Dissecting a 2007 Mazdaspeed 6

Happy Friday! The Thanksgiving holiday has come and gone and now we have Christmas lined up. My, how time flies. I haven’t been on the road as much in the past month due to workload and some general duties I had to take care of at home. Broken water heater, sudden cold front with freezing water lines and other fun home ownership stuff.

However, I did manage to get away a few times to my favorite junkyard, U-Pull-and-Pay in Albuquerque, NM (about 250 miles from Las Cruces). This actually was my Black Friday shopping stop. U-Pull-and-Pay is a self-service junkyard wonderland with a few locations scattered across the U.S. The rules are simple: Pay $2 to get you through the gates, bring your own tools and go to town! Most of the time, I will simply browse the endless aisles of retired cars, but what brought me here the last few times was a tip I received of a wrecked 2007 Mazdaspeed 6 that just arrived. I’ve been looking for one of these for a long time to snatch parts from. I had no idea what condition it was in or what parts were still good, but I took a chance to go find out as these are very hard to come by.

First though, a little background on the ‘Speed6 just so you can gather how excited I was to stumble upon one:

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The original Mazda 6 was introduced to the States in 2003-2005 as a successor to the rather bland 626. In 2006, Mazda gave the 6 a mild refresh and introduced a hot-rod version, the Mazdaspeed 6. “Mazdaspeed” is your equivalent SVT, AMG or S-line variant. What set this apart from the bread-and-butter 6 was the addition of all-wheel-drive, a short-throw 6-speed manual transmission (no automatics were offered), and several upscale features and interior upgrades to fathom the nearly $35,000 price tag for a top line, Grand Touring. Mazdaspeed also provided a pretty special motor: a turbocharged, direct injection 274HP version of the 2.3L 4-cylinder. Rumors have spread that this is very closely related to the 2.3 Ecoboost motor in the 2015 Mustang. More details on the ‘Speed6 can be had here.

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2006 MAZDASPEED6

Despite the love-it-or-hate-it styling, I had entertained the idea of getting a ‘Speed6 for myself. There are two factors which keep me from getting one.

  • They are incredibly hard to come by (only made for two years!) and those few that you find are heavily modded or already trashed. It’s like trying to find a mint, stock first generation WRX. Not too many left out there.
  • The ‘Speed6 required a bit more care and maintenance from all the beefed up hardware underneath. A well cared for example probably would treat you well, but there are a few issues that arise such as complicated suspension overhauls at 100,000 miles and finicky clutches.

Even though the ‘Speed6 differs from the regular 6 in many respects, a lot of cosmetic parts are interchangeable. That’s where this post comes in. Let’s check out the findings!

Here’s the ‘Speed6 donor car at U-Pull. It’s a white water pearl 2007 Grand Touring model…meaning FULLY LOADED!

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The front end and motor were already pretty much raided, but the interior was fully intact! I snatched the front seats, console and a few other bits that would fit in my car.  I took a photo of the VIN number to run its history on CarFax.

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Poor car had been through quite a bit. 5 previous owners and it was badly wrecked while the 4th owner had it.

2015-12-18 09_11_15-CARFAX Vehicle History Report for this 2007 MAZDA MAZDASPEED6 AWD_ JM1GG12L37111

The last reported mileage was only 82,800!

2015-12-18 09_11_32-CARFAX Vehicle History Report for this 2007 MAZDA MAZDASPEED6 AWD_ JM1GG12L37111

When I was all finished, the car was pretty much cleared out.

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Waiting in line to pay…

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Seat installation. The left side is the ‘Speed6 seat compared to the old one on the right. There is significantly more shoulder and lateral support in these!

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Driver’s installed. The differences are visually very minor.

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Seats installed and ready to go! Unfortunately, this wasn’t a plug-in-play deal. The 2006+ seats have different resistors in the seat belt buckles and side airbags that would very easily make my safety system freak out (ie. airbag lights). To avoid this, all I had to do was simply swap the harnesses and buckles from the old seats to these. No issues reported so far.

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Other goodies were console trim, armrest, vents and tail lights. All are purely for cosmetic purposes aside from the armrest which has more padding than my generation of 6.

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Console installed. Can you spot the changes? The center stack is still in the works.

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Stock tails…

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‘Speed6 tails.

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And a few photos from random weekend adventures…

Roswell, NM

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Carrizozo, NM

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And some frozen face fun in Ruidoso, NM!

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Thanks for stopping by. Until next time…

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6 thoughts on “Dissecting a 2007 Mazdaspeed 6

  1. tysonhugie says:

    I’m just now seeing this blog entry, but happy to say I’ve already seen the updates in person! Those interior pieces are a HUGE upgrade over the original units your car had. Love the finish on the center console. Lucky you to find a Speed in the junkyard!

    • pawela says:

      Thanks, Tyson. Yup, Mazda really amped up the interior quality in the 2006+ models. I’m unsure how to get the door panels to flow with the rest of the updates, but something is sure to come. Lots of rattle-can paint options. lol. Unfortunately, the 6 is no longer a genuine stock example, but I’m very happy with the outcome so far. Now, I just need some big “zoom-zoom” stickers. ;D

  2. Nate says:

    Love the updates to the 6! You’re definitely right about finding a clean Speed6, not the easiest endeavor!

  3. James Lee says:

    Nice modifications to Mazda! Too bad you couldn’t snatch them fat tail pipes. 🙂 Can’t wait to see the new changes next time you’re in town.

    • pawela says:

      Thanks James. I like me some fat pipes, but sadly those were snatched already. Another group drive will be had soon enough!

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