The autoTRADER.ca Find of the Week this week is a turbocharged compact hot hatch. Even better, it's a hot hatch that looks to have been made even hotter with some aftermarket modifications in the name of performance and appearance. It's a 2011 Mazda Mazdaspeed3.
Over the years, Mazda has launched some odd and some impressive versions of its compact car family. It goes way back to the rally-ready all-wheel drive 323 GTX of the early 1990s. In more modern memory, though, it started with the 2001 Protegé MP3.
The MP3 got a sport-suspension, 17-inch aftermarket wheels, and more power. Plus a stereo that could play MP3s. You can tell just by the name what year that car came out, limited to just 1,500.
Then two years later, Mazda added the first car to wear the Mazdaspeed performance logo. Still a Protegé, this one got a turbocharger for even more power. In 2004, the name expanded to the MX-5, making that sports car even hotter. Since then, Mazdaspeed's long badge has been on multiple fast Mazdas.
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In 2010, the second-generation Mazdaspeed3 arrived. Based on the also second-generation Mazda3 that was revealed in 2008, the car took the turbocharged hatchback format from the first car and applied it to the new body.
It started with Mazda's 2.3L four-cylinder engine. Equipped with both a turbocharger and direct injection, the engine that first arrived in the Mazdaspeed6 delivered 263 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque.
With the new car, Mazda made some computer changes to improve the power curve, without lifting the total figure. New gear ratios were picked to help improve performance. And a new and functional hood scoop was fitted to help put more cool air through the top-mount intercooler. That helped keep the car developing full boost during longer periods of spirited driving. Changes to the steering and suspension were made to help improve the performance.
It was a car that was seeming tailor-made to the aftermarket. Big displacement, turbocharged, sporty, and small. Just the kind of car that makes you want to add bigger wheels, wider tires, and more boost. Because if factory power is good, more is better, right?
Like any car that commands an aftermarket following, some are done better than others. This car, for sale in Calgary, looks like one of the better ones.
The first thing you're likely to notice are those gold wheels. It's a bold choice, and one that doesn't always work. But the chunky Volk TE37s help by looking the part, and the gold colour absolutely works on a black hatchback. Though the 18-inch wheels might make the brake rotors look a touch small by modern super-hatch standards.
After that comes a host of engine parts from Corksport. The company has been developing Mazda parts for 20 years and is well known in aftermarket circles. This car wears their intake and turbo inlet pipe, downpipe from the turbo to the exhaust, and a 3.0-inch exhaust. Making sure that the engine modifications are met with the right amount of fuel, air, and spark is a Cobb Accessport tuner. It can reflash the computer to make sure the modifications aren't going to waste. We won't make an estimate as to how much power this all adds, but it's most likely an amount you'll very much notice.
Upgrading the suspension to go along with the extra power is a Ground Control adjustable coilover suspension. Along with that is a Corksport rear sway bar that should help add some rear-end rotation to the behaviour of this hatch.
Since 2011, this car has covered just over 120,000 km. Reasonably low mileage for the year. And like most modified cars, it's available for much less than the cost of buying the car and the parts separately. So if you're looking for an extra hot hatch to cruise around in and carve corners, then this 2011 Mazda Mazdaspeed3 might be exactly what you're looking for.