I was looking at the Mazda Japan website the other day and noticed that there is now an option for a Mazda 3 gasoline hybrid listed. Years ago Mazda announced that they were working with Toyota hybrid tech and this looks to be the result.
There isn’t a lot of detail listed with the description of the model so I decided to do a comparison of the Mazda 3 against the current model year of Prius as the 2 vehicles are most likely running the same hybrid drive setup.
Price: With the current exchange rate the Mazda 3 hybrid is ~$23500 which is almost the same as the current Prius price shown of $23475. You get more car with the Mazda 3 for the price and a car which handles like a car should. Win here for the Mazda.
Styling: Right away I can tell you I prefer the styling of the Mazda 3 over the Batmobile inspired Prius which looks like someone used a late 50s Chevy and applied the styling.
Fuel Economy: This one is the funniest thing and really shows where Mazda’s engine tech is beating all of the other manufacturers. Toyota Prius 1.8 hybrid gets 56mpg in combined city/highway. Mazda 3 2.0 hybrid gets 63mpg. Caveat on this data, I took the economy listed on the Japanese page and converted it to MPG so they are not based on the same drive cycles.
If your Japanese skills are on point check out the landing page for the 2018 Mazda 3 Hybrid yourself here. Just a note google translate won’t let you convert the page due to SSL from Mazda’s page.
So you are asking why do I care about a hybrid and in all honesty I probably won’t own one myself but if it does happen I prefer to at least own one that handles worth a crap and has decent driving dynamics. I can’t say I have ever heard anyone raving about how good the chassis is in a Prius.
CorkSport is proud to introduce the first and only performance transmission motor mount for GEN3 Mazdas. It’s a simple upgrade that can really change how shifting feels in your 2014-2018 Mazda 3, 2014-2017 Mazda 6, or 2013-2018 Mazda CX-5. We saw how an upgraded mount can drastically affect the characteristics of your car with our Mazda 3/6/CX-5 RMM and wanted to take the next step in getting the best driver feel you can out of your car.
We followed a design similar to the OE mount to ensure proper fitment and function for all engine and transmission options. Whether you have a 2.0L Mazda 3 Auto, a 2.5L Mazda 6 Manual, or anything in between, the CorkSport TMM will bolt right in with no issues. We even retained the OE battery tray mounting location to ensure the battery stays stationary. Don’t be mistaken though, the CorkSport Mazda Transmission Motor Mount is a completely different mount than OE.
The OE mount uses relatively soft rubber to ensure the least amount of noise and vibration makes its way into the cabin. It also allows the engine and transaxle to move around a surprising amount while accelerating, decelerating, or changing gears. By using 70A durometer polyurethane, the CorkSport TMM helps to lock down the engine and transaxle for better throttle response, less wheel hop, and much-improved gear changes. When we first installed a prototype TMM in the CorkSport Mazda 3 racecar, we immediately noticed the lack of delay and slop coming from the transmission when setting off from a stop and changing gears.
Don’t think we forgot about vibration and noise though. The size and stiffness of the polyurethane pucks were chosen to help minimize the adverse effects of stiffer mounts. That being said, there is still some added vibration and noise, most noticeable in automatic cars, when lugging the engine, and/or when using the A/C system. Once you are up and cruising on the highway, however, the added NVH is virtually eliminated solely by road noise.
Much like the CorkSport RMM, the TMM uses billet aluminum for the main body of the mount. After machining, it is anodized black for durability and finished off with a laser etched CS logo. A zinc-coated steel sleeve is used through the center of the bushings so you can be sure that your mount is tightened to spec. Finally, stainless steel is used for the hardware, angled mounting plate, and side washers. All of these materials were selected for their strength and corrosion resistance so that your CorkSport Mazda TMM will stand the test of time.
The CorkSport Mazda 3, Mazda6, and CX-5 Transmission Motor Mount will liven up you GEN3 whether you use it as a daily driver or racecar. The TMM is even better when combined with our RMM however, it works standalone perfectly fine. While not for everyone, those who are willing the sacrifice a little comfort for a boost in driver feel will love this mount.
