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MazdaSpeed3: Styling Impressions

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  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    To comment about your previous post, GM is the worlds leading manufacturer, not Toyota.

    Well, MSP is the niche line where Mazda gets to try out a new twist on a vehicle, something different and exciting and if it doesn't work, it can drop it after a year or two or if it does work, then share it with other platforms

    That is not Mazdaspeed. Mazdaspeed is a production Mazda that offers what enthusiasts, or people in the race industry have had access to for years, Mazdaspeed performance. It is not their test lab for technology. When you invest millions of dollars into technology, you rarely incorporate it into one vehicle. It is more business like to invest your millions, or billions, in multiple vehicles. Like the MZR 2.3 DISI Turbo in MS6, MS3, CX-7.

    Will this investment pay off and generate a half million sales like Toyota's hybrid strategy has so far?

    Mazda's buyer is far from the Toyota buyer. Mazda's idea of what they feel a vehicle should be vastly differs from Toyota.

    If the Mazda does sell 500,000 MZR 2.3L DISI Turbo vehicles, then, I guess a small company like Mazda accomplished what a mega giant like Toyota did as well. I would think that speaks highly for Mazda. ;) Mazda has already sold nearly 1 million of their most famous nitch vehicle, the MX-5. Mazda knows what they are doing.

    Now, back to the MS3!! :shades:
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    GM is the worlds leading manufacturer, not Toyota
    You're right: GM is the leader for the moment, however, Toyota is the most profitable. Many predict Toyota will assume the mantle of both (most profit and most production) later this year.

    From BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/5244430.stm):
    Toyota, the world's most profitable carmaker, has reported a 39% rise in first-quarter income ... Toyota's global unit sales should soon overtake market-leader General Motors. The Japanese giant sold 2.09 million vehicles around the world in its latest quarter, up from 1.95 million during the same period a year earlier. Toyota is doing particularly well in North America, where it sold 747,300 vehicles during the quarter, up more than 16% ...

    Unless Mazdaspeed's turbo variations of the Protege, Mazda6, Mazda 3 ... are tied to a strategy for the future this may be a misguided use of resources useful only for the short-term. I believe Toyota and Honda have a better formula for the future: deliver performance + efficiency. The Accord/Camry/Lexus hybrids offer both excellent performance and improved efficiency; these will move from being niche vehicles to leaders of the brand and eventually the segment.

    p.s. I'm an ardent fan of Mazda and wish it to capture some portion of the future market but have concerns ...
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    GM is the leader for the moment, however, Toyota is the most profitable. Many predict Toyota will assume the mantle of both (most profit and most production) later this year.


    I happen to agree with you, it will not be long before GM is overtaken by Toyota for #1.

    I believe Toyota and Honda have a better formula for the future: deliver performance + efficiency. The Accord/Camry/Lexus hybrids offer both excellent performance and improved efficiency; these will move from being niche vehicles to leaders of the brand and eventually the segment.

    The problem is price. The added cost of buying a hybrid now vs. a conventional gasoline engine is pretty high.

    Maybe Mazda can release a performace designed hybrid once cost comes down?? Mazda seems to be leaning twards the sport side of the industry, and is more of a nitch brand that is trying to expand. Which I happen to like. :D

    I understand what you are trying to say.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "I believe Toyota and Honda have a better formula for the future: deliver performance + efficiency."

    I beg to differ.

    The ONLY models I can think of that use a hybrid powertrain to boost performance first and efficiency second would be the Honda Accord Hybrid and the various hybrids from Lexus (RX400h, GS450h and LS450h). In the case of the Accord, the hybrid version has a whooping 9hp advantage (244hp in the 'normal' version vs. 253 in the hybrid) and a 21 ftlbs of torque advantage (232 vs. 211). Couple that with about a 150lb weight penalty for the Accord Hybrid and you'll find that the power/weight ratio for the REGULAR version is actually slightly better (14.1 lbs/hp vs. 14.2 lbs/hp for the hybrid).

    Extra 'performance' for the hybrid version? Um......borderline maybe. I think the POINT of putting hybrid powertrains in the V6 models is so one can maintain essentially the same (and perhaps a smidge better) performance while getting measureably better fuel economy.

    The Camry Hybrid? Fine for economy with a dollop of performance. BUT, if I'm in the market for performance FIRST, I'm looking at the regular V6 edition, not the hybrid version. Ditto with the Civic Hybrid.

