  If you don’t know about them then check them out and join for more info.  

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

-Barett @ CS

Oil Catch Can Kit for 2016+ SkyActiv Turbo 2.5L

Skyactiv Turbo OCC Kit

When you think of a performance aftermarket component you typically think of a part that increases the vehicle’s power, but some performance parts don’t. Instead they have a more critical purpose, increasing the reliability of your performance engine and components.  The CorkSport Oil Catch Can Kit (OCC Kit) is just that type of component(s). 

CNC machined Mazda Oil Catch Can

Why is an Oil Catch Can Kit critical for your Mazda?  Despite the huge advancement Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) technology there are still some downfalls.  Compared to the more conventional port injection fuel systems, GDI is much more prone to engine oil fuel dilution.  This is primarily due GDI injecting directly into the cylinder; in low speed operation and cold starts the fuel simply does not have enough time to fully atomize into a gas before ignition.  This results in some excess fuel seeping past the piston rings into the oil along with any combustion chamber blow by the pistons.  This is fuel dilution. 

OCC catch all the nasty build up from entering your Mazda Skyactiv engine

Here you can see the results of a CorkSport OCC installed for ~3000 miles on a 2018 Mazda 6 2.5T.  This engine only has 500 miles and has an average commute of 15 miles & 20 minutes of mixed traffic and speeds. 

Mazda’s OE design attempts to resolve some of this with a valve cover breather that vents directly into the turbocharger compressor inlet and a PCV (Positive Crankcase Ventilation) valve in the engine block that vents to the intake manifold. 

How the Mazda OCC works

Mazda’s setup depends on the fuel and water vapor inside the crankcase being drawn into the intake manifold and intake system to then be re-ingested by the engine.  This has two major flaws:

  1. The direct crankcase ventilation via the PCV valve only works while cruising (no boost).  Combustion gas blow by will occur most often while in boost under high throttle application when the PCV valve is closed.
  2. This forces the engine to re-ingest dirty air that carries contaminants in the form of fuel and water vapor along with carbon debris.  These containments then build up on the inside of the intake manifold, cylinder head runners, and the intake valves slowly degrading performance over time. 
Carbon build up on a Mazda engine without the catch can

The CorkSport OCC Kit provides you with two major features:

  1. Both the valve cover vent and the PCV valve are drawn from the turbo inlet directly ahead of the turbocharger compressor. Thus both the valve cover and PCV valve have constant vacuum in all driving conditions, both cruising and high throttle application.
  2. The oil catch can itself acts as a “filter” for the vapor and debris that would normally be directly ingested by the engine. The drawn crankcase vapor and debris is separates and collects in the catch can for easy removal during normal oil changes. 

As you saw above, there is a significant amount of vapor and fine debris that is being filtered out of the crankcase air that would have normally been ingested.  As you continue down the path of modifying and demanding more form your Mazda, the need for a OCC System only becomes more and more critical. 

Bolt on Mazda Cx5, Cx9, and Mazda 6 turbo

Testing & Validation: CorkSport 2.5L SkyActiv Race Header

mazda 6 exhaust header

Over the past few months, we’ve been teasing you with tidbits of info on the CorkSport Race Header for the Mazda 3 2.5L SkyActiv-G in the GEN3’s. Today’s blog is a big one as we go through the testing we performed on the header and share some results, including power! Before we get too deep though, be sure to get up to speed with a breakdown of the OEM header and our design goals for the CS header.

mazda 3 skyactiv header
2014+ Mazda 3 Header Installed

Addressing Underhood Heat

In our previous blog, some of you keen-eyed individuals were asking about underhood temperatures with the ram-horn style CorkSport header. Well, we went through testing to ensure everything will function as before when the new header is added. We’re happy to let you know that we saw very similar under the hood temperatures as the OEM header. As a double check, we applied some temperature sensitive stickers to some areas near to the CS header, as shown below. These stickers will fill in with color if a temperature listed is reached. While these ended up reaching higher temps than with the OEM header, no areas are at risk of damage or malfunction. Furthermore, both the CorkSport racecar and our beta tester have run the 2014+ Mazda 3 race header at the track with no issues with overheating, power losses, or engine bay damage!

2.5l SkyActive Race Header testing
2.5l SkyActive Race Header testing with temperature sensitive stickers

How Does The Header Sound?

Before we get into the really good stuff, let’s go through a side effect of freeing up the headers on any engine: volume. We tested the Mazda 3 SkyActiv race header with multiple different setups: OEM cat back, CS 60mm cat back, CS 80mm cat back, and straight pipe. The race header on an OEM cat back is something that will not likely be used often (who runs a racecar with a stock exhaust?) but offers some nice growl and extra volume over the OEM exhaust. Both the CS 60mm and 80mm exhausts sound fantastic, with the 80mm being louder and having higher power potential than the 60mm. Even so, the 80mm is not uncomfortably loud and could be daily driven if full catalytic converter deletes are street legal in your area. We cannot recommend the straight pipe though. It is extremely loud and very uncomfortable. If you want a tease of sound with the 80mm cat back, check out our feature on our beta tester’s car in the video below.

80mm Cat Back with the 2014+ Mazda 3 Header!

The SkyActiv-G Race Header Adds Power

Full Race Header for the Mazda 2.5l SkyActiv Engine
Full Race Header for the 2.5l SkyActiv Engine

Alright, I’ve kept you waiting long enough, let’s talk power. The 4-2-1 design is very evident in our tests, as we did not see huge gains at peak WHP/WTQ. We did see very good gains throughout the midrange. From 2000RPM or lower all the way up to about 5300RPM we made 4-8WHP and 5-15WTQ. On our beta tester’s car with a good tune and supporting mods, this meant 194WHP and 226WTQ on 91 octane pump gas. The graph below shows a direct comparison of a 2016 Mazda 6 with a CS short ram intake, CS 60mm exhaust, and the same tune with and without the race header. Keep in mind, there is more optimization to be had with tuning with the header installed, and greater gains with an 80mm exhaust. The midrange gain may not seem like much but is extremely noticeable when driving the car.

Mazda 6 Race Header Dynograph
Comparison of a 2016 Mazda 6 with a CS short ram intake, CS 60mm exhaust, and the same tune with and without the race header.

That’s about it for our testing and validation blog. Next time you’ll hear about the CorkSport Race Header for the 2014+ Mazda 3, it will be released! Be sure to stay tuned to all the CS channels if you’re interested in being one of the first to pick one up.

-Barett @ CorkSport

P.S. We noticed a lot of you asking if this header will fit the auto transmission or 2.0L. The automatic transmission is 2-3” larger right where the lower section of the header sits, so for optimum pipe routing, we had to do away with automatic fitment. The 2.0L has a different bolt pattern and exhaust port spacing on the engine, so the 2.0L will not work with the CS race header either.

Please
submit a product idea here if you would like to see automatic fitment, 2.0L fitment, or any other product for your car. The more submissions, the more likely we are to produce one so tell your car buddies!