2018 Mazda 3 CBR – Transmission Modes Comparison

If you didn’t know already, CorkSport recently bought a brand new 2018 Mazda 3 Hatchback Touring Modelwith an automatic transmission.

Yes, I know, a performance aftermarket parts company has an automatic; I’m right there with you, but there’s a good reason for it.  CorkSport has a couple Mazda3 6-Speed Manuals and a couple manual and automatic Mazda 6’s, but no automatic Mazda 3; so it made sense to add that to the garage, especially with the many new performance parts we have in the pipe line.  Check those out here.

Now back to the CorkSport’s new 2018 Mazda 3.

The 6-speed automatic comes equipped with three transmission control modes; Standard (default), Sport, and Manual (aka manumatic).

We became curious about how those three modes affected the driving experience, specifically the shift points. I believe we all understand how the Manual control mode works, as it provides nearly 100% control of the shift points, so for the comparison I am going to focus on the differences between the Standard and Sport modes since those are controlled by the ECU.  

Driving the car on the street, you can easily feel the difference between the Standard and Sport modes of the Mazda3.

The Standard mode feels soft, relaxed, and maybe even lazy between shifts. It seems to default to the highest gear (lowest engine RPM) possible in every driving situation. This is great for fuel economy, but disappointing for smiles-per-gallon.  Push the Sport toggle, and the car comes alive.  The engine pulls through the RPM range longer for each gear and seems more eager to accelerate with the slightest throttle input. MUCH better.

The Butt Dyno is great and all, but it’s subjective, so we decided to strap the car down on the dyno to see what is happening; what exactly is changing between the Standard and Sport modes with the CorkSport 2018 Mazda3.

On the dyno, things become much clearer, but first, we had to set up the dyno to provide us with useful information. Typically we are testing wheel Torque and Horsepower, not shift points. It was interesting to play with the various parameters the dyno has available to find a readout that would convey the shift points and the effort the car was exerting. Check out the graph below; this is not your typical dyno plot.

With this dyno plot we quickly see that is much different than the typical readout.  I’m going to break it down, so it’s clear and easy for you to understand what is going on.

Description: Standard Mode = Red, Sport Mode = Green

The horizontal axis is our independent variable in the test. This is the variable/parameter we can control directly in the test. Since we are trying to understand the difference in shift points between the Standard and Sport modes, Road Speed was the logical choice. To be consistent, the throttle input percent for both Standard and Sport modes was held constant throughout the test runs.

The two vertical axis’s are the dependent variables in the test; these are the parameters that depend on engine RPM. On the right side of the dyno plot, we have engine RPM; this is represented by the lines with dots. On the left side of the dyno plot, we have tractive effort, which is essentially the amount of force the tires are applying to the road surface.

Looking at the two graphs, it’s clear that the Sport mode shift points and tractive effort are much different than Standard mode. This is interesting because we can now visualize what we were feeling while driving the Mazda 3 Hatchback on the street.

In Sport mode, the car carries through the engine RPM longer, and the resulting RPM after each shift is also higher.  Because each gear is carried to a higher RPM the resulting power is much greater, which is shown with the tractive effort plots.

Finishing statement: Sport mode significantly changes the way the car drives and responds. If you are looking for some fun out in the curves, don’t be shy, hit that Sport toggle and let the Mazda do what it was designed to do best.

Happy driving!

-Barett @ CS

CorkSport Mazdaspeed 6 Short Shift Plate

It is back from the dead! CorkSport is happy to announce the return of the Mazdaspeed 6/MPS 6 shift plate. We took our original design and adjusted it based on feedback from customers who owned the original to bring you a new and improved product.

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CorkSport’s Mazdaspeed 6 Short Shift Plate has been designed to provide a 33% reduction in shift throw. The unique design of our shift plate provides maximum benefit to Mazdaspeed 6 drivers by changing the geometry at the shifter end to remove the feeling of synchros where it is most noticeable – in gears one and two. The shift plate bolts directly to the car, eliminating the need to bolt on to the factory or an aftermarket counterweight.

Continue reading “CorkSport Mazdaspeed 6 Short Shift Plate”

It’s Almost Here: the New CorkSport Front Lip for Gen2 MS3

This may seem long overdue, but let me explain …

Here at CorkSport we listen to all of our awesome customers and take great care on how we plan our projects for product development. A well-fitted front lip specifically designed for the Mazdaspeed3 has understandably been a very frequent request. There is a lot that goes into producing a great product, especially a tight-fitting front lip. Long story short: We wanted to get all of our ducks in a row before we attempted to execute a custom Mazdaspeed3 product you all would love.

Continue reading “It’s Almost Here: the New CorkSport Front Lip for Gen2 MS3”

We Need Your Feedback on Our Mazdaspeed Intake Manifold

Guys, we want your feedback on a project we’ve been working on for the past year.

We’ve shown glimpses of our Mazdaspeed manifold from time to time, including the one below when we had it installed on Barett’s Mazdaspeed 3, which popped up on our Facebook page—on April Fool’s—while it was being tested.

Mazdaspeed Intake Manifold

This manifold is designed to be a bolt-in. It’ll work with the stock throttle body, stock intercooler, stock you-name-it. This means if you’ve upgraded to a front mount intercooler, it’ll also work as it keeps the OEM throttle body location.

We’ve been through a few iterations of the manifold, and below is a picture of the latest version. We’ve changed several things in the design from the last test version, including individual ports for the runners to install meth injection.

CorkSport Mazdaspeed Intake Manifold

In our testing, we’ve found spool to be 200 rpm sooner with the manifold installed. This has been shown on a 1st gen Mazdaspeed 3 equipped with the CorkSport turbocharger and a 2nd gen Mazdaspeed 3 with a GT35r installed.

We also had a peak increase in power of 17 horsepower at the wheels on the 1st gen Mazdaspeed 3 in back to back testing with the manifold.

So. This is where you the Mazdaspeed owner comes into play. We want to know: Would you buy this if we made it? Tell us your thoughts, and if you are interested, shoot us an email so we can keep you updated.

Cheers,

CorkSport

Love for the Skyactiv

We're going to take apart and upgrade a brand new Mazda 3 with a SkyActiv manual transmission.

We have gotten some great response back from our customers who have the SkyActiv Mazda 3, 6, and CX-5s over the past few years with product suggestions and questions about power, technology, and more.

We're going to take apart and upgrade a brand new Mazda 3 with a SkyActiv manual transmission.

We decided to have an in-house example of Mazda’s current sport model of the Mazda 3, a 2015 2.5 liter SkyActiv manual transmission. As everyone’s favorite television series host has put it in the past: There is no better way to test the breed than motorsports. So that is exactly what we are going to do with this brand new Mazda 3. Strip the interior, outfit it with CorkSport parts, install some safety gear, and go racing.

Want some new Mazda 3 parts? We'll be selling off just about everything.

Yes. We are really going to take apart a perfectly good car to race on the track with a bunch of other people who suffer from the same mental disorder. We will be posting regular updates on the car as we proceed through the build, which will include time on our dyno and results on the races.

This also means there will be a garage sale on brand new parts from this car, interior, wheels, etc. It has every option so if you want something shoot us an email.

Stay tuned for updates.

-Derrick

Meet Derrick from CorkSport. Loves racing, Mazdas, and his CS fam.