2001 Mazda Protege MP3: Grassroots Motorsports New Car Reviews

26 Jul 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on 2001 Mazda Protege MP3: Grassroots Motorsports New Car Reviews
Mazda Protege

What#8217;s an MP3 ?

The MP3 is the new, sport-tuned of the Mazda Protegé front-wheel-drive, sedan. A staple of the Mazda since 1990, the Protegé was the deluxe, sedan version of the old 323 When Mazda discontinued the 323 in the Protegé continued as Mazda#8217;s sedan.

The car has enjoyed moderate in SCCA Club Racing, but never released a sport for the U.S. mass market. In words, no Protegé ever a decklid badge along the of the GT -S, Si or SE -R.

Racers and enthusiasts had to make do the LX and ES models, which at least Mazda#8217;s twin-cam, 1.8-liter The suspension was generally a little for performance driving, however, didn#8217;t help raise the perception of the Protegé.

The wheels for the new MP3 put in motion in 1999, when released an all-new Protegé. A twin-cam engine was still the powerplant, but the new car featured an aggressive, look. Even though it only 122 horsepower, the #8216;99 was driven to an SCCA Showroom C national win by Paul Bonaccorsi in

For 2001, Mazda finally has a Protegé with the MP3 model While it#8217;s certainly than a rolling jukebox, the car its name from the Kenwood Z919 in-dash CD / MP3 receiver as standard equipment-an industry says Mazda.

MP3 is a file compression method used for quick downloads and of music from the Internet #8220;Napster#8221;). Since the files are less storage space is Where a traditional CD can store up to 74 of music, a person at home can burn a CD -R filled with up to 10 of compressed MP3 music files.

In to the MP3 files, the Kenwood head also plays conventional CDs and a standard AM / FM radio.

Some will find the buttons on the small and cumbersome to use, but we the car#8217;s target market have no trouble deciphering the In keeping with the latest the stereo#8217;s display features a array of colors and graphics, a motorized faceplate covers the CD

Besides the trick Kenwood unit, the Protegé MP3 #8217;s system also employs two three-way rear speakers, two two-way front speakers and a 10-inch subwoofer located in the We#8217;re not audio engineers, but we found the MP3 #8217;s sound to be loud and clear. A provided sheet helped us navigate the unit#8217;s controls, while the provides plenty of bass.

The does take up a bit of trunk but looks like it can be easily as needed.

More Than Just Equipment

Enough talk car audio; what has Mazda to increase the car#8217;s real For starters, there#8217;s more under the hood, as the new-for-2000 engine has received a few tweaks raise horsepower from 130 up to Maximum torque also going from 135 lb.-ft. at rpm to 142 lb.-ft. at 4500.

A reprogrammed computer provides more ignition timing and air-fuel while a revised intake helps boost top-end To help on the other end of the performance the MP3 features a low-back-pressure, stainless-steel system designed and built by Racing Beat. (For an system, it emits a mellow too.)

This uprated sends its power through a clutch, while the transmission#8217;s action is controlled via a shortened

We found the engine torquey and a strong mid-range, but the car#8217;s seems to be holding things Despite the 140 horsepower rating, the MP3 scream toward red line some other hot compacts.

For the original Nissan Sentra SE -R produces 140 horsepower from 2.0 which proves ample to haul around its 2460-pound The MP3 checks in at 2725 pounds, and the difference is noticeable. The people at seem aware that power is needed; sources we with said that will be remedied in future

Still, the car feels lively moving.

Following a mandate from the office in Japan to build a hot Mazda#8217;s American arm had longtime tuning firm Racing set up the suspension. Tokico struts-they#8217;re painted that familiar of blue-can be found at all four of the MP3. while Racing designed the anti-roll bars: a bar can be found up front, while the one measures 20mm in diameter.

Beat also took of the springs, increasing the rates 16 in the front and 19 percent in the rear. height was left nearly however, as the MP3 sits just inch lower than a Protegé. Like the struts, the bars and coil springs have an original-equipment look, as parts come painted in Beat#8217;s signature red color.

not an aftermarket part, the MP3 shares its gear with the European-spec and features a 15.4:1 ratio. standard Protegé ratio is To help stiffen the steering, an strut bar is standard equipment, C-shaped, stamped-steel reinforcements been added to the tops of the strut towers.

Tires are seen as a car#8217;s most components, and the MP3 rides on a set of Z-rated, 205/ 45ZR17 Dunlop SP 9000s. This is currently top-of-the-line, max-performance tire; we it to offer plenty of grip for street driving. A rarity for a high-grip tire, the SP Sport also performed well several brief but powerful

Credit for the wet-weather performance go to the water-shedding tread pattern.

The Rack has also given tire high marks. their testing has shown the SP 9000 to offer a little precision and grip than the Michelin Pilot SX MXX3. The Rack found the Dunlop to be a max performance tire for everyday #8220;On the road, the SP Sport provided excellent ride very low noise levels, and that was matched to everyday needs,#8221; they said. on-the-road comfort, it came to providing touring tire

Those Dunlops come around a set of 17×7-inch Racing wheels. Thanks to their weights and premium looks, from Racing Hart become popular in today#8217;s hot scene; Mazda had these specifically designed for the MP3. for Honda owners, their bolt pattern means won#8217;t fit on a standard Civic.

the sticky Dunlops and tighter-than-usual components, we found the MP3 to make a street performer. Ride was also very good.

On the the MP3 did very well in quick but understeered a bit in tight turns. figuring the car#8217;s somewhat curb weight, combined anti-roll bar sizes that are for the average consumer, are part of the

Mazda Protege

Looks Sharp, Too

In addition to the upgrades, the MP3 differs from a Protegé thanks to its unique package. For starters, most of the examples bound for the U.S. be painted Laser Blue a color similar to that on the recent Civic Si as well as new Impreza WRX. Additionally, a few cars will be painted Yellow.

The MP3 also features a aggressive look thanks to a spoiler, round fog lights, skirts, plus a computer-engineered wing. Many of these come from Mazda#8217;s Familia Sport 20, Japan#8217;s of the Protegé5 sport wagon, and the MP3 a sort of rally-racer look. hard, and the MP3 looks a bit like a Lancer EVO VI .

On the inside, the MP3 receives a look through dark interior fabrics that are with warm silver on doors, steering wheel, lever, center stack and Like the Miata, the MP3 #8217;s wheel also comes Nardi of Italy. To continue the label theme, the drilled pedals come from

From the driver#8217;s perspective, the works well. The seats plenty of lumbar and lateral while several adjuster allow their position to be tailored for nearly any driver. We always been fans of steering wheels, so finding one in the MP3 us happy.

Going Quickly

Whether by or luck, Mazda#8217;s timing for the MP3 debut is quite good: no Honda Civic Si available for year, while the Ford SVT doesn#8217;t arrive until The Dodge Neon R/T, similar in specifications, doesn#8217;t nearly as much refinement as the

However, with only copies of the MP3 headed to the U.S.-combined a suggested retail price of car probably will be a bit scarce on lots. As of our editorial deadline, reports that all copies of the MP3 been allotted to their

While the MP3 won#8217;t hang an Integra Type R or Subaru WRX in a straight line, it is a great step for Mazda. For the first in more than 10 years, company finally has an offering for the compact market.

Additionally, has strongly hinted that the will not be the only MP3 -badged offered. Could it mean a Miata MP3 isn#8217;t too far away?

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2001 Mazda Protege MP3

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