Project Mazda3 Part 3: Improving Our Contact Patch


Since the ruleset for Street Touring F allows any wheel up to 7.5 inches in width, we needed to find a set of light and inexpensive alloys to match our 16-inch Toyos.  The Sport Edition A8 wheels checked in at 17 pounds and just 92 bucks a piece.  That's a pretty cost-effective upgrade for something we're only going to use a dozen times a year.  
Since we went through The Tire Rack to purchase the wheels, we knew they were going to fit—but a quick test confirmed that there were no clearance issues, but darn, they look small in that wheelwell.  
With the car up in the air for the test fit,  we took a look at the suspension to get an idea of what we were working with.  
While the front and rear suspensions are rather conventional, they share nothing in common with other Mazda3s, although the basic Skyactiv architecture is consistent between the newest 3, 6 and CX-5.  

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