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MazdaSpeed3: Styling Impressions

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  • I still don't understand why Mazda has to play with its own: other Japanese made vehicles. Supposedly, Mazda used the BMW 3 series as its benchmark when it produced the 6. Excuse me, but where is the RWD??? If they want to play, then they should play, not sit on the sidelines.

    So far, the reviews on the MS6 have been great but the comparisons have not earned it the number 1 spot. I don't know about you all, but it bugs me knowing that a subcompact costing $10k less has AWD and the MS3 does not.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    Supposedly, Mazda used the BMW 3 series as its benchmark when it produced the 6. Excuse me, but where is the RWD???

    The MS6 was built to compete with the BMW 325Xi and 330Xi. Those two vehicles have X drive (AWD). Also, it was built to compete with the Legacy GT, and Audi A4 Quattro 2.0. I really do not understand how the A4 came in first, let alone beat out the MS6. I drove both at the drive event in Dallas, TX for Mazda. The A4 was slow, interior was a bit out dated, and felt like a heavy Jetta.

    Back to the Mazdaspeed3. I really do not know what Mazda is trying to accomplish. All I know is that they are not going after STi, or EVO. You have to remember, Subaru and Mitsubishi have Rally heritage, Mazda does not. The STi and EVO are rally cars. Mazda does have race heritage, on pavement! So, it does make sense to make a FWD car, but, it must be better then whats out there now in compact FWD cars, and still be affordable. Also, since it will wear the Mazdaspeed name, it should be more then just a bump up in the Mazda3 line. It should have much more in it then the regular production Mazda3.

    It is really easy to sit here and speculate what Mazda will do. But, considering the Mazda knows how successful the Mazda3 has been, I think Mazda will do as much as they can in the car, with it being FWD. Let's see what they have to show us in Geneva.
  • If what u r saying pans out, then Mazda should be adding things like traction control and/or limited slip and/or stability control. Anything less would make the MS3 an econobox on steroids.

    As far as Rally heritage is concerned, why does the MS6 get AWD while the MS3 gets stiffed??? BTW - does the MS6 have some sort of stability control (too lazy to look it up)?
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    Details on the new Mazdaspeed3 are still sketchy. However, I agree that the car will need a limited slip diff for the front as well as stability control. Limited slip diffs are beginning to be more common on FWD sportscoupes (the new Civic Si has a standard LSD).

    "As far as Rally heritage is concerned, why does the MS6 get AWD while the MS3 gets stiffed???"

    What Rally heritage? Mazda HAS NO rally heritage; that's the point. They aren't in competition with Suburu or Mitsu. Why is it that Mazda introduces a single AWD model (brand new in just the last few months) and you suddenly seem to think everything in their lineup should offer AWD?

    "BTW - does the MS6 have some sort of stability control (too lazy to look it up)?"

    Yes. Stability control (and a rear LSD) is standard on the MS6.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    If what u r saying pans out, then Mazda should be adding things like traction control and/or limited slip and/or stability control. Anything less would make the MS3 an econobox on steroids.

    Thats what I think Mazda is going for. I do not know is LSD and DSC will be on the MS3. I think they should be, and it would be the smart thing to do. But, we will have to wait and see.

    With no AWD and reduced power from the MS6, it's obvious they are not going after the STi/EVO crowd. If they were, the car would be $27-$28K, that's too close to the MS6.

    P.S...I like the econobox on steroids comment :D
  • Mazda introduced an AWD vehichle because that is where the trend is. Sure, Audi, Volvo, and Subaru have had it for what seems like forever (although, I think, only Subaru still participates in Rally - Audi and Volvo only have hertiage). So, it would only be natural to expect the MS3 to have AWD. Besides, over a year ago, Mazda people had begun to imply the MS3 would not have AWD in an attempt to save weight, though I think it was more of a PR thing.

    I don't know for sure, but I'm sure there are at least a couple of MS3 samples that Mazda built with AWD. The fact of the matter is Mazda doesn't want the MS3 to eat the MS6's lunch - not in horsepower, handling, nor (perceived) performance. Rally or rally heritage has nothing to do with it.