    The point being that for the COST and the amount of ACTUAL PERFORMANCE GAINED (not economy, performance), Mazda went the correct way with the turbo MZR. Honda managed less than a 4% boost in hp and a 10% boost in torque for their Accord Hybrid.

    For the Lexus 450h, the 3.5l V6 hybrid system is rated at 339hp and 267 ftlbs. The similar 3.5l V6 in the Avalon is rated at 268hp and 248 ftlbs. So Lexus managed a much better 26% jump in hp and 8% jump in torque for the 3.5l V6 in the (very expensive) 450h.

    But what about the turbo 2.3l DISI unit in the Speed3? Well, hp jumps from 160 to 264 (a 65% boost in hp) and torque is up from 150 to 280 (over an 85% boost in torque). Sure seems to me that from a PERFORMANCE standpoint (uh, performance IS the point here, right?), the turbo was MUCH more effective (and cheaper) than a hybrid.

    Misguided use of resources? Could we just PLEASE give this over-used cliche a rest? One could argue that ANY individual use of a motor vehicle over mass-transit (or bicycling) is a 'misguided use of resources'. Or owning (heating/cooling) a home larger than 1200 sf is a 'misguided use of resources' (not to mention the resources used in that home construction). Or going on vacation, or consuming too many calories, or using toomuchelectricity ornotrecylingallyourbottlesandcans yada yada yada ad nauseum infinitum.

    How in the hell did this topic morph into carping about Mazda not going down the hybrid path and talking about resource usage? The Speed3 is supposed to be about maximum FUN in an affordable, practical, reliable, stylish package.

    The Speed3 is NOT "well, let's build a car with slightly better performance BUT NOT TOO MUCH, and we'd better get better fuel economy at the same time because IT'S THE SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE THING TO DO, and maybe we should use reconstituted seaweed paste for soundproofing material because we should USE RESOURCES WISELY".

    bleah. If management at Toyota still had the big brass balls that the guys at Mazda evidently have, I'd still be a Toyota fan. As it is now however, my current Toyota is my LAST Toyota.....
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Let's start from the ending.
    I'm an ardent fan of Mazda and wish it to capture some portion of the future market but have concerns ...
    In other words, like you, I am for Mazda not against it.

    The Speed3 is supposed to be about maximum FUN in an affordable, practical, reliable, stylish package.
    Agreed. The questions I ask myself are: wasn't the Mazdaspeed6 supposed to have delivered that and why was it not a success? My answer is that it was not enough.

    I'm not saying that Mazda should build hybrids to get performance and efficiency. Mazda could build lighter vehicles, or decontent them, or introduce valve management, or refine its Renesis engine to be more fuel efficient, or a hundred other things. Strapping a turbo to an engine and adding several hundred pounds to a vehicle seems like an old solution. BMW, for example, improved the performance and efficiency of one of its latest vehicles by reducing the weight of the roof, thus lowering the centre of gravity and consequently improving its handling. An elegant solution from a company known for performance.

    The reference to misguided use of resources was not from an ecological but from a financial point of view. Mazda as you know is a branch of Ford (which is not in the best financial state at the moment). What do you think Ford will do if Mazda continues to produce vehicles that sell below expectations as the Mazdaspeed6 did?

    Finally, for the sake of Mazda I hope the MazdaSpeed3 is a success!
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    Then why all the side talk about hybrids?

    For a company with (as you note) limited FINANCIAL resources, why try to go the hybrid route with it's HUGE R&D costs?

    COMPLETELY agree with you on the weight issue. The weight problem for the MS6 (mostly due to the questionable decision to make the MS6 an AWD design) is coupled with the lack of an automatic tranny where one would be welcomed (in the market for which the MS6 was aimed). I don't think a lack of fuel economy (is that what you are referring too?) was the 'problem' with the MS6.

    They missed THAT market with the Speed6, and lackluster sales are the result.

    OTOH, the Speed3 avoids the dual problem of cost and weight of the AWD system and targets a market (hot hatch) where a manual tranny is expected.

    One of the engineering problems with BMW's approach (which I applaud) is the fact that often times the weight reduction is achieved by using lighter (and MUCH more expensive) materials, rather than just cutting content. In the market the Mazda3 occupies, it would be financially difficult to cut weight by using expensive materials and content is also difficult to cut due to consumers 'comparing' various cars by looking at brochures and comparing standard features.

    To Mazda's credit, virtually all the weight gain for the Speed3 is due to PERFORMANCE enhancements (motor, suspension improvements, 6-spd trans, and structural strengthening) and in an effort to keep the weight down, they're not offering a sunroof (at least for now).

