Thursday, July 06, 2006

Mazdaspeed 3 (Axela MPS) down under

250 hp, 6 speed manual, just enough visual apeal without going for the huge rear wing/boy racer look, these are some of the highpoints of the new Mazdaspeed 3 or MPS 3 as it is known around the world. Click the link in title to read a review from down under way.
Powered by a Direct Injected/Turbo 2.3L I-4 that serves the Speed 6 and CX-7, it's going to be 250 hp through the front wheels. That's something that would have been unheard of a few years ago, but is expected for streed credentials today. I remember my Taurus SHO's 240 hp through the front wheels, and how quick that car felt, with considerably less weight this should really cook. And today's young enthusiasts may find this hard to believe, but that 250 hp from a 4 banger is nothing short of a miracle to older guys like me. The SHO had a 3.2L V6 and my 91 Mustang 5.0 only made 225 tire burning ponies, hell during the dark days of the 70's many V8's couldn't make anywhere near that much power.
Mazda means to be taken seriously with their MazdaSpeed 3 and 6, and without the Evo or STI's boy racer wings and cladding, they will be. I've heard that the 3 will be in the mid to high 20's, and with a 50 hp advantage it should be gunning for the new GTI.

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