    As a Mazda fan, I feel it's my obligation to ask for more and expect even more. For example, where is the wagon verion of the MS6 (and please don't give me that weight excuse)? A 275 hp AWD MS6 is where it should be.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Mazda doesn't want the MS3 to eat the MS6's lunch - not in horsepower, handling, nor (perceived) performance.
    Agreed. That would be counterproductive; you're supposed to battle the competition not your own brand. Also, if my hunch is right, then the MazdaSpeed6 is going to be much pricier than the MazdaSpeed3, so they will be clearly demarcated in the eyes of the consumer.

    For example, where is the wagon verion of the MS6 (and please don't give me that weight excuse)? A 275 hp AWD MS6 is where it should be.
    Can you say cross-over as in CX7. From what I hear, this platform may be used on several models so I would not be surprised if it ends up on a wagon somewhere in the Mazda/Volvo/Ford product lineup.
  • Finally. Thank you. Mazda is more concerned about cannibalizing its own sales than that of its competition.

    Wake up Mazda. Is there a Subaru product without AWD??? What about an Audi product line? Ditto for Volvo?

    Now that that discussion is over, there may be a "silent" agreement between Mazda, Ford, and Volvo, created during the early design phase of the C3 architecture. Something like Volvo is the premium brand so only Volvo can have an AWD for the C class line of vehicles built off the same architecture. Before everyone gets their undies all in tizzy, I have no proof, just hypothetical. But definitely conceivable.

    My beef is real simple. If the MS3 doesn't get AWD, neither will the regular 3s. And that's a shame. Maybe someday in the distant future they may add AWD to the MS3. And it will take that much more time for AWD to trickle down to basic models.
  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    Would mazda increase sales enough to pay for the additional design and testing expense of AWD? The 3 is at build capacity now...so they would have to reduce the production of fwd units to build awd...This means they would have to increase the profit margins to pay for the additional design, testing, marketing engineering expenses? Does that make sense when Mazda is selling every 3 they can build worldwide without incentives?

    Subaru is a good example. They have banked everything on awd. They sell very sell in the northeast but their sales south of the snowline is minimal. Alot of folks see no benefit to awd if there is no snow...
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "Would mazda increase sales enough to pay for the additional design and testing expense of AWD?"

    Good point. The design and testing expense for the turbo 2.3 was already done for the MS6 (and due to Mazda's desire to use this drivetrain in the upcoming CX-7). But you couldn't adopt the AWD system from the MS6 to the MS3 easily (cheaply) because they are completely different floorpans/chassis. However, the AWD sytem developed for the MS6 is useful for the CX-7 (same chassis).

    I also wouldn't be surprised if Ford comes out with an AWD version of the Fusion since it is also based on the Mazda6 chassis.

    "Alot of folks see no benefit to awd if there is no snow..."

    Um, yes. It's a bit of a stretch for me (living here in central Texas) to really understand the desire for AWD. Personally, I would put AWD at the BOTTOM of my personal pecking order for preferred drive configurations.
  • gib11gib11 Posts: 47
    "Something like Volvo is the premium brand so only Volvo can have an AWD for the C class line of vehicles built off the same architecture." Yeap, thats what mazda's representativ said to a car journalist, even before the 3 went out in 2003. No AWD for the 3, not to compete with the volvo s40 an upper nitch car. I don't remember de source. sorry.

    Eve though the MPS3 is FWD, i think this car will handle like any good Mazda Performance Serie product
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    Just out of curiosity - would you happen to have an idea of what sort of suspension upgrades the MS3 may have? Also, the idea of a LSD has been kicked around in here; any idea of whether or not the MS3 would be so equipped?
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    Finally. Thank you. Mazda is more concerned about cannibalizing its own sales than that of its competition.


    I really do not see how Mazda will "cannibalize" their own sales with the MS3. Considering Mazdaspeed does cars every 2 years, and if that stays true, the MS6 will no longer be in production by the time the MS3 hit showroom's. Where is the problem?