    Personally, I'm betting that the Speed3 will be a HUGE success and hopefully becomes a permanent edition to the Mazda stable.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Personally, I'm betting that the Speed3 will be a HUGE success and hopefully becomes a permanent edition to the Mazda stable.

    Hope you're right! :)
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    This is an exert from the latest Sport Compact Car "Apex Predator"

    "For the last year, the sub $23K price range has been the domain of the GTI and Civic Si. But you simply can't compare those two to the Mazdaspeed3; it is really that good."

    There were also many, many other positive attributes in the article as well. I suggest you all run to your local news stand and pick up your copy today! :shades:
  • seanwms6seanwms6 Posts: 121
    I predict this is the first of many positive reviews to come just in time for the arrival of the first cars. Mazda was smart to keep the price down. The mags will take notice and give it kudos for it's performance-to-dollar ratio. I think they'll sell a lot of MS3s. I'm now getting more worried that the dealer who agreed to S-Plan for a special order will back down.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    I'm now getting more worried that the dealer who agreed to S-Plan for a special order will back down.

    Do you have a purchase order stating that you will be purchasing the MS3 for S-Plan? Did you leave them a deposit?
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    The Mazda Canada site has posted the price of the Mazdaspeed. It's interesting to compare US and Canadian prices and to see the markup of the 2007 Mazdaspeed3 over the 2007 Mazda3. It appears that the Mazdaspeed is a better deal in the good old USA!

    - Mazda3 s* (*aka 5 door GT) manual
    C$23400 ; U$17,575

    - Mazdaspeed3
    C$31000 ; U$22,240

    - Markup of Mazdaspeed3 over Mazda3
    C$ 7600 (32%); U$ 4,665 (26%)

    p.s. Considering the price of the Mazda6, the Mazdaspeed3 is a great deal.
  • seanwms6seanwms6 Posts: 121
    Hell no, right now it's just a phone conversation and a couple of emails. It's far from a done deal and not for anything they have on the way right now. It will be for a future order I'm guessing would arrive sometime around Dec/Jan. And they may well be just blowing smoke, but I will find out in the next couple of weeks when I bring my MS6 in to them for a valuation. If they go too low on the trade, I can still make it work by selling to Automax, but will lose more money due to the unfavorable sales tax treatment of leases in TX.
  • kronogoosekronogoose Posts: 116
    Here is my uneducated, unfounded and completely unsolicited opinion: a buyer will always pay a premium price for the latest and greatest model. Wait if you can!

    I predict that the initial enthusiasm for the MS3 will dampen significantly after the release of the Caliber SRT4. Unless Dodge makes a complete blunder, like a manufacturing defect that requires a recall, the SRT4 will dethrone the MS3 as the most powerful (and possibly the fastest) "hot hatch" in the $23K price range. Those who know better, of course, will buy the Mazda. ;)

    If the SRT4's MSRP is at or below that of the MS3, that will keep prices in check. And who knows if some other manufacturer will jump into the turbocharged compact-car arena to keep things interesting (I haven't heard anything, I'm just speculating).

    Me, I'm planning on waiting until September 2007 for a "leftover". If I can get an MS3 for under $20K, I will be very pleased!

    Thanks,

    Greg
  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    right now it's just a phone conversation and a couple of emails. It's far from a done deal

    You might have waited yourself out of a deal. If the very positive press continues your dealer will catch on and kibosh the s-plan.
  • You are smart to wait. You may well even get a leftover under $20K. However, I don't the Caliber is going to effect MS3 sales much, since they appeal to completely different buyers. Once you get past the numbers game, would more than a few potential MS3 buyers really consider a Caliber. One is an ungainly looking mini-SUV with a crappy interior and tons of unmanaged power. The other is a compact, handling (SCC even says "track car"), with power management, and a decent interior. I see the 5k cars selling well with or without the Caliber on the market.
  • I think you're right--there may not be any real comparison for those who do their research. I can't help but think that 20-somethings (or whatever demographic the MS3 and SRT4 appeals to...I'm almost a 40-something) will cross-shop both, and based on HP numbers alone, some will choose the SRT4 over the MS3.

    I personally was very excited about the Caliber SRT4, until I saw a NA Caliber in person. The looks of the car don't do anything for me, and I can't stand the rear end. The reliability and quality of Dodge products in general are a big question mark to me. To an extent, I'm still intrigued by the SRT4, but I'll need some real-world experience (auto reviews or a test drive) to even remotely consider it over the MS3.

