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Mazda is known for its rotary engines, but the Japanese automaker’s best engine is a 1.8-liter V6. Yes, you read that correctly – a V6 smaller than most modern four-cylinder engines. This engine was first introduced in the Mazda MX-3 in 1991 and was a revolutionary piece of engineering. In this article, we’ll dive into the details of this funky Mazda engine.

What engine is in the Mazda MX-3?

A red Mazda MX-3 driving through the country
Mazda MX-3 | Mazda

The Mazda MX-3 was an oddball coupe with a V6 engine that was smaller than most modern four-cylinder engines. Nevertheless, it was a car that defied convention and broke new ground. The MX-3 was not a sports car but a fun and agile coupe that offered a great driving experience.

The 1.8-liter V6 engine in the MX-3 was an engineering marvel. It was a true V6 engine, with two banks of cylinders arranged in a “V” configuration. This engine was designed to be small, lightweight, and efficient yet still produce enough power to make the Mazda MX-3 a fun car. The result was an engine that produced 130 horsepower and 110 lb-ft of torque, which was impressive for a vehicle that weighed just over 2,500 pounds.

How fast is the MX-3?

A red 1994 Mazda MX-3 Engine bay
1994 Mazda MX-3 Engine | Mazda

The MX-3’s 1.8-liter V6 was not just about power and performance. It was also incredibly efficient. It came equipped with various engines, including a 1.5-liter, a 1.6-liter, and a 1.8-liter V6. However, the top-performing Mazda MX-3 was the V6 variant, which could achieve a top speed of around 130 mph.

The exact top speed of the MX-3 depended on various factors, including the engine size, transmission type, and driving conditions. However, the MX-3 was never designed to be an all-out speed machine but rather a fun-to-drive coupe that balanced performance and practicality. Overall, the MX-3 was an excellent car for those who wanted a nimble and enjoyable driving experience without breaking the bank.

What happened to the MX-3?

A red 1994 Mazda MX-3 parked next to a grain silo
1994 Mazda MX-3 | Mazda

Mazda discontinued the MX-3, but the legacy of the 1.8-liter V6 lives on. Mazda’s commitment to innovation and willingness to push the boundaries of what was possible in automotive engineering was exemplified by this engine. The 1.8-liter V6 was a masterpiece of engineering that deserves recognition, even though it may not have been as flashy as Mazda’s rotary engines.

It was an innovative and efficient engine with impressive performance and smaller than most new Honda Civic engines. Overall, the MX-3 may be old, but the 1.8-liter V6 engine that powers it is still a testament to Mazda’s engineering prowess.

Is the MX-3 rare?

In conclusion, while Mazda is famous for its rotary engines, the 1.8-liter V6 in the MX-3 is a true gem. It was an innovative and efficient engine with impressive performance and smaller than a modern four-cylinder engine. The 1.8-liter V6 may not have received the same level of attention as Mazda’s rotary engines, but it was a game-changer in its own right and deserves recognition as one of the best engines to come out of Mazda.


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