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Hello everyone, been awhile since I been on the forum...

ANYWAY... I recently test drove the new 2.5T 2018 6 and here are my impressions...

1. The power from a stop is very good, a lot of pep. However, in the midrange, it seems as responsive or less than the 2.5 NA. Could be attributed to the transmission and a downshift on the paddle shifters actually helped.

2. The interior is gorgeous! I still like the layout on my 2014 a bit more, but the middle of the pack Grand Touring (which is weird, it used to be the top tier) was very nice. I did not get a chance to see a Signature trim, but I am sure that is even nicer.

3. I do like the new grill. And that's about it exterior wise. The new bumper is meh and I really am not a fan of the rear end. Oh, and those wheels are terrible.

Honestly, while it does have a more powerful engine, I still prefer my modded 2014 6 over the new 2018 turbo model.

What say the rest of you? Anyone else took the new 2018's for a spin?
 

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I see you saw my mention haha. Hope you've been doing well.

I can't wait to go try out the turbo once my dealer gets one in. I know I won't be buying it; I just want to give it a whirl.

Can't agree more on the interior, except I still can't get myself to like the 'floating' navigation in any car.
 

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I do want to caution on the test drives here guys. There's a programming curve at play here on these new cars. Coming from the 2.5L OVTuned world, I understand how the engine works when it gets flashed for 93 Octane. It's a complete dog for the first 100 miles while the knock sensors adjust to their new standard of operation. While the programming ideology is nothing new, you do have to know what to expect from a motor that functions with these dynamic programming methods.

When the new 2018s arrive on the lot, the ECU has no idea what kind of fuel is in the car since Mazda went the route of dynamic knock sensors. So over the time, the ECU first puts the ignition timing at a safe level when it arrive on the lot, and as miles are put on the car, it incrementally adjusts that ignition timing to create more power. It will continue to incrementally adjust that timing until the knock sensors determine threshold based on the fuel.

Suffice to say, when you test drive one of these new 2018s, the power your experiencing, is not the actual power the engine puts out, so don't let it fool you. I will say, I was thoroughly disappointed in my test drive until I realized what the motor was doing. Today, with 800+ miles on the motor, I will say that thing is a different animal than the one I test drove -- granted I'm using 93, but the same theory I described above is true with 87. The engine has to first determine what kind of fuel you're using before it can really wake up.

Just something to keep in mind when you're going for a test drive on these. Case and point, I could barely get the tires to spin from a stop, and now I can light them up in first gear. It's quite an amazing difference
 

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I see you saw my mention haha. Hope you've been doing well.
LOL. Yep, doing a-okay, got some mods be adding to the car soon.

Thanks for the insight Chazzy. The Mazda salesguy who went with me did indicate what you mentioned, but he said it was based on going the higher octane that power really comes in. What about the mid-range? Does it feel responsive after breaking it in?
 

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LOL. Yep, doing a-okay, got some mods be adding to the car soon.

Thanks for the insight Chazzy. The Mazda salesguy who went with me did indicate what you mentioned, but he said it was based on going the higher octane that power really comes in. What about the mid-range? Does it feel responsive after breaking it in?
Unfortunately I haven't tried mid-grade yet. I've only ran 93 in it - no plan to dial that back any time soon. I can say it's very responsive, and when the downshift decides to kick down twice -- wow, watch out. I'm fairly good at only getting it to kick down once under moderate driving, but a handful of time I've gotten it to kick down twice unexpectedly and oh boy. The torque-steer is very real. Almost makes me put my other hand on the steering wheel, no lie.

Don't get me wrong, I've driven fast cars before - it's not like a rocket. But for a FWD car with no LSD, it does surprise you for sure when it kicks down twice and you weren't expecting it.

As for your salesman, the same learning curve/methodology at play with the 93 Octane, is also at play with the 87. The nice thing when I could flash the ECU on my 3, I could change to an array of Octanes. So I would find myself flashing the ECU back to 87 a few times for various reasons, but it's the same thing, the engine is a total dog for the first 100 miles or so while the knock sensors get the timing adjusted. With the 3, once they were adjusted on 87, I wouldn't say the car got faster as much as I could feel the VVT and torque curve much more clearly - maybe a little faster, but not much. 93 was always the sweetspot fuel for that motor. Truly something to experience, not blistering fast, but the difference was remarkable - something you'd expect from a high compression engine. It's obviously going to run significantly better on higher octane if the programming is there in the ECU to support it.

I'll presume that's the same for the new Turbo 6. The programming is there to support 93 Octane, so the motor is going to be able to take significant advantage of it - of which I can confirm. Totally different animal from my test drive. Very very pleased with the motor.
 

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I do want to caution on the test drives here guys. There's a programming curve at play here on these new cars. Coming from the 2.5L OVTuned world, I understand how the engine works when it gets flashed for 93 Octane. It's a complete dog for the first 100 miles while the knock sensors adjust to their new standard of operation. While the programming ideology is nothing new, you do have to know what to expect from a motor that functions with these dynamic programming methods.

