How To Achieve 400 WHP In Your Mazdaspeed

Today I want to share with you a simple blog on just one way of taking your Mazdaspeed to 400WHP. After checking out this blog, If you would like more in-depth information on some of these parts, I thoroughly suggest picking up a copy of our Ultimate Mazda Performance Guide. This simple read is packed full of information on modifying 2004+ NA and Mazdaspeed models. It’s also a great place to start for folks who are new to aftermarket performance parts and the modification game.

Let’s Get Started

The MZR DISI engine in the Mazdaspeed platform has been around for just over 10 years now. CorkSport along with the community of racers, shops, and enthusiasts alike have learned quite a bit about these engines. We have learned what they like and what they don’t. How they react to certain mods, how to maintain them, and also some of their weak points. We also learned how to take this platform well over 400 WHP.

We recently hit 684 whp with the CST6 — Check it out here.

Among the many things we have learned, we have developed a great understanding of what is needed to get these engines to make power. More specifically, with the right set of bolt-on parts and tuning one can easily and safely make 400WHP on a stock bottom end of your MS3 or MS6. The torque will just need to be kept under control.

It’s not a secret or rocket science on how to achieve this power level in a Mazdaspeed3 or Mazdaspeed6, and it is very much doable.

Stock Red Mazdaspeed3
Stock Mazdaspeed3

Disclaimer:

There are certainly many variables that can come into play when trying to achieve 400WHP safely, such as the health of your engine, quality of engine tune, octane rating of fuel, engine management software and more. This is by no means an all-inclusive guide and the only way of making this level of power. However, this is a tried and tested method of making high power safely and reliably. We come from years of experience doing it ourselves and helping the community with their Mazdas as well. We have spent years and years developing this platform and continue to do so on a daily basis. What I aim to do is educate you on how you can make the most out of your MZR engine.

Necessary Upgrades To Make 400WHP

Now before we get too ahead of ourselves, there are two modifications that are a must before going down the 400whp quest. Those are high-pressure fuel pump internals and a tuning solution such as those provided by COBB or VersaTuner. These parts do not inherently increase hp and tq levels, but they are 100% necessary to give you most out of your hard part modifications and do so with safe and reliable power. A high-quality tune is worth every penny, and when paired with things such as an intake or exhaust, you can capitalize even more so your parts and net more horsepower.

Understanding the DISI MZR 2.3T

The DISI MZR 2.3T is not much different than any other gasoline direct injected engine that you would find on any modern automobile. Here is how it operates:

  • Air goes into your Mazdaspeed.
  • Air is combined with the correct ratio of fuel.
  • The air/fuel mixture gets compressed.
  • A spark event occurs that ignites a controlled burn.
  • This event forces the piston downwards.
  • Exhaust gases then leave the Mazda.
  • The cycle repeats.

So in an oversimplified matter, that is all an internal combustion engine is – a glorified air pump with more bells and whistles. One of the best ways to make a really effective air pump is to optimize the movement of air into and out of the cylinders. For that reason, it’s best to start at the front and back of our car to help give it a little breathing room.

Intake & Exhaust

Mazdaspeed 3 Power Series 3.5

Mazdaspeed3 Power Series 3.5″ Intake

It’s no secret that an intake and exhaust system are among the most popular first upgrades for any vehicle, and it’s for a good reason. Letting air in and out of the engine as easily as we can is a great first step to create more power. Doing this will free up restrictions with the manufacturer parts, especially on a factory turbocharged vehicle. OEM parts are by and large designed with emissions regulations and pricing priorities, rather than performance.

Upgrading your Mazdaspeed to a 3” or 3.5” intake and pairing it with a turbo-back exhaust will create the airflow efficiency that we need to reach 400 WHP. We’re able to do this by increasing the exhaust pipe diameter and either eliminating our catalytic converter or replacing it with a high-flow race cat. By increasing the efficiency of airflow from entry through the exit, the engine is effectively working less to produce the same amount of power.

By adding an intake and exhaust to your Mazdaspeed, you can net an easy 50+ whp when paired with the proper tune. As you continue down the modification road, you’ll find that this is the most effective dollars spent to horsepower ratio. Now that we are able to take more of the power stroke, we can focus on getting more power to the wheels, rather than letting it be consumed by byproducts such as waste heat, noise, and vibration.

Mazdaspeed3 Exhaust Setup
Mazdaspeed3 Exhaust Setup

Intercooler & Turbo

Another great way to make more power with your Mazdaspeed, and to get closer to 400whp, is to increase the level of boost pressure running through the engine. OEM boost levels are around the 14-15 PSI. But once we have our intake and exhaust installed on our Mazdaspeed, our tuning solution can allow us to start increasing that level into the 19-21 range.

