Mazda MX-3

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Mazda MX-3
1992 Mazda MX3
ManufacturerMazda
Also calledMazda Precidia
Eunos 30X
Eunos Presso
Autozam AZ-3
Mazda AZ-3
Production1992–1998
AssemblyHiroshima, Japan
ClassSport compact
Body style(s)3-door hatchback
LayoutFF layout
PlatformMazda EC platform
Engine(s)1.5 L B5-ZE I4 DOHC
1.6 L B6-ME I4 SOHC
1.6 L B6D I4 DOHC
1.8 L K8 V6 DOHC
Transmission(s)5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
Wheelbase2455 mm (96.7 in)
Length4208 mm (165.7 in)
Width1695 mm (66.7 in)
Height1320 mm (52 in)
Curb weightRS: 1095 kg (2414 lb)
GS: 1171 kg (2582 lb)
Fuel capacity13.2 US gal (50 L; 11 imp gal)
RelatedHonda CR-X del Sol
Nissan 100NX
Toyota Paseo
Isuzu Impulse

The Mazda MX-3 was a four-seat hatchback produced from September 1991 to 1998. It was based on the EC platform. The MX-3 was marketed as the Mazda MX-3 Precidia in Canada, the Eunos 30X in Australia, and as the Eunos Presso, Autozam AZ-3 and Mazda AZ-3 in Japan.

The MX-3 was available in two trims in North America: the RS with an I4 engine, and the GS with a V6 engine. It is notable for having one of the lowest displacement V6 engines ever fitted to a production vehicle with its 1.8 L V6.

Engine

The MX-3 came with three engine options: a 1.5 L I4 (only found in the Autozam AZ-3), a 1.6 L I4 and a 1.8 L V6. The 1.6 L was available in two versions, an 88 hp (66 kW) SOHC/16-valve B6-ME unit which powered 1992 and 1993 models, or a 106 hp (79 kW) DOHC/16-valve B6-D unit which was found in 1994 and later models. The Japanese market DOHC/16-valve B5-ZE produced 115 hp (86 kW) and the most powerful DOHC 24-valve V6 K8-DE produced 130 hp (97 kW). All were available with an optional 4-speed automatic transmission, depending upon the market.

Performance

The V6 MX-3 had a top speed of approximately 210 km/h (130 mph). The MX-3 GS could accelerate from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 8.5 seconds, and could travel a quarter mile in 16.6 seconds. With a turning rate of 0.89 g (8.7 m/s²), its handling capabilities were one of the best in its class.

The V6 engine was impressive for the time, belonging to the Mazda K-series, which were used in a range of Mazda vehicles. These engines were designed to be smooth, very long lasting, and hold a high torque across the RPM range. These engines used a variable length intake manifold (VLIM), in order to provide optimal torque using intake resonance. Mazda called their system on the MX-3 the "Variable Resonance Induction System" (VRIS). This engine had a 7000 rpm redline, and a 7800 rpm fuel cutoff. It is rumored that Porsche designers helped to create the K series engine.

The MX-3 used Mazda's proprietary Twin-Trapezoidal Link (TTL) for the rear suspension. It passively allowed the rear wheels to turn slightly in order to enhance handling. It has been used on a range of Mazda vehicles, providing a smooth ride, yet delivering responsive handling while minimizing body lean.

Special Editions

In 1993, Mazda Canada offered a limited Special Edition model of its Mazda MX-3 GS to celebrate the company's 25th year in Canada. At the same time, Mazda USA offered a similar model as a Special Edition as well. Only a total of 2,000 Special Edition models were supposedly made. The special edition MX-3 featured the V6 engine, leather interior (including seats, steering wheel and shift knob), heated seats (Canada only), and custom Enkei manufactured 15 inch alloy wheels. Most special edition models came in the color Raspberry Metallic; however, there were also Blaze Red, Brilliant Black, and Laguna Blue colors available for the Special Edition.

In 1996, Mazda Europe produced 100 Mazda MX-3 V6 SEs. These had a leather and suede interior, and all had the Clear White body colour. There were also a limited number of Mazda MX-3 V6 Equipes, with Sparkle Green Metallic or Noble Green exteriors.

Modifications

Comparison chart of typical MX-3 engine swaps


The MX-3 is becoming a rare car, so modifications for it can be difficult to find unless one knows where to look since it has not been sold in North America since 1996. Since the MX-3 has two engine classes, I4 and V6, many of the engine performance modifications are dependent upon what platform is installed.

There is now a decent range of body modifications for the MX-3 along with performance brakes and suspension.[4] Most extensive modification must be entirely custom fabricated due to limited availability.

RS

The MX-3 RS with the 4-cylinder engine can upgrade to the BP 132 hp (98 kW), B6-T 147 hp (110 kW), BP-T 179 hp (133 kW) and BPD-T 206 hp (154 kW) engines.[1] This can bring its low power up to a very healthy rating and transform into stiff competition for many modern performance vehicles on the road today.

Swapping of the 4-cylinder RS engines can be slightly more complicated than the V6 GS mainly due to ECU, wiring harness, and MAF combinations as well as motor mounts. V6 swaps require specific ECU, intake manifold, and VAF sensor combinations, but there are far less variables to deal with. Many improvements can be made after the engine swap and during the engine tuning process to find the best combination of engine peripherals.

GS

MX-3 GS in the autumn.

The most common engine swap for MX-3 GS owners with the V6 engine is a 2.5 L V6, either a North American-spec KL-DE 168 hp (125 kW), found most commonly in the 1993-1997 Ford Probe GT, the 1993-1997 Mazda MX-6 LS, or the 1993-2002 Mazda 626 LX or ES, or the Japanese-spec KL-ZE 199 hp (148 kW), found in such vehicles as the Efini MS-8, Xedos 9, & Eunos 800. Upgrading to this engine size added the unofficial GSR trim to the MX-3. A 2.0L V6 KF-ZE is also available, but this swap can prove to be quite difficult due to the unavailability of required components. For this reason, this particular engine swap is not often attempted.[2][3]

Future model

Since the final discontinuation of the MX-3, many enthusiasts continuously hope for a return of the MX-3 model. The upcoming Mazda MX-4 Kabura concept, planned for 2009, is similar in concept to the MX-3. The Kabura is said to borrow significant mechanical components from the Mazda MX-5 while the styling appears as a blend between the MX-3 and RX8.

Gallery

References

  1. MX-3.com - Engine swap and body modification page [1]
  2. KLZE and KLDE Engine Comparison - [2]
  3. MX-3.com - Engine swap and body modification page [3]

External links

  • MX-3.com - Specifications and other details
  • MXStore- Europe specialist.
  • MX3 UK - UK Based MX3 car club forum