Skyactiv 2.5T Intake Heat Shield

OEM Look and solid performance power gains for the Mazda 6 Turbo

We’re back with another product for SkyActiv 2.5T owners that a lot of you have requested after getting your CorkSport SRI. Introducing the CorkSport Heat Shield for 2018+ Mazda 6 Turbo, 2019+ Mazda CX-5 Turbo, and 2016+ Mazda CX-9! Cool down your intake air temps in two ways: by blocking heat from the engine bay and by using the OEM ducting to draw in fresh air. This allows your turbo system to breathe just a bit easier, especially during hot days or if you’re stuck sitting in traffic. Plus, it makes the CS SRI look like a factory option performance part!

Read on for full details and be sure to give us a call if you have any questions!

Isolates heat from the Mazda 6 turbo SRI

We really focused on keeping cool air around the filter with the CorkSport SkyActiv 2.5T heat shield. The shield was carefully designed to seal the intake off from as much engine bay heat as possible. This meant a complicated 2 piece design that is riveted together. We also designed the shield to work with the OEM air ducting. This directs cool outside air to the filter, further reducing intake air temps. The shield is also left open to the area in front of the tire, underneath the headlight. We found that this area gets some fresh air during driving as well, further keeping air temps down.

Cx9 Turbo cold air intake heat shield
CorkSport Heatshield

Now what benefits does cooler air offer? The basic generalization is that since cooler air is denser than warmer air, your engine can ingest more air per cycle, and make more power. When a car is turbocharged though, this gets a little more complicated as you have a turbo that compresses and heats up your intake air and then an intercooler that cools down the boosted air before even getting to the engine. What that means is that the “colder air will make more power” generalization may not hold true, especially with how advanced modern turbocharged vehicles have become. What colder intake air does offer you is a less stress on your turbo system. Colder air means your turbo does not have to work as hard to flow the same amount of air at the same boost pressure. In addition, colder intake air can translate to slightly cooler air exiting your turbo and heading to your intercooler, taking some stress off the intercooler as well.

Cx5 Skyactiv 2.5T Performance airbox
See the video

Enough theory, let’s talk results! In both daily driving testing and in torture testing on the dyno, we found decreased intake air temps with the CorkSport Heat Shield 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 heat shield 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.

While we did not see any notable changes to horsepower, our torture testing on the dyno really shows what a worst case scenario would look like for intake temps. Check out the graph below that compares the CS SRI alone vs. the CS SRI and heat shield combo. This is a little exaggerated due to decreased airflow on the dyno but is similar to what your engine could see when sitting in traffic on a hot day, then accelerating back up to speed.

Performance Skyactiv 2.5T air temp data
CorkSport

The CorkSport Heat Shield is made from laser cut and precision formed carbon steel. We chose carbon steel for great strength and lower heat transfer than aluminum. For corrosion resistance, the heat shield is finished off with wrinkle black powdercoating. This coating also gives the heatshield a great look that helps it blend in with the rest of the engine bay and make the intake system look like a factory performance part! The two sections of the shield are attached together using stainless steel rivets for a great look and long lasting strength. Lastly we include rubber edge seal to keep as much heat out as possible, and to prevent any vibration or unwanted noise.

Mazda Cx5 Turbo Short Ram Intake OEM Look
CS Heatshield

If you’re looking for the next mod your Sky 2.5T or have been holding off on the CS SRI until there was some heat protection, check out the new CorkSport Heat Shield. We are even offering a package deal! If you purchase the heatshield and SRI together you will save $20.

For early adopters of the CS SRI, we have not forgotten about you! We are also offering the same $20 discount on the heatshield for a short time. When placing your order, enter coupon code heatshield20, and in the customer notes, enter your original SRI order number. BAM – $20 Savings!

Finally, we’ve got some new silicone colors coming for the CS SRI! They aren’t quite here yet but if you’re looking to add a splash of color in your engine bay, wait just a bit longer! That’s all for now, be sure to check out the product listing for more images of the heat shield and give us a call if you have questions!