Transmission Motor Mount for Mazda 3, 6, & CX-5 March 29th, 2018CorkSport
How about something a little different from the usual CS blog? I thought I would give you all a little insight into all the different Mazdas that are owned by employees. Some are daily drivers, some are full racecars, and some are…different (more on that later). So grab a cold refreshment, we’ve got quite a few cars to go through.
Modifications: Full Flyin’ Miata CAI, polished stainless piping, Turbosmart recirculating bypass valve, manual boost controller, O2 signal modifier, boost gauge. Recent Mustang Dyno showed a consistent 189.9WHP.
Corey’s Comments: Purchased new to me at 17,000 miles in 2012 for my 40th birthday. The MSP Miata had been stored for 4 years-everything was original, even the tires. This Miata came from California and had never seen rain. I keep it in the garage and it’s mainly a fair weather/weekend car except during the summer. I enjoy taking a ride in the MSM with each of my kids, but love honking the horn at people and making my son wave back…like he knows them.
Owner: Luke Year/Model: 2009 Mazdaspeed 3 GT Mileage: 124,000
Modifications: Full bolted, built engine, CS prototype turbo, methanol injection. Too many CorkSport Par
Luke’s Comments: Car has been through stock turbo/stock block, CS turbo/stock block, CS turbo/built block, 35r/built block, and now CS prototype turbo/built block. Fun fact: my girlfriend went faster in my car than I did when I first bought it. Stock turbo went 12.8 @ 110mph in the 1320.
Owner: Daniel Year/Model: 2007 Mazdaspeed 6 Mileage: 68,000
Daniel’s Comments: Just bought the MS6 a few weeks ago, doing a ton of maintenance before mods. This Mazdaspeed6 started out as a dealer fleet vehicle (whatever that means). Bought it from a guy who owned it the past ~9 years. Hoping to sneak some new Mazdaspeed 6 parts into the CS catalog and feed the zoom-zoom obsession!
Modifications: Virtually everything in the CS catalog for MS3. Plus a few prototype parts that never made their way to the market.
Comments: Affectionately called “Whitey”. On its 2nd built engine (we use and abuse this thing). This was one of Vincent’s first projects when he arrived at CS: rebuild Whitey’s engine. He just got done rebuilding it for the second time and is now breaking it in.
Modifications:Full CS bolt-ons, big turbo, meth injection, making 430whp 385ft-lbs. BC coilovers w/ custom rated Swift springs, BMSPEC front splitter, Varis rear diffuser, custom side skirt extensions, Volk TE37SL: front 18×11 rear 18×10, paint matched 240Z flares, 330mm BBK.
Brett’s Comments: I’ve had the Mazdaspeed3 for about 4 years now. It has every CS bolt on in the catalog. Helps that I work here now. This MS3 makes ~430 WHP, and is a stock block for now; built block soon to come. I take more pictures of this car than I do anything else.
The GEN 3’s
Owner: Jennifer Year/Model: 2014 Mazda 3 2.5L Hatch Mileage: 100,000
Jennifer’s Comments: The car has been used for the majority of the Mazda3 research and design at CS. This Mazda 3 is daily driven ~80miles each day to torture test CorkSport parts, it helps that the commute to my house is that far round trip. Basically, my daily drive is a perfect example of “running up a hill both ways” for this Mazda 3.
Collin’s Comments: Aside from the performance parts available at CS, I chose this car due to the extra ~30HP compared to most commuter cars. I still get 42MPG on my freeway commute. This is my first New Car I bought myself and I have loved learning how to modify on it.
Rich’s Comments: I drove around the same B2300 for many years while we built CorkSport from the ground up. I finally decided to treat myself and picked this Mazda6 up in 2014. Big shift, and I’ve loved having the luxuries of this Mazda 6.
