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Thread: False Horsepower Rating

  1. #1
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    Red face False Horsepower Rating

    Has anyone considered filing a claim against Mazda for falsely advertising the HP of the MS3?
    I have an '08.5 MS3 and have always felt that the car didn't have the power in the lower 3 gears that it should have. I knew that there was some torque management stuff going on, but until recently didn't know how much.
    From what I could find searching the net, the estimated peak Engine (not wheel) HP in gears 1-3 is:
    1st gear: ~170HP
    2nd gear: ~225HP
    3rd gear: ~238HP

    As a result, it's not until 5,500 rpm in 4th gear that we actually see the full 263HP that's advertised. That turns out to be at 85mph.
    So, Mazda is advertising a 263HP car that can not achieve that power rating legally on any public road.

    If my memory is correct, there was a lawsuit in Ohio for a similar reason that resulted in lawnmowers not being rated by HP any more. The basis of the lawsuit was that the HP ratings on lawnmower engines were the "peak" power ratings of the engines, which typically occurred at 5,500~6,000 rpm. But during operation of the lawnmower, the optimal blade speed was 3,600 rpm. Therefore the manufacturers were misleading the consumers as the peak horsepower was never achieved during the intended operation of the mower. If you check the local hardware store, you'll see that almost all mowers are now advertised by their torque rating.

    Anyways, where I'm going with this is that it seems all of us MS3 owners have an opportunity to either return our cars and get our money back for false advertising, or force Mazda to offer an option to remove the power limiting in the first 3 gears.

    I see a lot of members have spent thousands of $$ trying to boost the performance of their cars to essentially get around something that is intentionally limiting the power in the first place. The biggest and best single performance boost the MS3 could get would be to take the shackles off of the gears 1-3.

    Anyone else agree?

  2. #2
    Registered Zombie fishdonotbounce's Avatar

    08.5 CWP Speed3

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    Nope. Sorry but unless you have millions to spend on extremely good lawyers you won't even get the case to be tried in court. There are plenty, if not most cars that are the same exact way. That's just how it is.
    Past: 2002 Turbo'd Automatic Protege5
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  3. #3
    Retired FS King ForceFed's Avatar

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    LOL...Your kidding right.

    Good luck...your gonna need it.

    You definately sound like a Kid with a Half-cocked attitude with this argument....
    Sorry..but thats how I see it.
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  4. #4
    Registered Member NCZ13's Avatar


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    i loled.

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  5. #5
    Registered Abuser oaklandopen's Avatar


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    Quote Originally Posted by KeizerSpeed3 View Post
    The biggest and best single performance boost the MS3 could get would be to take the shackles off of the gears 1-3.

    Anyone else agree?
    sorry, totally dissagree with pretty much everything you said, especially the "taking off the shackles" statement. if you wanted full power in 1st and 2nd gear you'll be putting the local tire dealer's kids through college. there's a reason why the first few gears have the limit on them, and a reason why there is traction control that assists in the prevention of total spinout of the front wheels

    about the power rating....short answer is that the 263hp is BHP, or you can call it crank hp or even hp to the flywheel. it is merely the engine rating of power, not the power to the wheels. if you truly wanted to get a rating of the hp of the engine only you'd have to take it out of the car and hook it up to an engine dyno. theres a golden rule about how to find out power to the wheels based on manufacturers power numbers but i can't really remember the percentage off the top of my head. i want to say 15% but im not completely sure and that's only a general idea

    as for wanted to go up against the flying M i would tell you that there was one vehicle mazda made that has already had this problem, and probably worse off than this car. when the rx-8 came out back in i believe 2002 or 2003ish their ratings from mazda were wayyyyyyy off, and basically anyone that put it on a dyno found that out. i think the difference was like 50+hp or something crazy. either way nothing came of it and i think either mazda stopped bullshitting after ppl found that out or they actually increased the hp in the renesis, either way im pretty sure there was no refund or recalls so good luck trying it on this car

    and im pretty sure the only vehicles that would be recalled for lack of rated hp would be the uber-expensive and super rare ones like the ferraris or lambos, or maybe even the z06 which has "505hp" on a decal on the fenders. now try being one of those owners to find out that you only have 70% of the hp the manufacturer is claiming.

