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2018 Mazda 3 GT
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My only issue with making the 3 into a rally car is that it doesn't have AWD. Other than that, go for it.
CK
 
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*The Electrician*
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I wanted to know peoples opinions on me doing a rally build on my 2016 Mazda 3 hatchback
You won't be able to find rally suspension so you'll be making that completely custom which will be a royal pain in the you know what. You'll want different engine mounts and such too. The dash I would consider removing but some of the electronics may not like that. It can be done, but it will be many different nightmares one after another. You are probably better off buying a built rally car that is log booked, certified ect and starting there. Unless you have been doing rally for many years already and want to do something different. The 2.5L is definitely a good motor for an N/A rally car, plenty of punch and with a custom tune you could potentially have a competitive car. I would also definitely be looking to add an LSD as well, for rally its a must have. Im sure I missed a few things but if your willing to put in the time and money its a plausible build.

My only issue with making the 3 into a rally car is that it doesn't have AWD. Other than that, go for it.
CK
You don't "need" AWD for rally, it's nice to have, but not required to have fun or go fast. One of my favorite local rally cars is a custom built RSX and they have done really well in it. I've even tempted the idea of buying it from them somewhere down the road as it has been very well setup.
 

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I'm actually going to be doing the same with my 18 GT Hatch. It's currently my daily, but as soon as warranties run out and a second vehicle pops up in my driveway it's getting a light street rally spec set of mods. I've chosen polyurethane motor mounts, front strut tower bar, LSD, as well as plans for swapping the CX5 AWD subframe into the 3. Little known fact: they were sold in Japan with AWD for the Gen 3 so they have the space for it underneath, it's the same floor pan.
Mounting points for subframe have the same spacing as well.

As for suspension, I will have to Frankenstein a set of sway bars, end links, control arms, as well as finding out if i want to run CX5 coilovers on a lift as well.

My reasoning for this build is mostly because I use this car as a camper often, as well as taking it off road on sandy trails in Ocala, FL. I need it to be able to handle off road situations and I frequently take the car at very high speeds on the highway, as well as back roads. Lowering the car and going for a street build was tempting due to cost effectiveness, but I would rather expand the capabilities of my car rather than reduce them to better the performance for one singular purpose.

As for engine, i plan to swap it for the 2.5T which I plan to source from a wrecked Mazda 6 2018. They're surprisingly inexpensive wrecks and the engines themselves are surprisingly well balanced and powerful.

Build budget will be about $20k over the course of 5 years. Most of the parts have already been researched, I just need to really build up social media presence for the car in the hopes of getting sponsorships, cheap discounts, or helping hands with the car.

Covid killed my budget tho, so I'm very much grounded this year.

:( even the stimulus couldn't save my budget
 
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