Owner: Derrick Year/Model: 2014 Mazda 3 2.5L Sedan
Modifications: Caged, stripped, CS SRI, straight pipe to CS axleback, bunch of custom adjustable suspension, BBK (sometimes), custom racetrack-modified bodywork.
Derrick’s Comments: This Mazda3 could not be sold as a road legal car, so I don’t drive it on the road. There are a TON of track hours on this Mazda 3 and all of it’s modifications. We basically TRY to break our test parts before we let them hit the market, which is good for me because I love to go fast.
Comments: Mainly stock so far, big things to come to the “CBR” (CorkSport Branded Ride). Brett, who has been dailying the CBR, somehow only is getting 23mpg. Expect more parts for facelifted GEN3’s with the CBR’s arrival.
Just because you may not have seen much about them and they don’t get their own category does not mean they’re not special. For me, some of the most interesting cars are down below.
Modifications: Sweet stickers for extra HP, tire shop wheels, custom faded paint
Comments: Vincent used to own this truck before selling it to be the “new” CS shop truck. He notes that it was involved in 3 accidents, each time the insurance company did not total the truck, leaving Vincent with more money than he spent to buy the truck. No power steering provides an arm workout for those lucky enough to drive this beast.
Derrick’s Comments: The ND is an interesting car for me as being a lifelong Mazda enthusiast I had never owned a Miata before. When the ND was announced I had already converted the Mazda 2 into a B-Spec car so I stopped street driving it and went back to my Rx7 turbo as my daily driver so I had gotten used to driving a car with “issues” again. When I got into the ND for the first time and drove it home it was very surreal expecting some weird sound or smelling hydrocarbons (the Rx7 is old and catless) and the car handled incredible right out of the box. Of course that lasted all of 3 months until we have Kenton Koch behind the wheel helping us out with the suspension development. It is one of those cars that I warn people, if you drive it you will want to buy one.
Owner: Vincent Year/Model: 2010 Mazda RX-8 R3 Mileage: 60,000 (original engine, no issues)
Vincent’s Comments: I had been wanting a 2nd gen RX-8 since high school. This thing revs out to 9400RPM and is super fun to drive. Just recently sold (hi Aaron) but too good to not include in this blog.
Owner: Derrick Year/Model: 1993 Spec Miata Mileage: “Lots and lots” (this car has run 25hours of Thunderhill a few times on top of all its other racing)
Modifications: Spec Miata Bilstein shock package, Eibach swaybars, illegal plunge cut cylinder head (lookup spec Miata plunge gate 2014), GLoc brakes, 949 6ul Spec Miata wheels, AIM dash & datalog system, ESR drive side drop floor, Really big radiator.
Derrick’s Comments: I took the advice of all the spec miata people and bought a built car so I didn’t have to spend 6 months building one myself. The local car was raced for a long time in the northwest and was a front running car before it was parked for a few years. I picked it up for $6000 with some extra spares and was immediately able to get on the track and go racing after the installation of the drop floor and new seatbelts. The big question I have people ask me is why did you get a SM? The real answer is the level of drivers in the class. At any sanctioned race event weekend there are always SM and someone to race against and I have personally known several drivers go into SM a novice and come out the other side in pro racing. To win at SM you have to have your shit together. To be the best you need to compete against and beat the best so here I am.
Owner: Barett Model: Mazda B2600i Mileage: ?
Modifications: Solid axle swap with Toyota running gear, 4.88:1 axle gears, rear locker, 3 feet of articulation, 8000lb winch, high bolstered seats, 35×14.5R15 Super Swamper Bogger Tires, “lots of f*ckery fabrication.”
Barett’s Comments: This was my first real vehicle, and it taught me lots about owning a vehicle, modifying a vehicle and I have more memories with this beast than I can come up with right now. I beat the SH*T out of this truck and it’s always put away wet.
