2010 Mazdaspeed3
2010 Mazdaspeed3. Click image to enlarge

Pitt Meadows, British Columbia – The first 2010 Mazdaspeed3 performance hatchbacks to arrive in Canada were unveiled to Canadian automotive journalists this week, at a base price of $32,995.

The MSRP, plus $1,395 for freight and PDE charge, is an increase from its 2009 MSRP of $29,360 and $1,275 freight.

Based on the recently redesigned 2010 Mazda3 Sport hatchback, the Mazdaspeed3 returns with the same turbocharged 2.3-litre direct injection four-cylinder engine, which develops 263 horsepower at 5,500 rpm, and 280 lb-ft of torque at 3,000 rpm. Mazda claims a zero-to-100 km/h acceleration time of 6.1 seconds, while fuel consumption is rated at 11.5 L/100 km in city driving and 8.0 L/100 km in highway driving.

The new exterior design features a functional hood scoop to improve the turbocharger’s intercooler efficiency, unique front fender and front bumper designs, cylindrical bi-xenon headlamps with boomerang-shaped position lamps and round fog lamps, curving character lines on the side panels and side-under spoiler, new larger floating rear spoiler, LED tail lamps, and new 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels with the same three-dimensional design theme as the Mazda RX-8 wheels.

Inside is a new tachometer with red Mazdaspeed logo, a new LED turbo boost gauge between the speedo and tachometer, front sport seats with upholstery in black and a red graphic design and red stitching, a red graphic design throughout the cabin and red stitching for the steering wheel, shift boot, door trim and centre console.

The lightly revised 2.3-litre turbocharged engine features an advanced boost pressure control that suppresses sudden torque peaks for linear torque progression. The left and right drive shafts have been revised to minimize torque-steer. A newly-designed, six-speed manual transmission offers wider gear ratios than before, and a torque-sensing limited-slip front differential is standard. 

For improved rigidity, special reinforcements have been added inside the front cowl member gussets as well as a large tunnel member. Suspension modifications include modified coil spring rates for MacPherson strut front suspension and multi-link rear suspension, larger diameter stabilizers, special shocks with increased damping strength, and three highly rigid steering gear mount bushings instead of two. Electro-hydraulic power assisted steering (EHPAS) is new.

Standard tires are new, wider, Dunlop 18-inch tires with improved grip, more rigid sidewalls and damping strength for more direct steering feel.

Brake improvements include large-diameter 320-mm ventilated front disc brakes and 280 mm rear solid discs, 8+9 inch tandem brake booster and 1-inch large diameter master cylinder. New electronic brake assist is added to four-wheel ABS and dynamic stability control as standard equipment.

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