On board the new Mazda 3, which equips a turbocharged heart, you breathe a very particular air and it is not the one caused by the smell of the skin that surrounds the Signature version, rather it has to do with the sensation of driving a car that he knows he is powerful, but he has no intention of showing it off.
Mazda took the time to remount a supercharged block under the hood of this vehicle, since 2013 it did not, so that boy we knew as Speed3, equipped with a 2.3-liter four-cylinder that generated 263 horsepower and pushing with 280 pound-feet of torque mated to a six-speed manual gearbox, it’s matured and it’s another.
It grew and replaced that heart that propelled it with a more modern, advanced and technologically superior. Under the hood of this Mazda 3 beats the same block that powers its older sisters, CX-9, CX-5 and the Mazda 6 in Signature versions, a 2.5-liter that delivers 227 percheron horsepower.
Also, unlike in the past, when the Speed 3’s power was sent to the front axle, in the case of this new hatchback the thrust is distributed to all four wheels, thanks to a delicious all-wheel drive.
If you saw the Karate Kid, imagine that the new turbocharged Mazda 3 is Mr. Miyagi, a very Zen master, calm, who even seemed harmless except for the slanted eyes, but when it came to fighting he was a precise and deadly warrior. His predecessor would have been a Cobra Kai, since he had that irreverent attitude of looking for a fight at every traffic light, taking advantage of the slightest provocation to presume that he did the 0 to 100 km / h in 5.5 seconds.
However, today Mazda is a very different brand than the one that marketed that cheeky youthful hot Hatch, as its approach is now more refined, and although it has the forceful push of 310 pound-feet of torque provided by an even more block great, the way he delivers them is different.
Today, it takes care of details that it did not consider before, such as the materials and interior design, a sophisticated audio system signed by the Bose brand with 12 speakers and even ergonomics that reduces the fatigue of the occupants, two generations have passed and note.
YOU HAVE TO FEEL IT TO UNDERSTAND IT
We adjusted the seat, the rear-view mirrors and the steering wheel to our size to find the ideal driving position and have everything at hand, it was fast thanks to all the controls to modify height, depth and position of all the components of this sports car, the Dashboard layout and gear lever position help a lot, as Mazda engineers have put many hours of work into making the car comfortable.
With the tire pressure mounted on 18-inch wheels at its peak, we hit the road to squeeze out the fun. The first curves of the Mexico-Cuernavaca Highway let us feel the thrust of a vehicle ready to face the parabolas as if they were straight; With full throttle we put the performance of AWD traction to the test, which increases the poise with which the car can be accommodated, to feel like you’re on the rails.
Suspension adjustments combined with low body torsion make you feel in control at all times.
The work of the box can be regulated through the shift paddles located behind the steering wheel, and while it is not the classic hot hatch that reacts in an untimely way to the touch of the accelerator, it is a well balanced car that allows you to enjoy a progressive acceleration that never stops pushing and finds its best performance at high speeds, although not necessarily below 50 km / h.
As I put my foot on the gas, I reflected on the engine’s tuning, which boasts an intelligent turbocharger with dynamic pressure, which thanks to its design helps suppress turbolag. When the engine does not generate enough gas volume to drive the compressor when circulating without attacking the accelerator, a valve is closed in the pipe leading to the turbo, seeking that the gases pass through a smaller space to increase the pressure exerted on the supercharger, the engine design provided the same gas outlet for cylinders 2 and 3 and independently for cylinders 1 and 4, with the intention of optimizing the operation of the block.
The thrust of the engine begins to be more forceful after two thousand revolutions per minute and if you know how to manage the six-speed automatic transmission, the experience can be very rewarding.
If the accelerator is pressed decisively, above 150 km / h, the engine will continue to push thanks to a set-up that uses a design that will keep the whole working at low temperatures, improving its response and fuel consumption.
Mazda has created a vehicle that is ready to offer a superior experience, a fine weapon that enjoys drag racing more than quarter mile drag, well equipped, that might even resemble the non-turbo version, as this It is a proposal only for connoisseurs.
THE POWER OF TURBO
Mazdaspeed was born in 1967 as Mazda Sports Corner, an independent racing team that competed in numerous events at home and abroad. Mazda brought the racing team to Hiroshima in 1983 where the name became Mazdaspeed and in 1999 Mazda Corp. took full control as a sports division.
Starting in 2003, Mazda debuted its first model under the surname Mazdaspeed, but it wasn’t until 2006 that it released the Mazdaspeed3, a front-wheel drive sports hatchback, powered by a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine, generating 263 horsepower. of force and 280 pound-feet of torque and which, coupled to a six-speed manual transmission, allowed it to accelerate from zero to 100 km / h in 6.0 seconds, these elements soon made this vehicle a commercial success throughout the world. world.
As standard, the Mazdaspeed3 was equipped with a limited-slip differential, disc brakes with ABS, traction control and dynamic stability control.
This novel Japanese hot hatch had a second generation in 2010, which kept the same engine that gave it glory under the hood, albeit with new computer programming and tighter transmission ratios, as well as some modifications to the engine scheme. suspension and steering.
With all these novelties, the Japanese car was now capable of accelerating from zero to 100 km / h in 5.2 seconds. Unfortunately, in 2013 the Mazdaspeed 3 saw its last year on the market, leaving behind a great legion of enthusiasts.
—By Pablo Monroy
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