• May 2, 2009
The Washtenaw Community College Vehicle Performance class that helped build Boss Wagon VI

Although the story's a bit old, Car and Driver just released the tale of their sixth Boss Wagon project online. Just like their past attempts at turning a sow's ear into a silk purse, this one starts with a casual comment that snowballs out of control. After several rethinks, copious man-hours and a lot of scratched heads, a new Boss Wagon has been birthed. This time the project takes the form of a Mazdaspeed5. Yep, Mazda's funky microvan with an extra dash of speed.

Although there are plenty of examples of the Mazdaspeed3 and Mazdaspeed6 on the road, Mazda never made a factory Mazdaspeed5. Some people think that's unacceptable, a few AB staffers included. The Mazda5 is an almost perfect family hauler, but one complaint from drivers has often been that it lacks some zoom-zoom in the engine bay. The simple fix? Because the 5 shares its underpinnings with the Mazda3, stuff in a Mazdaspeed3 turbo mill and pick up an extra 110 hp instantaneously.

Sounds simple enough, but as you'll learn by reading the article, things are never as simple as they might seem. Some eight months, 21 days, and two hours later, the only items they hadn't removed from the 5 were the sliders and liftgate, and they still aren't finished with the fine-tuning. Well, did all that work pay off? Did they turn the grocery getter into a weekend warrior? Follow the source link and find out for yourselves.

[Source: Car and Driver]


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  • 24 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is what's wrong with the auto industry. This thing totally sucks, and everyone on here thinks it's great. You people think it looks "cool"? I think people forgot what "cool" actually is.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I imaging no warranties.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The 5 seems to be Mazda's red headed stepchild.Last to get the 5 speed auto now it must wait till 2010 to get the new 2.5 engine that it sorely needs.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Who needs a 5 speed auto when it comes with a manual? One of the few minivan-type vehicles to do so. Kudos to Mazda.
      • 5 Years Ago
      What about the Dodge Caravan SRT? Is that not the only stock performance Minivan right now?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Still cool.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is an absolutely brilliant project. I've been waiting for months to hear about progress on it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Funny, I was just researching how one could do this yesterday.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Now I'm glad I didn't pursue it further...
      • 5 Years Ago
      7.2 seconds to 60mph? That's disappointing. Nice idea though.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Damn that 5 looks hot! (In the linked article).
      • 5 Years Ago
      I rented the 5 for a week and loved it. I wasn't looking for more power but then I wasn't in a situation where more would have made a difference. With the two sliding doors and interior configuration, this was a great family hauler and I wish the US version had the flip out and up center seat in the second row as the Euro versions have. As C&D explored, lowered a bit, add a turbo and kit and Zoom-Zoom indeed! I was thinking the same returning it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I misread the title and thought for a second that they were making a MazdaSpeed MX-5.....imagine the disappointment when I realized what I was looking at with the pix LOL
      • 5 Years Ago
      I assume it would be much easier with a Euro Spec Mazda5. The 6-speed manual is standard, as is DSC and TCS, although there's no 2.3 liter option. Next step - change suspension and brakes to match the engine.

      Anyway, moral of the story? This is Mazda machinery, so don't mess up with it. You can make the car go faster, but you can't make it better - that is an actual quote from a guy of Startech - German tuning specialist.
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