Owner: Rich Model: 1988 Mazda Rx- CONVERTIBLE
Modifications: Turbo engine swap, Apexi Power FC, CS Border Style body kit, CS front mount intercooler, CS turbo back exhaust, many other mods.
Rich’s Comments: The Rx-7 is kept in the garage and it’s mainly a fair weather/weekend car except during the summer. I take it out for special occasions or to just show off every once in a while. It’s a nostalgia piece for me.
2016 Mazda 3 Sedan. Derrick’s 2nd racecar. Caged, stripped, 2.0L AT converted to 2.5L MT.
Mazda RX-7 FC. Owned by Derrick.
NA Mazda Miata. Parts car for Derrick’s Spec Miata
Mazda 5. Derrick’s wife’s car.
Mazda CX7. Kelly’s daily driver.
For those keeping score, that’s 22 Mazdas in the CorkSport garage. The cars have come and gone over the years but one thing will always stay true: our cars will be fun to drive because they are Mazdas. Here’s to more Mazdas finding their way into the CS (and your) garage.
Oh and if you have any questions on the above cars, please let us know down below, we’ll be sure to pass on your question to the car’s owner.
2018 CorkSport Garage Update March 1st, 2018CorkSport
That’s right folks; CorkSport’s favorite skid trays have made their way to the GEN3 Mazda 3. Whether you have a broken OE plastic skid tray or are just looking for some extra protection for the winter months, please welcome the CorkSport 2014-2016 Mazda3 Skid Tray. Made from laser cut, 0.090” thick aluminum formed to a perfect fit, this skid tray is a direct upgrade from the OE Mazda3.
From the factory, the GEN3 Mazdas come with a flimsy plastic under tray that can crack and break with the smallest of impacts.
It exists primarily to smooth the airflow traveling under your car and act as a splash shield for the engine compartment while driving in the rain but offers no real protection for your oil pan. We felt compelled to remedy this issue, and thus, the CorkSport Mazda3 Skid Tray was born.
The 0.090” thick aluminum protects your Mazda 3 from road debris, rocks, and damage to vital engine components while adding minimal weight to your car. This aluminum is the same material as our Mazdaspeed 3 skidplate, and it has proven itself to take plenty of punishment. We even torture tested one of our prototype skid trays during the 25 Hours of Thunderhill on the CorkSport Mazda 3 Race Car and had no issues.
As always, we sought out to make the installation as painless as possible while retaining all OE features. The CorkSport skid tray only uses the OE mounting locations without having to drill or trim anything. The CorkSport Mazda3 skid tray is a two-piece design that allows for a more straightforward install. Each piece is more manageable to move around for installation than the traditional one-piece design. As a bonus, it also makes the shipping is cheaper! We retained The oil and filter access panel so you can easily perform maintenance without having to remove the Mazda3 skid tray.
By extending the front of the skid tray above the bottom of the front bumper like OE, the CorkSport Skid Tray retains the smooth transition from bumper to skid tray to ensure smooth airflow under your car. You can even run the CorkSport Skidplate with the Mazda OE front lip with no issues.
If you’re worried about your oil pan or can’t seem to keep an OE skid tray in one piece, let the CorkSport Skid Plate for 2014-2016 Mazda 3 alleviate your issues.
P.S. Our two-piece design allows us to develop fitments for other models. If you’re interested in a skid plate for your car, let us know, and we might start work on one for you!
Protect your Mazda 3 with the CorkSport Skid Tray February 28th, 2018CorkSport
We are in the process of designing and producing a CorkSport Transmission Motor Mount, (TMM), to reduce the excessive engine movement present from the factory. Buckle up as we go through a sneak peek at some features and go through the design process and decisions that all serve to give you a better mount in the end.
When approaching this project we sought out to improve the performance of the GEN3 Mazda 3 without sacrificing drivability or OEM fitment. Stiffer motor mounts are a great way to improve throttle response, improve shift feel, and reduce wheel hop by reducing the total amount of engine movement but they can hugely increase NVH (noise, vibration, and harshness). As such, there is a balancing act between finding an acceptable level of NVH for the performance gains you get.
