The time has FINALLY come…years in the making! Thousands of hours have gone into the development of the only turnkey turbocharger kit for the Mazda 3. From air filter to downpipe and everything in between, the Turbo Kit for the 3rd generation Mazda 3 has finally come full circle and IT IS AWESOME!
Are you ready for an extra 115-125whp and 80-90wtq?
Many have asked “Why So Long?” and the truth is because we, the Team at CorkSport, would not allow ourselves to put out a kit that was not complete, was not turnkey, and was not proven to be daily and track ready. We have put thousands of miles on out test vehicles; both on the track…
And on the street…
So what is involved in developing a turnkey turbo kit for the originally naturally aspirated vehicle? Well, basically everything., Let’s get more into the details.
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The turbo is a big one, spec’ing the size, style, & location is a significant aspect of the kit. In fact, we tested multiple sizes before deciding on the turbo for the kit. Finding the right balance of spool/response, boost operating pressure, and even sound was a consideration (hey we all like turbo noises right?) With that we are using an MHI based turbo that utilizes journal bearings and liquid cooled CHRA. Our current CST4 and CST5 turbochargers for the Mazdaspeed use the same MHI CHRA and have proven very reliable and robust.
The turbo in the Mazda 3 Kit is also uniquely a twin-scroll internally wastegated design. This helped with spool and response while using a larger wheel spec and the internal wastegate keeps overall costs down and quiet.
On each end of the turbo is the next major design challenge, the exhaust manifold and downpipe. Now, in most kits you would expect to see a fabricated manifold and downpipe. While that is not necessarily bad, there are more robust methods of manufacturing that can perform equal if not better. This method is casting, which is what we have done. The exhaust manifold is a cast stainless steel 304 twin-scroll design. This one-piece design means there are no welds, seams or connections that could fail and the wall thickness is thicker (5mm vs 3mm) when compared to standard fabricated manifolds.
The downpipe utilizes a cast bellmouth which is then welded to a 3-inch pipe and flex section. This downpipe then aligns with the OEM location exhaust so you can run a stock exhaust (don’t be silly though), a 60mm or 80mm exhaust with your turbo kit.
Since we are talking about the cat-back exhaust let us just say that for peak performance you will want the 80mm exhaust system on your Mazda 3. Moving down to the 60mm you will lose a tad bit of power. Note: In the instructions there are specific boost controller settings for each exhaust setup.
Now we have all the plumbing to get that boost from the turbo to the engine. When we approached this we wanted a kit that was stupidly simple and clean in the engine bay. The result was ONLY two pieces of charge piping and four pieces of charge piping silicone. This keeps the possible boost leaks to a minimum and the install process simple. With that being said, the “hotside” charge piping runs alongside the passenger side of the engine and the “coldside” runs right up from the intercooler and to the throttle body.
To complete the charge air system we have the intercooler. The intercooler is no off-the-shelf generic unit either, we custom designed the cast aluminum endtanks to fit with the Mazda 3 chassis WITHOUT cutting and maximized the intercooler size to perform great with the power goals of the Turbo Kit, again without cutting your Mazda 3. Good to 400 horsepower, the intercooler will easily cover the current power and future growth in power of the kit for quite some time.
Because of the custom fit and lack of cutting, the intercooler nearly disappears in the OEM bumper for a stealth look. The black finish performs and looks great through the seasons. If you want to a customized stand out look, you could paint the core a nice bright silver finish without issue.
So we’ve covered the obvious parts of a “turbo kit” but what makes the kit turnkey? It’s the little things, like clamps, hardware, and connection like the turbo cooling, and the oil feed and oil drain. For the oil feed and drain we have provided perfect length stainless steel braided lines and all the needed fittings. The oil drain is extra special because on a non-factory turbo there is NO spot for the oil drain in the engine. So install of requiring you to drill a hole in your oil pan and risk causing a leak, we do the work for you with a new OEM oil pan. We complete the drilling, the drain fitting install and sealing. All you have to do is remove your oil pan and install the new oil pan with the drain fitting installed.