When the new 2018s arrive on the lot, the ECU has no idea what kind of fuel is in the car since Mazda went the route of dynamic knock sensors. So over the time, the ECU first puts the ignition timing at a safe level when it arrive on the lot, and as miles are put on the car, it incrementally adjusts that ignition timing to create more power. It will continue to incrementally adjust that timing until the knock sensors determine threshold based on the fuel.

Suffice to say, when you test drive one of these new 2018s, the power your experiencing, is not the actual power the engine puts out, so don't let it fool you. I will say, I was thoroughly disappointed in my test drive until I realized what the motor was doing. Today, with 800+ miles on the motor, I will say that thing is a different animal than the one I test drove -- granted I'm using 93, but the same theory I described above is true with 87. The engine has to first determine what kind of fuel you're using before it can really wake up.

Just something to keep in mind when you're going for a test drive on these. Case and point, I could barely get the tires to spin from a stop, and now I can light them up in first gear. It's quite an amazing difference
Hi Chazzy. Wondering if this learning curve would affect redline? I recently drove a 6 with about 100 miles on it and the redline was lower than what was indicated on the tach.

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Hi Chazzy. Wondering if this learning curve would affect redline? I recently drove a 6 with about 100 miles on it and the redline was lower than what was indicated on the tach.

Sent from my SM-N950U1 using Tapatalk
No, that won't have any impact on it. While I haven't made it a habit of bouncing it off the redline, from what I can tell it's set at about 6,000rpm. Are you experiencing something different? The redline (rev limiter) is hardcoded in the ECU. It can be changed via flashing; not sure when that'll be available for these though.

Hope that helps mate
 

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No, that won't have any impact on it. While I haven't made it a habit of bouncing it off the redline, from what I can tell it's set at about 6,000rpm. Are you experiencing something different? The redline (rev limiter) is hardcoded in the ECU. It can be changed via flashing; not sure when that'll be available for these though.

Hope that helps mate
Yeah the sample I test drove was soft limiting at around 55-5800rpm. Also have you experienced an auto upshifts in manual mode?

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Yeah the sample I test drove was soft limiting at around 55-5800rpm. Also have you experienced an auto upshifts in manual mode?

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You know, that's funny you ask. I don't use manual mode at all -- meaning I don't put the shifter in manual mode. I use the paddle shift override "manual mode". So when I want it to downshift, I just do it myself. I used this feature on my tuned '16 Mazda3 everyday. In fact, I kind of made artwork out of it. So I'm very well versed in it and how long it stays active for.

Yesterday, as I did a manual override turning onto a straightaway I gave it about 75% throttle to see where redline was and the thing switched out of manual override around 5k rpm. It was the first time either of my Mazda's had ever done that. Manual override has always been great at sticking in the gears I want it to until I'm ready to shift. Even up to bouncing it off the rev limiter.

So anyway, I'm gonna play a little bit with it over the next couple days and report back. Maybe it was just a fluke...
 

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... The engine has to first determine what kind of fuel you're using before it can really wake up...
All the engine knows about the fuel is the octane, and it knows that the first millisecond that the knock sensor tells the ECU to stop advancing the ignition.
 

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All the engine knows about the fuel is the octane, and it knows that the first millisecond that the knock sensor tells the ECU to stop advancing the ignition.
Yes, that is correct. Knock can happen anywhere in the powerband, which is why it takes some mileage for the engine to determine specifically how much timing to advance/retard and where. I do recommend occasional spirited driving for the first 100 miles (nothing crazy) so the ECU can get a good taste of the type of fuel/octane you're using.

Either way though, because these knock sensors are dynamic enough to adjust to radical fuel types (i.e. going from 93 to 87 in a single tank of fuel), they are in a continuous state of learning. So even if you baby it for the first few hundred miles, over time it'll still figure things out.
 

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You know, that's funny you ask. I don't use manual mode at all -- meaning I don't put the shifter in manual mode. I use the paddle shift override "manual mode". So when I want it to downshift, I just do it myself. I used this feature on my tuned '16 Mazda3 everyday. In fact, I kind of made artwork out of it. So I'm very well versed in it and how long it stays active for.

Yesterday, as I did a manual override turning onto a straightaway I gave it about 75% throttle to see where redline was and the thing switched out of manual override around 5k rpm. It was the first time either of my Mazda's had ever done that. Manual override has always been great at sticking in the gears I want it to until I'm ready to shift. Even up to bouncing it off the rev limiter.

So anyway, I'm gonna play a little bit with it over the next couple days and report back. Maybe it was just a fluke...

I use the paddle shifters the same way. I haven't "pushed" the limits yet but do use the paddles regularly. Much more for downshifting than upshifting.

I'm thinking the upshift is based on the amount of throttle. The less throttle the faster the upshift. I'm going to say if you want it to hold till you hit the rev limiter you're going to have to be at full throttle.
 

