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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently took delivery of a 2021 M3TH PP and am trying to figure out the operation of the Sport button, especially as it relates to the transmission. When the Sport button is engaged, clearly the throttle response is sharpened and the transmission shift logic is more aggressive. Cool. Are there other programming changes that occur when Sport is engaged (steering weight, etc)? The owners manual is fairly vague on its operation:

"...When the sport mode is selected, driving at higher engine speeds increases and it may increase fuel consumption. Mazda recommends that you cancel the sport mode on normal driving."

Also, when Sport is engaged, the transmission seems to automatically shift between 1st and 5th gear, but not into 6th. I can manually shift into 6th while in Sport on the highway, but within a short time, it automatically shifts back down into 5th (or even 4th). I understand why the shift logic is more aggressive when Sport is engaged, but if my understanding of the programming is correct, you cannot enjoy the sharper throttle and transmission responses (and other benefits?) of Sport mode AND have the transmission shift into 6th, even at high speeds on the highway.

What am I missing?
 

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It seems to me that the main programming is to keep the car at higher RPMs. It seems to want to keep the car right at 3k RPM when not accelerating or stopping and that is why it does not shift into 6th. It also raises the max shift point closer to redline. I do not believe there are any other changes.
 

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2021 Mazda3 Turbo HB in White, 2021 Mazda3 Turbo HB in Black, 2007 RX-8 Sport
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I think there’s a Dave Coleman interview video out there where he states it’s only changing the shift schedule, nothing else.
 

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It seems to me that the main programming is to keep the car at higher RPMs. It seems to want to keep the car right at 3k RPM when not accelerating or stopping and that is why it does not shift into 6th. It also raises the max shift point closer to redline. I do not believe there are any other changes.
There are other changes too -- the GVC (G Vectoring Control) is tuned to be more aggressive in cutting torque to the front wheels when you turn the wheel to shift weight. The difference is likely very minute though, as it's hard to even perceive GVC unless you drive it back to back with it disabled (per Savagegeese on YouTube, who had a demo from Mazda...you can't actually turn off GVC yourself).

The transmission tuning retains lower gears when you lift off the throttle with the assumption you're on a survey road, and instead of shifting up a gear for better fuel economy, it stays in a lower gear to help you accelerate out off the turn.
 

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There are other changes too -- the GVC (G Vectoring Control) is tuned to be more aggressive in cutting torque to the front wheels when you turn the wheel to shift weight.
The GVC Plus also applies the inside front brake to help the car turn in and the outside rear brake to help straighten out
If you put the shifter in manual mode it will hold whatever gear you want
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If you put the shifter in manual mode it will hold whatever gear you want
Yes, fair point, I could do that - and do at times. My fun car is a 6 speed manual, and I just don't get the same joy from the steering wheel flappy paddles. If I start out a drive shifting manually in the Mazda, I invariably revert at some point to just letting the car do its own shifting. Guess I'm getting old - or lazy. I find myself not using Sport mode much in this car because I have to keep toggling it on and off as I transition from city to highway driving (frequent where I live) or put up with higher cruising rpms & lousy mileage. Hopefully if/when we get true tunability for these cars, the transmission logic in sport mode will be tunable. Until then I'll play around more with the manual shifter mode. Until I get lazy...
 

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Yes, fair point, I could do that - and do at times. My fun car is a 6 speed manual, and I just don't get the same joy from the steering wheel flappy paddles. If I start out a drive shifting manually in the Mazda, I invariably revert at some point to just letting the car do its own shifting. Guess I'm getting old - or lazy. I find myself not using Sport mode much in this car because I have to keep toggling it on and off as I transition from city to highway driving (frequent where I live) or put up with higher cruising rpms & lousy mileage. Hopefully if/when we get true tunability for these cars, the transmission logic in sport mode will be tunable. Until then I'll play around more with the manual shifter mode. Until I get lazy...
I actually have the opposite complaint. Back in 2016 sport mode was super aggressive. Apparently people didn’t like that so they made it super soft. I actually wish sport mode kept it in lower gears and downshifted sooner than it does, especially 3rd to 2nd and 2nd to 1st.
 

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I recently took delivery of a 2021 M3TH PP and am trying to figure out the operation of the Sport button, especially as it relates to the transmission. When the Sport button is engaged, clearly the throttle response is sharpened and the transmission shift logic is more aggressive. Cool. Are there other programming changes that occur when Sport is engaged (steering weight, etc)? The owners manual is fairly vague on its operation:

"...When the sport mode is selected, driving at higher engine speeds increases and it may increase fuel consumption. Mazda recommends that you cancel the sport mode on normal driving."

Also, when Sport is engaged, the transmission seems to automatically shift between 1st and 5th gear, but not into 6th. I can manually shift into 6th while in Sport on the highway, but within a short time, it automatically shifts back down into 5th (or even 4th). I understand why the shift logic is more aggressive when Sport is engaged, but if my understanding of the programming is correct, you cannot enjoy the sharper throttle and transmission responses (and other benefits?) of Sport mode AND have the transmission shift into 6th, even at high speeds on the highway.

What am I missing?
Mine behaves the exact same way as yours. I assume it’s to keep the engine in the meat of the torque curve for sporty driving. I only use sport when merging on to the highway, maneuvering through slow pokes on the highway or i go driving on a some of my fave back roads. But when just comfortably cruising on a stretch of highway i turn it off. No reason to have it on in my opinion when just cruising, car has enough power to pass, etc. without it on If need be.
 

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I only use sport when merging on to the highway, maneuvering through slow pokes on the highway or i go driving on a some of my fave back roads. But when just comfortably cruising on a stretch of highway i turn it off.
That is exactly how I drove mine.

May I add: On some long grades, with slight undulations, I sometimes experienced "transmission gear hunting" issue, at which time, I would move the lever left and leave it a gear lower, less annoyance that way. Otherwise just leave it on auto.
 
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