Lastly, to make all the big parts fit in the engine bay and look good, we had to create some clearance for the intake by using a smaller AGM battery vs the huge lead acid battery. To do that we designed a SS battery mount and ECU relocation bracket along with a new 550ca/450cca AGM motorsport battery which is included for ground shipping customers. If you are international and the kit has to air ship to you then you will need to source the battery locally.
Now to really round off the “turnkey” aspect of the kit we have the boost control system which includes a TurboSmart E-Boost controller which allows us to dictate and control the boost curve for optimal power delivery and reliability. No manual boost controller here that does whatever it wants. To monitor boost we provide a CorkSport boost gauge that you can mount anywhere inside the cabin for easy readout. Also, with a boosted setup and high compression ratio a set of 1-step colder spark plugs are required for safe operation, these are also included and future replacements can be purchased at CorkSport.
Most important is the tuning, and this is where we have spent hundreds of hours alone getting the car to perform consistently and reliably for you. The turbo kit had to feel fun, fast, and repeatable all while being safe to drive every day on a stock engine. With the CorkSport Turbo Kit, you will get a calibration license to your vehicle and Mazdaedit license designed to operate on premium grade gasoline (91-93octane).
Now to the numbers you want to know about! POWER like you’ve never seen from a 3rd Gen Mazda 3 with the Turbo Kit. Many said the high compression Sky-Activ couldn’t handle boost…many said they are “glass” engines”…we are here to tell you they are wrong.
How about 9.5psi of boost and gains of 115-125whp/80-90wtq? All on the stock fuel system and simple premium pump gas?
In this dynograph you can see four dyno runs. The two lower runs are from our 2018 Mazda 3 2.5L MT. This is a 100% stock car with no tuning changes. The much nicer two runs are the final result of 9.5psi for the CorkSport Turbo Kit.
Power is not just about a peak number, power (and a resulting fast/fun car) is about the power under the curve. Our goal was to develop a kit that made a fast and fun car throughout the rpm range of the 2.5L SkyActiv. With a huge increase in torque across the rpm range, you have a car that will be fun from 3500rpm to 6000rpm before power starts to fall off. This is the 3rd Generation Mazdaspeed that Mazda never gave us.
How does the powertrain handle this? We have only used OEM stock engines, clutches, and manual transmissions in our in-house testing. This goes for our street can and track-only racecar.
However, our in-house testing has been successful with OEM components, our beta tester did have an OEM clutch slippage early on in their testing. Our review of the clutch and the history of the clutch showed us that we are at the limit of the clutch. If the clutch has lots of wear and tear it may not last long with the added torque from the turbo kit. Therefore we cannot guarantee the successful ability to use the OEM clutch equipped in your Mazda.
With that being said there are options on the market for performance clutches that are either available now or are in development. We are personally working with X-Clutch to develop a performance clutch for the community.
Let’s wrap this up…the most complete and ready-to-run turbo kit available for your 2.5L MT Mazda 3. You can make power with easily accessible pump gas up in the 280+whp range and enjoy the daily drive and track. There will not be any surprise runs to the hardware store, as long as you have some wiring supplies, and you could get this done over a long weekend with a buddy that knows how to wrench.
Speaking of the install, the kit can be completed in a long weekend. If you work diligently we’d say 2-3 days to get it done. Follow the color step-by-step online PDF instructions and review the youtube video install before you get started to have the best success.
We also have a specific video for the TurboSmart E-Boost controller setup so you know you get it setup just right. While this project can seem daunting at first, we promise it all comes together if you follow the detailed instructions.
What’s this going to cost you? Less than you expect to be honest. Look at the ND Miata Turbocharger/Supercharger Kits and you would have a good idea of what it should cost, but really we want the community to get this kit and enjoy it so we’ve worked hard to provide the most value for the price on the Turbo Kit.
Want more details? Checkout our website for more info here at CorkSport.com.
Thank you for taking the time to read about our Turbo Kit for the 3rd Gen Mazda 3 & Mazda 6. We are SOOOO excited to finally bring this to the community and for everyone to have the opportunity to take their Mazda 3 2.5L to the next level.