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Mazdaspeed 3 Cold Air Intake Test

roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,670
Last year I finally got around to purchasing a cold air intake for my 2007 MS3. I decided to go with Mazdaspeed's own CAI(it's essentially the AEM CAI with a different filter and a splash shield) as Mazdaspeed claimed it added an additional 24 bhp. Rather than rely on the easily deceived butt dyno, I conducted before and after acceleration tests. In their June 2009 issue Grassroots Motorsports tested the AEM CAI for the MS3 using 3rd gear 30-70 acceleration times so I decided to follow suit. A nearby deserted two-lane served as the test site. My procedure was to floor the accelerator pedal at 25 mph, start the stopwatch at 30 mph, and stop it at 70. I made an equal number of runs in both directions. On both test days the ambient temperature was 88F and the relative humidity was 68%. The car had a full tank of BP 93, and the tires were inflated to the recommended pressure. After all runs were timed I threw out the highest and lowest run times in each direction and averaged the times of the remaining runs.
My results were:

30-70 mph stock filter : 5.67 seconds
30-70 mph Mazdaspeed CAI: 5.06 seconds(-0.61 seconds)

And just for giggles, I went back and checked the Grassroots Motorsports results:

30-70 mph stock filter : 5.45 seconds
30-70 mph AEM CAI : 4.85 seconds(-0.60 seconds)

Make of this what you will...

2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

Comments

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,254
    I shall remain dubious despite your great efforts to be scientific. There are just too many variables in the test----show me the DYNO and I'lll shut up.

    I'm thinking maybe 5-8 HP and most of that at full throttle only. So if you don't have your foot in it, I cant' see much of anything changing, because gas engines have a throttle plate to restrict air anyway.

    it's possible you were working with better throttle response, which you will get with a CAI, and this translates into improved shifting and 0-60 times---but not due to horsepower.

    I can't imagine Mazda leaving 20 easy HP on the table---I just can't. What, did they put a cinder block in their airbox? :P

    Interesting result though. I may try it on my MINI just for grins.

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  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,670
    edited February 2012
    I shall remain dubious despite your great efforts to be scientific. There are just too many variables in the test----show me the DYNO and I'lll shut up.

    Road & Track: 2007 Mazdaspeed3 Modified! - Long-Term Road Tests

    I'm thinking maybe 5-8 HP and most of that at full throttle only. So if you don't have your foot in it, I cant' see much of anything changing, because gas engines have a throttle plate to restrict air anyway.

    it's possible you were working with better throttle response, which you will get with a CAI, and this translates into improved shifting and 0-60 times---but not due to horsepower.


    No offense, but you must not have understood my test procedure- in a nutshell it was WOT in third gear, 30-70 mph. No shifting. Please explain the "too many variables" that I failed to isolate.
    In any case, how do you explain an almost identical result from two identical independent tests? Shared delusions?

    I can't imagine Mazda leaving 20 easy HP on the table---I just can't. What, did they put a cinder block in their airbox?

    You'll have to ask Mazda, since they are the ones claiming that their CAI adds 24 bhp.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,254
    Not the same thing! They added MORE parts than you and got only 2/10ths of a second off 0-60.

    c'mon, show me the dyno slip and I'll eat it in front of you, promise. :P

    Still you encouraged me enough to try it on my own car. I'll look into it.

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  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,670
    edited February 2012
    Not the same thing! They added MORE parts than you and got only
    2/10ths of a second off 0-60.


    1.The only additional component that could have possibly affected the dyno results was the exhaust- and Mazda does not claim that it adds any additional horsepower. But even assuming that isn't the case, are you now claiming that the exhaust was responsible for the majority of the hp gain?

    2. Are you saying that 0-60 times have a direct relationship to 30-70 3rd gear times? In other words, a reduction of 2/10ths in the 0-60 time means that the 30-70 in-gear time cannot decrease by more than the same amount?
    Why?
    FYI, according to Car and Driver The 2007 Mazdaspeed 3 does 0-60 mph in 5.5 seconds while a 2012 ZL1 Camaro accomplishes the same feat in 4.1 seconds. However, both cars take the same amount of time -6.7 seconds- to go from 50-70 mph in 6th gear. Source: May 2007 and March 2012 issues.