    Also, the MS3 will not probably offer anything close to interior comfort, or lux. options, like the MS6. Even if engine performance is similar, they will most likey be two totally different cars.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    Subaru is a good example. They have banked everything on awd. They sell very sell in the northeast but their sales south of the snowline is minimal. Alot of folks see no benefit to awd if there is no snow...

    That is one of the most intelegent statements I have heard thus far. Except for Florida and California, there are really no Subaru dealers in any other southern states. For example, there are 4 Subi dealers in Arkansas. Subaru was smart that way. Since they are a very small company, they only offer their product where most of the business will be.

    If I lived in a warm climate with fairly straight roads(Florida), I would see no reason for AWD.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "I really do not see how Mazda will "cannibalize" their own sales with the MS3. Considering Mazdaspeed does cars every 2 years, and if that stays true, the MS6 will no longer be in production by the time the MS3 hit showroom's."

    I was under the impression the MS3 would be in the showroom this fall as an '07 model. If this is the case, there would be some overlap.
  • Hello Mazda, time to open another production line/plant for the 3 if u r at capacity. There, that solves the capacity problem.

    Oh, and about those extra expenses. Perhaps investing in a new C3 architecture wasn't a very good idea, either. U know, expenses and all. But the rewards would be something like selling at or near capacity for 3 consecutive years with very little incentives (if the gerber rebate, for example, is considered an incentive at all).

    You Subaru example would lead most lay people to believe that an AWD vehicle would reduce sales. BTW - AWD vehicles r more than just snow and ice vehicles. How about rain? They must have that down in the south. AWD performance is also beneficial in dry conditions, especially with a high performance vehicles like an MS3. And "alot of folks" r not buying MS3s; enthusiasts are, however. Which brings me to my next question, how many MS3s r forecasted for build (break down North America's share)??? Probably, not enough to make a big enough dent into the 3's capacity.
  • I agree. My point is that Mazda has a fear of canniblization between the MS3 and MS6. That fear deters them from producing the best MS3 possible.
  • Texas??? RWD for u. Wrong board.

    I believe the rear chassis of the 3 and 6 r nearly identical. If so, and I repeat, IF SO, than the adoption process would be relatively painless (inexpensive). So, Mazda went and spent all of their $$$ on other vehicles, leaving the MS3 with only enough $ for a turbo charger and some chassis upgrades? And since many of the r&d was already completed under the MS6 program (wouldn't doubt simultaneously), than the starting price for the MS3 should be about $21K ($23K fully loaded). Any more is a rip off.

    Oh, did I mention IMHO?
  • RWD for u 2. I bet u can't wait for that little BMW 1 RWD to show up on these shores.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    If you want AWD, go buy a WRX.

    If you want AWD in architecture based on the Mazda3, go buy a Volvo S40.

    Why must Mazda bring out AWD in the MS3 to suit......chacobleu? I wasn't aware that Mazda was trying to become the AWD company....or is that just the wishes of chacobleu. Who knows, maybe they'll see how good the sales are of the MS6 and decide at some future point that AWD is the way to go and offer more choices. Just out of curiousity (and perhaps audi8q can answer this): how are sales of the MS6 going? Is AWD for this car a serious draw or are more folks simply interested in more hp?

    BTW - I would love for Mazda to release a RWD version of the Mazda3. But the reason I'm potentially interested in a MS3 is because I like the idea of an economical, inexpensive practical hatchback with room for a couple of passengers with a lot of urge under my foot when I want it in a very responsive chassis. Now, if you can tell me where I can find this in a RWD alternative, I'm all ears. (Actually, I'm praying that Mazda can bring something like the Kabura to the market). But I'm not going to waste everybody's time in here postulating about what a bonehead move it is for Mazda to keep it FWD just because I (rorr) may prefer RWD. I've been acused of being self-centered before but not THAT self-centered.

    IMnotsoHO.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    I was under the impression the MS3 would be in the showroom this fall as an '07 model. If this is the case, there would be some overlap.