In a typical front wheel drive car the engine is mounted in a transverse matter, that is, the engine is parallel to the axle centerline. So when the engine tries to turn the wheels, the force to do so tries to make the engine rotate in the opposite direction. Motor mounts resist this motion of the engine.
Initially, we wanted to change the orientation of the factory mount for the Mazda3 to use the polyurethane bushings in the most optimal way possible as the bushings function best when they are parallel to the axis of rotation. Doing so proved to be difficult as we were effectively creating a new pivot point in the system.
Going through this design, we also realized that overall size was becoming a problem as different transmissions have varying heights. Since this mount sits right above the transmission, this was a vital thing to keep in mind. So for our 2.5L manual Mazda 3, we had a good amount of room below the mount, but it needed to go on a serious diet to fit an automatic model. This meant moving to a drastically smaller bushing which likely would have increased NVH, only using the mount for manual models, or using a custom bracket for each different transmission & model. Check out down below for one of the early (and ugly) designs.
So we went back to the drawing board. We decided to move forward with a design similar to the OE design. Doing so allowed for a smaller mount, easier manufacturing, and a significantly wider applicable model range. This includes all 2014-2016 Mazda 3, all 2014-2016 Mazda 6, and 2013-2016 CX-5 (we have not confirmed the 2017+ models years yet, but there’s a good chance this will be compatible).
Even though we went to a similar design to OE do not assume it’s the same thing. The CorkSport mount has the same diameter bushing as the OE mount; however, the OE mount does not utilize all the available space. This means that in addition to the stiffer polyurethane material, there is simply more material to resist the engine’s movement.
The CorkSport TMM utilizes billet aluminum for the main body of the mount with stainless steel plates for the washers and the angled section of the mount. This provides a more attractive and lighter mount than the OE offering while retaining the same strength and fitment of OE. Check out the picture down below for a look at one of our 3D printed prototype test fits.
We just received our first functional prototypes for further fitment and testing since 3D printed plastic parts don’t support an engine & transmission very well. With these samples, we can determine exactly how stiff to make the polyurethane and finalize the best possible design for you. During our test fit, we even noticed some deterioration of the OE mount.
This OE mount came off of the CorkSport Mazda 3 racecar. While it does not have many miles, they have all been racing miles that are very hard on all vehicle components. Check out the image down below to see a comparison between the used mount (left), a new mount (center), and the CorkSport prototype TMM (right). It’s interesting that Mazda has made some changes to their OE mount in the last few years. What you can’t see very well is that the racecar’s mount has areas where the rubber is starting to separate from the metal center section of the mount. There are even a few small tears forming on some of the inner bushing surfaces.
These signs of wear are encouraging to us at CS since this means we are helping to solve a potential problem facing 2014+ Mazda3 owners. As such we could not wait to get the TMM on a car for testing. Fitment is great so far, and we were even able to overcome some minor manufacturing errors. The first test for the mount was with the CorkSport Mazda 3 racecar at the 25 hours of Thunderhill. This event is an endurance race that runs for 25 hours straight.
The Mazda3 completed 613 laps during this time covering over 1800 hard miles. This is a torture test for any part, and I’m happy to report that the CorkSport TMM passed with flying colors. The drivers liked the mount and Derrick (who owns the car) reported greatly reduced slop in the transmission when shifting. Here is what the mount looked like after the 25-hour long race:
Aside from being very dirty and having a few scratches where it was bolted down, the mount had no issues and was still in good working condition. It already has a new home in a daily driven Mazda 3 to get even more testing done. Initial impressions are good, but we will look to decrease NVH as much as possible before any of you get your hands on it. Look for the CorkSport 2014+ Mazda 3 Transmission Motor Mount in the next few months.
Sneak Peek at an Upcoming Transmission Motor Mount January 25th, 2018CorkSport