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I use the paddle shifters the same way. I haven't "pushed" the limits yet but do use the paddles regularly. Much more for downshifting than upshifting.

I'm thinking the upshift is based on the amount of throttle. The less throttle the faster the upshift. I'm going to say if you want it to hold till you hit the rev limiter you're going to have to be at full throttle.
I use the paddles in manual mode on my 16 90% of the time. Its the next best thing to having a stick and staying engaged. I expect to do the same with the 18 Turbo (if I decide to go with it).

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... it takes some mileage for the engine to determine specifically how much timing to advance/retard and where... because these knock sensors are dynamic enough to adjust to radical fuel types (i.e. going from 93 to 87 in a single tank of fuel), they are in a continuous state of learning...
The engine does not determine, learn, remember, or forget. The knock sensor is not confused by any combination of fuel octane put into the tank. The knock sensor does not need to know what caused a knock, only that it occurred. The knock sensor signals the ECU and the ECU adjusts the advance, on the fly, instantaneously.
 

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So which is it?

Do the knock sensors make adjustments to optimize the timing immediately, or does it take a few miles?

Most importantly, where's the proof?

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A few miles? And thousands of knocks if full throttle were used? Sensors work instantly in real time.
Timing being "optimized"? Optimization sounds like a setting. Timing advance is a continuous activity that changes in milliseconds in response to many factors -- load, rpm, and onset of knocking. I can watch it on the ScanGauges in my cars.
ECU "learning" to stop knocking after a few miles? What is the purpose of that, and what is it waiting for? Such a delay function could be designed into the ECU if there was any benefit, but there is only harm.
People add 10 gallons of 93 to 6 gallons of 87 in the tank, and expect to feel a difference. But the extra power from the resulting octane can only be felt at near-redline rpm. There is no effect on torque.
 

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A few miles? And thousands of knocks if full throttle were used? Sensors work instantly in real time.
Timing being "optimized"? Optimization sounds like a setting. Timing advance is a continuous activity that changes in milliseconds in response to many factors -- load, rpm, and onset of knocking. I can watch it on the ScanGauges in my cars.
ECU "learning" to stop knocking after a few miles? What is the purpose of that, and what is it waiting for? Such a delay function could be designed into the ECU if there was any benefit, but there is only harm.
People add 10 gallons of 93 to 6 gallons of 87 in the tank, and expect to feel a difference. But the extra power from the resulting octane can only be felt at near-redline rpm. There is no effect on torque.
I will bow out of this one guys. I have hands-on experience in working with the 2.5L and it's characteristics and behavior before you as the driver really feel what you're expecting to feel. I try to explain it in the proverbial 5th grader terms that everyone can understand.

It would appear this gent wants to troll and get as ridiculously technical as possible though. That said, I refuse to get in pissing matches on message boards, not worth it. So hopefully a majority of you understand that at the very least, the performance you feel on a test drive in these cars is not indicative of the performance that will be achieved once you have some miles on it.

Cheers to all, I will let this guy explain to you the quantum mechanics, fluid dynamics, and spark control of these engines.
 

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So hopefully a majority of you understand that at the very least, the performance you feel on a test drive in these cars is not indicative of the performance that will be achieved once you have some miles on it.
FWIW this is what I care about and agree with. And this what I also experienced with the NA 2.5. It took several thousand miles of driving for both the car and me to break in. While the engine management needed to learn how I drove, I needed to learn how the engine made power. At over 30K of experience between me and the ECU this NA engine has grown into a gem of an engine. Whats funny is that it probably always was a gem. I just needed to adjust my programming a bit as well. :) IMO

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Just a few thoughts.

There is no doubt a new engine will perform differently as it breaks in which is why I personally won't buy any vehicle that has been out on several (one) test drives by another person. That's just me....

I have noticed this engine has noticeably changed as it's now passing a 1K miles. Much better feel, performance and gas mileage.

Without the technicalities,
The knock sensors are instantaneous. They adjust "on the fly". This does not mean that the additional HP is felt immediately as they are in a constant learning mode however it really is only a few moments that the engine is running in it's optimum state. Actually, it's always runs in it's optimum state.... but it does relearn when changing the octane. Whichever octane you run is fine (as long as it's at least 87). The engine will deliver max performance (HP) with the higher octane because of the way it burns/ignites not because it contains "more power". Octane will change the "sensors" readings whether the timing should be advanced or retarded, hence the performance changes. Remember we're not talking about monstrous changes here. Most people probably wouldn't notice the difference especially in average day to day driving. Keep in mind this is much more true of forced induction (turbo's) than that of a NA engine.


Now if someone wants the physics of how and why all this works a debate/facts thread would be very interesting!!
 

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The ECU does make fine corrections to timing across specific load and rpm ranges, based on knock events under certain conditions. The ECU is programmed to remember knock events and what caused them. The ECU uses this memory to constantly adjust an ignition advance multiplier, which is used to determine the amount of advance to add to base timing. Perhaps this is what is meant by learning.
 
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