Automaker's zoom gets a burst of Speed

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Zoom just got zoomier thanks to the all-new 2007 Mazdaspeed3 with its 2.3 liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that puts out 263 horsepower and has a top speed of 155 mph.

This car hits 60 in 5.8 seconds yet has a base price of $22,800 and fuel mileage rating of 20 mpg city and 28 highway.

Since its introduction a few years ago, the Mazda3 has been one of the top-rated compact cars, and the new performance model only reinforces that status.

It has rack-and-pinion steering, a six-speed manual transmission, all power equipment, tilting and telescoping steering wheel -- and that's just for starters.

The 2007 Mazdaspeed3.
Click photo for larger image.

Inside you'll find a black finish to everything with red stitching on the steering wheel, seats and the manual transmission shift knob.

The Mazdaspeed3 has a stiffer body than other versions of the car, as well as reinforced springs and stabilizer bars. The front fenders are flared and it features 18-inch, 10-spoke alloy wheels.

In other news, Mazda's hot CX-7 crossover is flying off showroom floors. It's a car with a terrific, low-slung sexy look that you won't find at other car dealerships. That look has been achieved partly by one of the most steeply sloped windshields in the industry -- a 66 degree angle that's sharper than what you'll find on most sports cars.

Inside you'll find a three-dial instrument cluster, three-spoke steering wheel and two-toned surfaces -- all highlights of sportier cars. All the plastics are soft to the touch with the overall impression being of a much more expensive car. One interesting feature is a reversible trunk surface -- the plastic underneath alloys you to carry dirty cargo and keep the carpet clean, too.

Power is provided by a 244 horsepower, 2.3 turbocharged, inter-cooled engine rated at 19 mpg city and 24 highway with two-wheel drive and 18 city/24 highway with all-wheel drive.

Anti-lock brakes, dynamic stability control, traction control and AM/FM and CD audio systems are standard.

There are three trim levels, with other standard features such as air conditioning, power windows, power door locks, cruise control and six air bags. The up-level Touring edition adds leather trim, a power adjustment to the driver's seat, heated front seats and a retractable cargo cover.



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