    I would much prefer to own a Mazda product, but in any case, giving the MS3 some competition can only benefit us, the car-buying public. Even though it's not a "hot hatch," I think the upcoming Si Sedan will take a share of the souped-up compact car segment.

    Best of luck on your quest for the MS3! Please keep us updated on your negotiations and of course, your impressions of the car.

    Greg
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    The current issue of Car and Driver drove the MS3 to a speedy 5.3 second 0-60. So much for all that talk about doing just 6.0 seconds!!
  • The 5.3 second 0-60 time is a C/D estimate. In other words, C/D did not measure the 0-60 time and does not know what it will be.
  • I saw a brief blurb on the MS3 on C&D.com, but no mention of an 0-60 estimate. They say they will have a write-up soon. Did they do a "first drive" article with an estimate like Motor Trend?
  • C/D named the article "Preview: Mazdaspeed 3". It is not clear to me whether the author drove the car or not. He eludes to driving it but does not explicitly state that he did.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    True, it does stat C/D Est. next to the time, and it is unclear if he drove it or not. I'm pretty sure 5.3-5.7 would be accurate.

    The Sport Compact Car author said the governed torque in 1st, 2nd, 3rd was not noticeable, and gained speed rather quickly. He was very impressed. He did not post a 0-60 time.
  • "You might have waited yourself out of a deal. If the very positive press continues your dealer will catch on and kibosh the s-plan."

    If so, I won't cry. Just means I'm driving my MS6 for awhile longer. I really can't justify doing a deal other than S-Plan due to the lost value on the MS6. S-Plan doesn't quite make up for it, but it makes me feel better.
  • Does the order priority depend on what state the dealership is in? It seems like the west coast would be at the front.
    -Thanks
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    If you factor in taxes the price of the Mazdaspeed3 is about C$38,000 which is C$10,000 more than the Mazda3 Sport GT with manual transmission. Ouch!

    Looking at it another way, for less money one could buy the stylish new 2007 Camry LE V6 with 268hp and 248 ft.lbs. of torque and get better fuel economy while saving money using regular fuel!
  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    Does the order priority depend on what state the dealership is in?

    nope...it depends on the individual dealerships allocation earnings.
  • "Looking at it another way, for less money one could buy the stylish new 2007 Camry LE V6 with 268hp and 248 ft.lbs. of torque . . . ."

    I laughed when I read this, but if you look at the weight of the car, it's really not too bad. Weighs a couple hundred more than the MS3 but a couple hundred less than the MS6. It might more sense to compare it the MS6 given it's weight penalty. And the fact that it's in a TOTALLY different market segment than the MS3.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    it's in a TOTALLY different market segment than the MS3.

    This is a frequent debate in these forums and I agree with you to a point. However, we cross-shop all the time looking for our preferred mix of options. For example, I think many of us compare the Mazda3 to the Mazda6 which occupy "different market segments". We compare four and six cylinder variants, sedans and hatchbacks, turbos and hybrid performance machines, etc. Automakers know this and respond by mixing it up: so that dowdy "station wagon" now morphs into an AWD sport wagon for the active set, that "family sedan" is now a fire-breathing sportscar, and that sportscar now has rear ("suicide" :surprise: ) doors suitable for bringing the children along. Most of us compare the benefits relative to the cost of vehicles. In other words, most bang for the buck.

    p.s. would it surprise you to find a 60 year old behind the wheel of a Mazdaspeed3, what does that say about marketing segments?
  • "p.s. would it surprise you to find a 60 year old behind the wheel of a Mazdaspeed3, what does that say about marketing segments?"

    Nope. Great car for a 60 year old (or a 45 year-old with 2 kids) whose not worried about status and wants a versatile car that is a freakin' blast to drive. I think it's great that Honda spent all those ad bucks trying to make the Element ("Elderment") appeal to kids and then the retired folks snapped them up. Good to show the Marketing folks that there are limits to their ability to influence the market.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "...(or a 45 year-old with 2 kids)..."

    Damn! You got so close to nailing me it's scary.

    Yeah, the girls really DON'T like climbing in and out of the back seat of my Celica so school dropoffs are a real PITA. I need to convince my wife that I need a more 'sensible'( ;) ) car before we finish paying off the Ody.

    What's cool is that an '07 Speed3 would actually be CHEAPER than my '00 GTS..... :surprise:
  • ambullambull Posts: 255
    Well, it sounds like you should have an easy time convincing her then. I don't see how it would be cheaper, but if it is, GO FOR IT!!
This discussion has been closed.