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The MazdaSpeed3 has yet to go on sale in the U.S., so Inside Line booked a flight to Japan for a quick jaunt in the JDM market Axela MPS. Their first impression of the new pocket rocket is one of gushing praise. Mazda engineers benchmarked the Volkswagen GTI and apparently have easily eclipsed the hot hatch that started it all. The Mazda's 2.3-liter turbo four pumps out 264 horsepower and 280 ft-lbs. of torque, eclipsing the GTI's motor by 64 hp and 74 ft-lbs. of torque, respectively. Oh yeah, and it weighs 154 lbs. less. 60 mph comes in 6.1 seconds and torque steer is minimized thanks to a modified ECU that reduces torque levels in 1st through 3rd gears. If Inside Line is to be believed, the MazdaSpeed3 will be tight handling, have a decent ride and be up on utility compared with competitors like the Honda Civic Si. It appears the GTI and Civic Si just won't be able to compete. The MazdaSpeed3, however, still has to get through the 300-horsepower Dodge Caliber SRT-4 to officially claim its title of King of the Compacts.

[Source: Inside Line]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      I can't begin to imagine how amazing this car must be. I mean my normal hatch with the 5AT and 2.3L is, to quote Peter Griffin, 'frikkin' sweet'. And oh so sexy looking.

      Other cars can keep the straight-line speeds. This Mazda (or any Mazda) is all about handling and looking good. And the interior? To quote Meg Ryan 'ohhhh yeahhhhh'.

      • 8 Years Ago
      The slow 0-60 time is likely a result of the torque management system (it reduces engine output in gears 1-3.) The engine isn't allow to make full boost until you get into 4th gear.

      It's a shame because its really going to hurt the cars straight line performance. I suspect one of the first products for this car will be an ECU program that eliminates the torque management system (or an external means of boost control to bypass the system.)
      • 8 Years Ago
      Hey guys, we all know the Sti is an impressive package but it will cost about $12000 more than this Mazda. I'm not sure if the cost would justify the 50%+ increase in price. All that and I bet the inside of this car looks better. Some would argue the outside looks a lot better too. I will agree though, on performacne alone the Evo and the STi are both faster. They are just in a completely different price range.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Ryan, you have to share! Sedan guys got to go first with the Mazdaspeed6, now the hatch guys get to have their fun with the Mazdaspeed3. :P
      • 8 Years Ago
      I wonder how much markup we will be looking at when this comes out. I am actually considering this one over the GTI. Forget the Dodge "Homer Mobile" Caliber. It just doesn't fit the segment.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Regarding handling - quite simply nothing in the FWD compact class can touch the Mazda3's handling. They're nimble, they're communicative and they're light. With power the car will be quite amazing. If it had RWD it would be the steal of the century (sorry, AWD robs me of fun).

      For my money Mazda is the Japanese BMW. If someone took my 2006 330i away I'd gladly opt for a Mazda car based purely on the driving character. No other japanese or american car company comes close across its line., From the 6 to the 3 to the MX to the RX and CX, the Mazda line-up's fun to drive.

      As for price markup...there won't be any. They're mazdas. Mazdas don't get price bumps. They get incentives. I'd expect to be able to buy a MS3 for at least 1k below invoice within 6 months of its launch.

      I've owned many mazdas and they're always well under invoice. Hell you can a Mazdaspeed 6 for thousands less than invoice right now.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Nick, the STi costs way too much to be counted with this crowd
      • 8 Years Ago
      Paul I'm guessing you dirrected that at me even though your wrote it to #32 not realizing that the numbers aren't static.

      We are in completely different worlds. Maybe from your perspective mazda is Ford and maybe even to others here but that's like baseball trivia in that outside of baseball fans no one cares.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "5. I find it hard to believe that this little Mazda can't make it to 60mph in less than 6.1 seconds with all that HP on tap. Is it lighting up the tires or what?"

      Those are Mazda's numbers, which are always very conservative. Real-world testing of the Mazdaspeed6 easily eclipsed Mazda's performance numbers for that vehicle.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "A figure of speech in which exaggeration is used"

      I'm glad you said it.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Ryan, think outside the box. Mazda always has loyalty cash floating around. They also give you rebates for college work and finally Mazda dealers get holdback. Sub invoice pricing is not that hard to come by. Just gotta work the system.
      • 8 Years Ago
      How does the Caliber handle compared to the Mz3 (being in spedd/str trim or vanilla)? I read high praise all over about the mazda, haven't read anything earth shattering about the dodge.

      Also, don't fear, the Caliber will too have "special ecu torque management feature" to make sure you never spend more than 220 lb/ft through the gear box.

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