Racing Beat Testing Notes – Mazda 2 Product Development
Driver: Jim Mederer – Racing Beat
Test Vehicle: 2011 Mazda 2 – Manual Transmission
Project: Suspension Tuning
I just finished our suspension work on the Mazda 2. The Racing Beat prototype springs lower the car 21mm/0.8″ front and16.5mm/.64″ rear, plus they increase the spring rate 20% over stock.
The Racing Beat Mazda 2 front sway bar is 1″ and features a conventional solid bar design (stock was 19mm/.75″). The rear sway features a new design. I found a technique to clamp the rear bar inside the “U” axle beam that connects the rear hubs to increase rear torsional stiffness, and it is working well. The “bar” portion is 1.50″ OD/.06″ wall tube.
I tested the stock car (with stock tires) with a VBOX GPS data recording system and found an average of .87G through the middle of my standard test corner. After development, it now produces .94G! Along with the “G” increase, the car averages 1.5 more MPH through the corner. The corner was recently repaved and hasn’t been striped yet so comparisons with other cars aren’t valid – but the change is real. The car has an unusual tail-out attitude – but it is stable and likes the throttle. Roll is substantially reduced and the car is much more responsive to turning inputs. The bar change has also reduced the tendency to spin the inside tire in slow corners when accelerating from a stop. The darn thing is kinda’ fun!