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

2018+ Mazda6 Performance Exhaust for the 2018-up 2.5T

Mazda did a great job bringing a turbocharged engine back to the Mazda 6 (Mazda 3 next please?), but may have done too good of a job of keeping it quiet. Say hello to the CorkSport 80mm Cat Back Exhaust and Axle Back Exhaust for 2018+ Mazda6 equipped with the turbocharged 2.5L engine. If you’re interested in waking up your SkyActiv-T in both excitement and power, read on as we breakdown the newest CS exhaust.

As with all CorkSport exhausts, the goal of the MZ6 2.5T exhaust is to improve power and sound by improving the flow of the OEM exhaust. We started by increasing the size of the piping from 60mm to 80mm. That is an increase of over three-quarters of an inch to really help your turbocharger breathe better. In addition, the CS exhaust system eliminates the crushed areas present in the OEM exhaust and replaces the restrictive muffler sections with pass-through resonators. These resonators control volume and drone without affecting power output.

All that extra flow does mean a power increase. In our in-house dyno testing, we saw an increase in 5-6WHP just by bolting on the CorkSport  Cat Back Exhaust. Check out the dyno sheet down below to see. This increase came with no tuning changes, no check engine lights, and the only other mod being the CorkSport Short Ram Intake, which was installed for both tests. With the 80mm piping size, this exhaust is ready to support future modifications and would likely show more power gains with proper tuning.

The CorkSport MZ6T exhaust is more than just function. We went through multiple iterations and designs to ensure the best sounding exhaust for your 6. The finished product ups the volume without being annoying to daily drive yet still sounds great when in hard acceleration. We strongly recommend you watch the video below to hear what to expect from this exhaust.

If you feel the video below gives you too much volume for the daily, then check out the Axle Back Only Exhaust.  Recently added to the CorkSport line-up, the Axle Back alone adds a mellower, but still noticeable tone to the exhaust.  This is a great middle ground between the CorkSport Cat Back and the stock exhaust.

To give a great looking, long-lasting finish to each exhaust, they are manufactured from fully polished 304 stainless steel. To ensure a high quality fitment, all components are precision TIG welded together on jigs made from OEM exhaust components. Lastly as a finishing touch, we use 100mm dual wall exhaust tips. They fill out the bumper cutouts and are extended slightly to give a classy look and enhance the new Mazda 6’s styling.

The CS Mazda 6 Turbo Exhaust comes with all the hardware and gaskets you need for installation, high quality instructions, and CorkSport support for any questions you may have. Pick up a CorkSport MZ6 2.5T Exhaust today and liven up that daily commute.

The Design – 2.5L SkyActiv-G Exhaust Header

CorkSport 2.5L SkyActiv Header

A few months ago we broke down the complicated design of the exhaust manifold found on the 2014-2018 Mazda 3 & 6 2.5L SkyActiv.  Mazda put extensive R&D into the design and packaging of the OEM header to optimize the exhaust gas pulses and overlap.  

In this blog we are going to explain some of the design features in the CorkSport 4-2-1 header and why those features are important.  

Below is a diagram showing the primary, secondary and collector routing of the OE header.  

Mazda 2.5L SkyActive Header
The OEM header for the 2.5L SkyActiv engine has a 4-2-1 design.

When designing a performance header we have to ask ourselves, “what is the goal with this performance part?” and then fulfill that goal.  With the performance header for the 2.5L SkyActiv our goal was to increase mid-range torque, retain good fitment and user installation, and improve the sound output of the exhaust system.  

CorkSport Aftermarket Exhaust Header
CorkSport 2.5L SkyActiv header design.

Immediately you’ll notice a significant difference in the design of the OEM header and the CorkSport Header.  There are three major differences:

  1. Primary, secondary, and collector diameters have been increased to promote better exhaust gas flow.
  2. Primary and secondary runner lengths have been increased to optimize power/torque lower in the RPM range.
  3. The design is two-piece to drastically improve the installation process.  