A natural byproduct of increasing the pressure within the system is a corresponding rise in air temperature. To be able to make the most of the increased boost levels, it’s important to keep the temperature at a lower level. To do this, you’ll want to upgrade to a larger top mount intercooler (TMIC), or even go a step further and upgrade to a large front mount intercooler (FMIC) core.

The intercoolers primary function is to act as a heat exchanger, and we know that heat is the #1 roadblock for any engine to make more power. The more efficiently we can remove heat from the system, the more power we can create safely and reliably. We should also note that the stock TMIC in the Mazdaspeed platform is a terrible bottleneck in the system so this will free up extra flow.

Mazdaspeed Front Mount Intercooler
Mazdaspeed Front Mount Intercooler

Now that we have a good way of getting air into, out of, and keeping it cool at the same time, we want to increase the total volume. An easy way to do this is by upgrading the turbocharger in your Mazdaspeed. This is an easy process that replaces your factory k04 and creates the potential to throw down some serious power. When you reach this point in your build, you open up options on how to proceed:

  1. Make the same power on less boost
  2. Make more power on the same boost
  3. Make way more power on WAY more boost!!!

If we are shooting for 400whp, then we generally like to choose door #3.

CST4 Turbo
CST4

Side note: We highly suggest / possibly need a 3.5 bar MAP sensor and an electronic boost control solenoid (or EBCS). Once we start to increase our boost pressures north of 21psi, the OEM electronics begin to lose resolution and can negatively affect our tuning if not addressed.

By upgrading our MAP sensor we are allowing the powertrain control module (PCM) to recognize and look up higher boost targets than those equipped from the OEM unit. With this upgrade, the computer can now accurately record and look up these values. We also upgrade our electronic boost control solenoid (EBCS) to allow more fine-tuning of our maps and boost targets. An OEM EBCS just won’t allow us as fine of control of our boost pressure, which can result in some headaches as we approach higher horsepower levels.

The Finishing Touches To Reach 400 WHP

With the above combination of mods and proper tuning on a healthy engine, a medium frame turbo on pump gas can get you into the 330-340whp range. If we go another step further, we will open up more ‘breathing’ mods such as the intake manifold, taller lift camshafts, or a larger throttle body. This will stretch us into the 350-360 whp range.

That being said without the help of e85 or aux fueling we can’t go any closer to our 400whp mark. We simply hit the limits of the Mazdaspeed factory fuel system and need to look into upgrading that system as well.

Making the switch over to e85 allows us to get in the 380 range, but we soon run out of fuel injector headroom in the Mazdaspeed at this point and max out our injector duty cycle. We then have to look at aux fueling (Meth or Port Injection) as a solution to get us to our 400whp mark safely. What’s unfortunate is that at this point we are also looking at upgrading our hard parts such as our in-tank fuel pump to keep up with demand if you plan to run PI. There are quite a few options for AUX fueling which are beyond the scope of this blog.

Now, as mentioned this is not the only way of making these power levels, but it could be said that it is one of the easiest and most popular. It’s important to remember that along the way we supplement the engine with other supporting mods to ensure we are safe and can make full use of our power. Things like lower heat range spark plugs and a stage 2 rear engine mount can go a long way.

Thanks for following along and feel free to leave us a comment if you have any questions or want some more specific information on a product.

CorkSport September Featured Car of the Month: Brandon Graser

Brandon-CorkSport-Car-Of-September-Mazdaspeed-Mazda

Brandon found himself looking for a new car, and in the price range that he had at the time, he test drove quite a few. He was hooked on the fact that the Speed 3 was the “best bang for your buck and the most fun to drive”. He enjoyed the overall look, style, a feel of the car; “this one” was the one to get.

CorkSport-Mazdaspeed-3-Eyelid-Headlight-Cover

Every car he had ever modded started with an intake and since “CorkSport was right here in town, just a couple miles away” it seemed like the most realistic option for him to check out what we had to offer. He can’t quite recall whether or not he purchased the CORKSPORT Stage II Power Series Short Ram Intake for Mazdaspeed 3 by itself or if he walked away with a lot more that day after talking with Austin. (Our records show he definitely did: CORKSPORT 2010+ Mazdaspeed 3 Cat Back Exhaust, CORKSPORT Urethane Exhaust Hangers, CORKSPORT Mazdaspeed 3 Downpipe).

CorkSport-Featured-Car-Of-The-Month-Brandon-MS3-Engine-Bay

He does know that he definitely went on a binge and found himself at CorkSport quite often. Of course, he found himself working on his car even more. CORKSPORT Underhood LED Light KitCorkSport-Featured-Car-Of-The-Month-Brandon-MS3-Underhood-LED-Kit

He’s never been to a show, nor has he entered a contest, so let’s just say he’s batting 1000 at this point, after winning the CorkSport Featured Car of the Month with his extensive submission and CS plastered Mod list.

