Mazda3 hill-climb car hides a high-horsepower rotary secret

Through the trees, you hear it coming. It sounds like bees, and they’re angry. And there are thousands of them. Don’t worry, though, because it’s not a horde of angry honeymakers intent on rebuilding their armies. Instead, it’s an angry race car and it’s here to dominate the surrounding hills. This one is a highly modified Mazda3 and it doesn’t do a very good job of hiding its secret weapon.

Under the hood of this slammed-to-the-ground Mazda3 hatchback sits a two-rotor Wankel rotary engine that is breathing through a pair of turbochargers. The setup is good for 630 horsepower and somewhere around 370 pound-feet of torque. That is a mega dosage of power for a vehicle weighing in at just under 2,100 pounds.

This is a hill-climb monster, of course, which means it wears crazy aero bits. Also, it’s no longer a front-wheel-drive economy car as it’s been converted to rear-wheel drive, and the stock gearbox has been swapped out for a 6-speed sequential unit.

It sounds amazing. It looks excellent. It devours tarmac. You should be happy it’s not that swarm of killer bees seeking revenge. Instead a man named Yann Heche and his wild Mazda3. 

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