The primary runners (these are the runners that mate directly to the engine) have been increased in diameter from 1.55” to 1.75” and the secondary runners (these are the runners that combine only two cylinders before the collector) have been increased in diameter from 1.87” to 2.00”.  Both of these changes improve peak flow per cylinder throughout the RPM range. Lastly, the collector has been increased from 2.00” to 3.00” to be paired with the CorkSport 60.5mm or 80mm Cat-Back Exhaust Systems.

CorkSport Exhaust Header Installed
CorkSport Header Installed.

Here’s where things got a bit tricky.  Increasing the length of the primary and secondary runners forced us to be a bit creative in routing all the piping.  In order to achieve the primary runner length we wanted, we had to route the piping upward first (as you can see below) then back down between the engine and firewall.  The results were better than we expected with a “Medusa” style header peeking out of the engine bay and the lengths we wanted.

It makes us grin every time we pop the hood open, we hope you love it as much as we do.  

CorkSport 2.5L Exhaust Header broken down for install.
The final design of the CorkSport 2.5L header is installed in two pieces.

However, the complicated CorkSport design did create a new problem.  Installation! We always try to create a performance part that can be installed by the average enthusiast in their garage and this was no exception.  In a one-piece design, the header was nearly impossible to install. We went to the drawing board and realized that separating the upper and lower halves of the header was the best option.

We considered a conventional flange, gasket and hardware setup, but realized it to was far too complex in the close quarters behind the engine.  We then moved to a v-band connection that proved to be the best setup for installation, weight, and sealing ability.

That wraps up the design, next we’ll breakdown the testing and results! Let us know if you have any questions or thoughts down below.

-Barett @ CorkSport

2018+ Mazda 6 Turbo Lowering Springs

2018 Mazda 6 on CorkSport Lowering Springs

We at CorkSport are happy to introduce the Sport Lowering Springs for 2018+ Mazda 6 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 6 looks great, but a functional drop gives it just what it needs to look even better. Combine this with the new handling characteristics and your MZ6 2.5T transforms from a fun grocery getter to something you can actually enjoy on backroads.

Mazda 6 2.5T CorkSport Lowering Springs
2018+ Mazda 6 2.5T CorkSport Lowering Springs

Ride Height

Let’s start off with the big one: ride height changes. These springs offer a conservative drop from the stock springs with about 1 inch lower in the front and about 0.75 inches lower in the rear. We chose this height as it offers a great new look without sacrificing any of the daily drivability of the Mazda6. 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. Check out the image below for a direct comparison to a fully stock MZ6.

Lowered 2018 Mazda 6 vs. Stock Mazda 6
Black: Stock Springs Red: CorkSport Lowering Springs

Handling

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. In addition, we stiffened the rear springs more than the fronts, reducing understeer. By number, this meant 3.8K front springs (25% stiffer than OEM) and 7.3K rear springs (45% stiffer than OEM). Derrick, our resident racecar driver and MZ6T owner, loves the new setup.

2018 Mazda 6 on CorkSport Springs

While this may sound like a big jump, they ride similarly to the OEM springs. We used a natural frequency analysis to ensure we achieved comfortable characteristics over bumps. Read the last half of this blog for more info on what that means (it’s complicated but awesome). Part of the great ride is the OEM dampers (shocks and struts). The spring rates we chose fit well with the stock shocks and struts to prevent any bounciness, plus, the conservative 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.

Lowered MZ6T

Material Quality

Last but not least, the CS Sport Lowering Springs are made from high tensile strength spring steel and come powder coated in an OEM style black 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.

Be sure to check out the product listing for more images, a product video with more comparisons to OEM, and pricing. Make your new Mazda 6 yours with just the right styling and handling boost from CorkSport.


That about does it for the Mazda 6 2.5T Sport Lowering Springs. Be sure to let us know if you have any questions-suspension is hard, even for us! Lastly, be sure to share your MZ6T with us by using #CorkSport.

-Daniel @ CorkSport

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