    There has been no anouncement from Mazda yet. I guess the Geneva Auto Show will be our first glimpse as to what Mazda intends. Also, back in 2004, Mazda debuted the Mazdaspeed6, and it got here at the end of 2005 as a 2006 model. That's what I think the Mazdaspeed3 will be a 2008. But, I could be wrong. If it does come out next fall, it will be the first overlap of a Mazdaspeed vehicle.
  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    would you happen to have an idea of what sort of suspension upgrades the MS3 may have

    I don't know...but I would look at previous generation speed cars for clues. Plus, What fun would it be without the wild speculations?? ;)
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "Plus, What fun would it be without the wild speculations??"

    lol

    So so true. Who knows, we may have another 2-years to kick this whole AWD vs. FWD issue back and forth. Maybe I can start working on my argument for why Mazda needs to convert the MS3 to RWD..... :P
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Hi Rich,
    What's your guess on the cost of the Mazdaspeed 3 in comparison to the manual Mazda 3 S and the Mazdaspeed 6?

    And what is the Mazdaspeed 6 doing for your dealership?

    Is it bringing people in?

    Has anyone moved from looking at the Mazda 6 6 cyl. and changed to buying the Mazdaspeed 6?

    Who do you think would be tempted by the Mazdaspeed 3?
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    From the 2006 Geneva Autoshow site:

    "Front weehl (sic) drive Mazda3 5-doors Hatchback with direct injected turbocharged 2.3 l engine delivering 260 HP"
  • qddaveqddave Posts: 164
    Nice find autonomous, but if you click on the link, it says 250 bhp. Weird!!! I wonder which one is correct???

    link title
  • Kabura doesn't look practical, which is what u, I, etc. need.

    Someone out there did build a RWD Focus. So, there is a shimmer of hope.

    At the end of the day, we both want Mazda to build the BEST MS3 keeping in mind $$$. It's just I feel more passionately about it than u. U r more inclined to giving them a pass on AWD.

    BTW - I'm not the only one that wishes an AWD MS3. I'm sure there are plenty south of the snowbelt. In fact, I think it a great idea to have 2 different types of MS3s just like Subaru's WRX and WRX STi. Only in this case it would be one with and without AWD (vs. Subaru's difference in HP / Torque). Nomenclature would be something like MS3 and MSX3.

    One more thing, I've seen rally racing. Alot of rally racing consists of terrain naturally found in your neck of the woods.
  • Plus, What fun would it be without the wild speculations??

    Fun is driving the darn thing, not anticipating then next coming. I don't think I ever smiled writing about a Mazda. Ditto washing, maintaining, etc. But get me behind the wheel on twisty, hilly, back road. Exhilarating! ;)

    Of course, your definition of fun might just be selling every MS3 in stock within days. Sorry for the jab.
  • Could have more HP if it were not for the MS6. Detuned for sure (whether for exhaust restrictions, etc.). But let's see: the MS6 weighs more so 25 horses may be scrubbed.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "Kabura doesn't look practical, which is what u, I, etc. need."

    sidetrack but...

    Practical enough for my purposes (seating for 3 full-sized humans, hatchback and folding rear seats for storage). Is it AS practical as the Mazda3? No. But it would be a nice transition from my current Celica.

    Re: RWD Focus - yep, there are a few Franken-foci running around (mustang drivetrain in a Focus); but my requirement for a practical RWD sporty car included relatively inexpensive. Something tells me that converting a Focus to RWD is neither simple nor inexpensive.

    "we both want Mazda to build the BEST MS3 keeping in mind $$$. It's just I feel more passionately about it than u."

    Careful there. You have no idea how 'passionate' I may be about any particular issue. You desire AWD in a sporty hatch, yet you don't own a WRX. It would be easy for ME to judge just how 'passionate' you may be about AWD, but I don't know all the circumstances for why you drive a Mazda3 instead, so I can't judge.

    And realistically speaking, does AWD add enough to the performance side (taking into account the additional weight and drivetrain losses) to justify the loss in mileage and additional cost? Would a LSD provide most of the performance benefits of AWD with fewer of the non-performance tradeoffs?
This discussion has been closed.