The Mazda3 MPS will do 0–100kph in 5.4 seconds in stock form, and the turbocharged 2.3-litre is backed by an LSD-equipped six-speed manual gearbox.
In factory form, the L3-VDT produces 194kW (260hp) at the flywheel and has an all-aluminium block with iron cylinder sleeves and a top-mounted intercooler. The factory turbo — although a weak point — produces around 13–14psi of boost pressure and has been known to be efficient up to about 17.5psi, providing the correct supporting modifications are in place. So, what modifications should be done to the L3-VDT?
Before you begin adding a bleed valve or boost controller, there are a few maintenance tasks that you ideally need to complete first. According to the experts, start off by switching over to a high-quality, fully synthetic 5W-40 or 5W-30 oil, change your spark plugs to either a seven or eight heat-range plug, and install a higher-flowing panel filter. If you plan to use the car at weekends only, or at the track, the added gain from an open-pod filter will be beneficial. However, it is advised to use the factory airbox with the high-flow filter if you do a lot of around-town driving.
Another common part to fail with an increase in power is the rear lower engine mount. Several Mazda MPS Owners Club members have had such failures at the track, which just ruins the fun. Replacing this engine mount with an uprated stiffer unit is the best option. While you’re there, replacing the shifter bush in the gearbox is also advised. Another recommendation is to get a base tune, which will ensure your Mazda is healthy enough to modify and make sure your oxygen sensor is working correctly should you decide to tune your engine with maps available online.