Brandon’s list of Mod’s:

CorkSport Stage II SRI w/CorkSport  turbo inlet pipe
CorkSport  catted downpipe
CorkSport  catback exhaust
CorkSport Urethane Exhaust Hangers
CorkSport  short throw plate/weight
CorkSport shifter bushings
CorkSport  mudflaps
CorkSport  big brake kit w/ STOPTECH crossdrilled/slotted rotors
CorkSport  rear brake pads and stainless steel rear lines w/ STOPTECH crossdrilled/slotted rotors
CorkSport  front mount intercooler
CorkSport  race rear motor mount
CorkSport  front eyelids
CorkSport  LED underhood light
MAZDA OEM J-Spec Mazdaspeed Axela Tail Lights
Synapse Engineering Diverter Valve
Cobb AccessPort
Redline Tuning hood strut lift kit
Kuda Mount w/ hardlined Iphone 5 Proclip charger

And of course, a handful of CorkSport vinyl stickers!

CorkSport-Featured-Car-Of-The-Month-Brandon-MS3-Speed3-CorkSport-Sticker

AMO, (Awesome Mazda the Original) as his one of his lady friends has christened it, is something that he’s pretty proud of. “I’ve done most of the work myself with the help of some friends, and all of it with very little previous DIY experience.”

CorkSport-Featured-Car-Of-The-Month-Brandon-MS3-Speed3

When asked what his “favorite” mod was thus far, he said, “The most significant difference in the car is how it sounds now, after the cat-back exhaust and the downpipe were put in.” CORKSPORT 2010+ Mazdaspeed 3 Cat Back Exhaust, CORKSPORT Mazdaspeed 3 Downpipe.

Next on the list for upgrades will be some lowering springs or coil overs. “The car pretty much looks stock at this point. You can’t tell how much work has really been put into it, because I’ve left the styling alone except for the eyelids and array of stickers of course. It’s a “NEED” to make it look better, and the improved handling will just be a plus.” CORKSPORT Mazdaspeed 3 Lowering Spring Set, CORKSPORT Coilover Suspension Kit Mazdaspeed 3/Mazda 3

Brandon doesn’t find himself alone in the car that often. Remo, his full breed miniature long haired dachshund, is normally right there in the shotgun seat being a perfect copilot. “He’s an old quirky little guy, but always up for a drive.” You can find Brandon and Remo around the Vancouver, WA area, headed to and from work or taking the occasional drive out to Sunset Falls. “It’s in the middle of nowhere, with zero traffic, lots of twists and turns and of course the privacy to drive a ‘bit’ faster.”

CorkSport-Featured-Car-Of-The-Month-Brandon-MS3-With-Him-Mazdspeed-3remo

Do you want to show off your Mazda? Think you have what it takes to be the next featured car of the month? Send an email with at least 3 high quality pictures and a full mods list to kim@corksport.com and you can find out!!!

CorkSport Mazdaspeed 3 Downpipe Now Available with High-Flow Catalyst

Designed to replace the restrictive catalyst in the stock downpipe and deliver improved exhaust flow for significant power gains, noticeable improvements in turbo response time, and reduced backpressure, CorkSport is pleased to announce a new high-flow catalyst option for their popular CorkSport Mazdaspeed 3 Downpipe.

The CorkSport Mazdaspeed 3 Downpipe is constructed from polished 3″ 304 stainless steel piping for lasting corrosion resistance and reduced heat transfer to the engine bay. Unlike many downpipes on the market, the CorkSport downpipe uses a unique divorced wastegate design that will reduce boost spikes and exhaust flow disturbances due to waste-gate operation.

The new catted version of the CorkSport Mazdaspeed 3 Downpipe provides gains of up to 21 WHP and includes a high-flow spun metallic 200 cell catalyst and three O2 bungs to allow for the addition of EGT or other sensors.

“Our new catted downpipe option incorporates all of the popular features of our current Mazdaspeed 3 downpipe with the addition of the high-flow metallic flexible catalyst for cleaner emissions,” said Rich Harris, President of CorkSport, “and we have included our popular CorkSport Mazdaspeed 3 Racepipe in the catted option to provide even more horsepower and torque to your exhaust set-up.”

The CorkSport Mazdaspeed 3 Catted Downpipe is a direct bolt-on replacement for the restrictive factory downpipe and attaches seamlessly to the factory or an aftermarket cat-back exhaust set-up using a factory style donut.

The new optional catted downpipe is available for purchase from CorkSport’s online catalog at https://www.corksport.com/corksport-mazdaspeed-3-downpipe.html