Small reinforcements were spot welded and bonded to the seat mounting points at vibrational nodes to provide vibration dampening and reduce felt vibrations being transferred into the seat. These affect driver focus and exhaustion. What a great idea that could be incorporated into racecars as well!
Speaking of the seats, a lot of thought went into seating position- just like racecar seating setup! The 6th generation Mazda 3 has a more relaxed position, which is comfortable, but it exhausts the driver much faster. The 7th generation has more support at the top of the pelvis to straighten the back, which has been found to lower driver exhaustion! The thigh support is adjustable, which is another driver exhaustion point that is crucial for racecar seating setup as well. In addition, the seats have viscoelastic foam with increased dampening, which helps to absorb slight vibrations and chassis movements that can be directed to the driver. If the driver's body absorbs these movements, exhaustion occurs much faster.
Overall with increased stiffness, NVH has greatly improved with the new chassis. The focus was to make sounds more consistent, rather than muting them in general.
With other manufacturers heavily focused on hybrids for fuel efficiency, electric, and self-driving cars with the same amount of passion as kitchen appliances, we are pleased to know that Mazda is focused on producing cars that are highly efficient, green, and entertaining to drive. However, since they actually won the top podium step for the EPA’s highest fuel economy brand (and did it with internal combustion engines- not hybrids), we suppose you can have your cake and eat it too with some fun behind the wheel.