  6. #6
    Speed3 & TWO Hemis MikeHTally's Avatar

    2008.5 Speed3, 2006 Chrysler 300C, 2003 Ram 1500

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    They're 263 HP at the crank, not the wheels. There is always parasitic loss. Automatics are worse than manuals.

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  7. #7
    Registered Member Darth Vader's Avatar


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    Seriously folks, manufacturers haven't measured hp at the flywheel, w/o accessories, etc. since 1972.

    However, there are a variety of testing conditions that can make a car deliver more or less **measured** hp on a dyno. HP is a CALCULATION not an outright #. TORQUE is a measurement, HP is TORQUE/TIME. Thus, calculational factors can affect the outright #. Wheel dynos DO NOT measure hp, they measure torque and calculate HP, using a variety of correction factors. The validity of those correction factors is what makes alot of the variation + the old saw that some cars are Wednesday cars and some are Monday morning.

    Wheel dynos are a TUNING tool not an outright measure of power produced. People use them for the bragging rights but, that's not what they are for.

    The dragstrip will give you a better idea of real power produced but variation in condition and driver competence can make drawing unequivocal #s difficult.

    Production cars almost never produce the rated power levels, due to testing variables. Your best bet is to dyno or race YOUR car, make your mods and, see if it goes better.

  8. #8
    needs meth dizzin9's Avatar

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    try doing it downhill.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Vader View Post
    TORQUE is a measurement, HP is TORQUE/TIME. Thus, calculational factors can affect the outright #. Wheel dynos DO NOT measure hp, they measure torque and calculate HP, using a variety of correction factors..
    ...HP is NOT torque/time. If that were true, the longer your engine held a give torque, the less HP it would make....

    Power = torque*rotational speed. To use familiar units, Horsepower = torque* RPM/5252, when you measure torque in ft-lbs and RPM is rotations per minute (as opposed to rad/s or any other way of measuring rotational speed). The 5252 part is due to unit conversion.

    Therefore, wheel dynos DO measure hp, since they measure the amount of torque your wheels are creating AND the how fast they are spinning. The correction factor is used to be able to compare results from runs done at different atmospheric conditions. It simply adjusts the MEASURED HP number up or down a few percent to make sure people are comparing apples to apples when runs are done in different conditions.

  10. #10
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    yeah i was under the impression that dynos measure horsepower. Last time I went, I was unable to get an rpm hookup so it just gave me HP vs mph....if RPM would have been known then TQ could have been calculated to plot as well.

  11. #11
    Verbosity kvndoom's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by oaklandopen View Post
    as for wanted to go up against the flying M i would tell you that there was one vehicle mazda made that has already had this problem, and probably worse off than this car. when the rx-8 came out back in i believe 2002 or 2003ish their ratings from mazda were wayyyyyyy off, and basically anyone that put it on a dyno found that out. i think the difference was like 50+hp or something crazy. either way nothing came of it and i think either mazda stopped bullshitting after ppl found that out or they actually increased the hp in the renesis, either way im pretty sure there was no refund or recalls so good luck trying it on this car
    It was originally advertised as 250hp (actual hp was 232 manual and 192 auto, if I remember what I read), and Mazda actually did let people who complained return their cars.

    But that's apples and oranges, because the MS3's power isn't false, it just isn't where you want it to be. And I personally wouldn't want access to all of its power in 1st and 2nd gear.
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  12. #12
    Registered Zombie fishdonotbounce's Avatar

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    Can you imagine the tq steer if you did have all that power in 1st and 2nd?

    Quote Originally Posted by kvndoom View Post
    It was originally advertised as 250hp (actual hp was 232 manual and 192 auto, if I remember what I read), and Mazda actually did let people who complained return their cars.

    But that's apples and oranges, because the MS3's power isn't false, it just isn't where you want it to be. And I personally wouldn't want access to all of its power in 1st and 2nd gear.
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  13. #13
    Registered Member 02stang951's Avatar


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    doesn't a simple reflash such as Cobb eliminate the 1-3 gear boost limit, but i can say i wouldn't want full boost in 1-2nd anyway its bad enough now with all the wheel hop/t-steer and such you would just burn the tires off the line

  14. #14
    Registered Member kpacker51's Avatar

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    Drive a Protege5 for a day and then the complaining will stop.

  15. #15
    ..leaving you in the dust 07Speedfreak's Avatar

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    IMO the MS3 has more power than advertised.
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