Archive | 1:11 PM

A new spring in the Wild-Child’s step…

27 Feb

Upon it’s release in 2006, Mazda dubbed their new Mazdaspeed 3 sport-hatchback as the “Wild-Child” and the nickname caught on in the automotive press.

The current generation Mazdaspeed 3 has grown up a bit, but underneath the new-found refinement, it’s still a Wild-Child at heart offering big thrills at a low price.

Despite only a tick over 1000 miles on the clock, we couldn’t wait to dive into our new Speed3 with some basic mods.  The stylish new exterior is sharp, and the OEM 18 inch wheels echo that of the flagship RX-8 R3.  However, the wheel gap is large.  The solution; a set of H&R sport springs.

Installation was straight forward and trouble-free.  Throughout the process, there were some interesting things to note… among them, a sensor in the front suspension that is connected to a mechanical rod that moves as the system compresses and steers.  I can only assume this is one of the sensors Mazda’s ECU uses to adjust torque output based on steering angle and suspension compression in the lower 3 gears to limit wheel spin, wheel hop and torque steer.

The H&R kit lowers the car 1.25″ inches all around for a more aggressive stance.  Next week, we’ll get the car aligned and see if this spring kit requires any camber correction bolts/arms.

Ride quality feels like stock on most surfaces.  Large bumps and potholes are more jarring, but overall the H&R sport springs are well suited to daily driving.