    3. You still haven't explained how GRM and I received essentially identical results from the same modification. Sheer coincidence? Identical errors? And you have yet to describe the "too many variables" that make the test methodology flawed.

    c'mon, show me the dyno slip and I'll eat it in front of you, promise.


    Mazdaspeed CAI dyno test
    dyno slip from above test

    Still you encouraged me enough to try it on my own car. I'll look into it.

    I have never claimed that a CAI will always increase the horsepower on an otherwise stock car, no matter whether it is naturally aspirated or boosted. In the case of my 1995 BMW 3 Series, I knew that a CAI had essentially no effect on hp, so I installed a Turner/Conforti EPROM in the ECU and left it at that. I installed a CAI on my MS3 because my research showed that the Mazdaspeed/AEM CAI increased peak horsepower and torque by @10%. I haven't researched the potential gains on any car that I don't own.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,254
    edited February 2012
    Well that's certainly true. Different cars will react differently depending on what the engineers were trying to achieve in the first place. For instance, you or I might not mind a noisy CAI airbox, but some buyers wouldn't like it at all. Ditto exhaust notes.
    Also a turbo and SC engine might react differently to a CAI.

    I can't say much about those dyno tests because I don't know how they were done or programmed. I was thinking it would be interesting to dyno your car and see if it justified your own testing or not.

    I'd like to dyno my car in the future, but I'm going to probably go with an Autologic mapping of my ECM first off--it's more $$$ than a CAI but the results seem quite impressive---40 ft. lbs of torque!

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  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,670
    I'd like to dyno my car in the future, but I'm going to probably go with an Autologic mapping of my ECM first off--it's more $$$ than a CAI but the results seem quite impressive---40 ft. lbs of torque!

    I'm looking at the either the Cobb AP or the Hypertech programmer for my Mazda. My main concern is that I want to use the car at HPDEs and I want a very safe map that won't overstress the engine or turbocharger in a 30-45 minute track session.
    After that I'm leaving the powertrain alone; next I'm going to install a set of Koni FSDs and four Bridgestone RE-11s on 2010 MS3 wheels. The car will still be a fine daily driver(I have a set of Cooper Zeon RS3-As on my stock wheels for winter) but it should be stout enough that I won't get blitzed by the other instructors during our track sessions(Well, there IS a 911 GT3 RS that I'll still have to point by... )

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,254
    Yes you have to be careful about what level of boost the map would allow and for how long.

    It will be a while before you'll give a GT3 any trouble LOL!

    You know what they say---good tires and brakes is worth 50 HP on a track.

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  • It's actually very true. Adding an intake to a speed 3 adds pretty substantial horsepower and torque. I would say at the very least 15-20 HP (this should not be a surprise Mazaspeed’s are pushing stock 15.5 PSI, that’s a lot of boost). I added one on my 2010 and I had no expectations of any increase. Boy was so wrong. My car is so much faster. The increase is instantly noticeable and the sound of the turbo just shows you how much better the car is breathing. When you look at the stock box VS an SRI the difference is huge. The stock box has sooooooooooo many restrictions it's crazy. The inlet the sucks in the air is tiny, it was no wonder my turbo had so much lag. Everything was bottle necking. The stock box was obviously designed to keep this turbo quite, which was probably very hard to do considering that this car runs stock at 15.5psi. Mazda cannot release a car with a noisy turbo. I'm sure they have to meet a ton of noise standards that restrict the cars performance. Anyway, an SRI deletes any previous restriction the car previously had. My turbo has virtually no lag, my car is faster, the idle is way smooth, and I even get better gas mileage. Just goes to show how bad the stock box was killing HP.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,254
    Well there's "seat of the pants" metering and there's a dyno. I'm sure Mazda did leave a little HP on the table for the sake of noise control, but 20 HP is a whoppin' amount simply for a CAI.

    What you will get is a lot better throttle response so that could make the car seem faster. Also MPG has to be measured over a length of time.

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  • tcnailtcnail Posts: 1
    Mazda left alot on the table for the speed 3. It is very easy to extract power out of the engine. A Cobb OTS map alone will yield at somewhere around 25hp / 50tq for stock configuration.

    A CAI doesn't do anything a SRI can't do for the MS3. If you think the CAI yields alot of power, wait till you get a tune and unleash the torque.

    Mazda tuned the car extremely conservative from the factory. This is what the car is capable of with bolt ons on stock turbo.

    image
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