What Does Racing Prove, Part 2 - 2012 Mazda Mazda3 Long-Term Road Test

2012 Mazda Mazda3 Long Term Road Test

2012 Mazda Mazda3: What Does Racing Prove, Part 2

June 04, 2012

2012 Mazda Mazda3 

Just when you think that there can't possibly be another flavor of Mazda's MZR inline-4 engine, another one comes along. This weekend Mazda announced that it's going to build a racing version of its 2.2-liter MZR-CD diesel, an engine that is now sold in the Europe and is scheduled for introduction in the U.S. soon. 

The 2.2-liter, Skyactiv-D racing engine uses the stock motor's block, cylinder head, and common-rail injection components, but a dual-stage turbocharger, upgraded internals, and a 14:1 compression ratio enable it to produce 400 hp. Mazda claims the racing engine is 10 percent lighter than the stock engine and reduces internal friction by 20 percent.

This racing engine will be showcased in Grand-Am's new GX class of high-tech sports cars with production-style silhouettes.

Aside from my own fascination with all the different uses to which the Mazda MZR engine has been put -- both in street cars and in racing cars --  the Skyactiv-D shows me that even in a world where mpg is more important than mph, there's still room for trick engine technology.

Maybe the Mazda 3 will still be fun to drive in the future after all.

Michael Jordan, Executive Editor, Edmunds.com

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