The seller of today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Mazda calls it an All-wheel drive Turbo Beast. These cars aren’t all that beastly, but hopefully this one’s price and condition will make you purr like a kitten.
Propriety is held in high regard here. Just the thought - the mere thought - of replacing one of BMW’s glorious V8s with a pushrod imposter from GM stuck many of you as akin to substituting Honey Boo Boo’s mom - Mama June - for Kate Upton in a Sports Illustrated bikini spread.
While you’re scraping that mental image off the back of your cantalope we’ll just move along and note that yesterday’s 2001 BMW 540i - which was so equipped with a built GM LS engine and T56 six-speed gearbox - came away with a 66% Crack Pipe loss for its not insubstantial asking. That’s a damn shame, but not wholly unexpected.
You know what is wholly unexpected? Seeing a Mazdaspeed6 on the road these days. Wait, let me qualify that: seeing a Mazdaspeed6 that also hasn’t been turned into something that’s been egregiously modded by someone who says “Yo!” a lot.
This 2006 Mazdaspeed6 is thankfully very stock, evidencing only a window tint and what looks to be a fun-size candy bar on the passenger-side floor mat as aftermarket editions. These are pretty rare rides, and it’s seeming even more rare to find one that hasn’t either been monkeyed with or is sadly broken in some way.
That’s all good, and while the seller makes claims of this 120,000-miler being a reputed “WRX killer” and to “out handle anything on the street,” that’s not a rep that these cars are actually able to defend.
The specs are impressive - 274-bhp, 280 lb-ft of torque, six-speed gearbox, all-wheel drive. The issue however is that the cars are fairly heavy, weighing in at a little over 3500 pounds, and Mazda tuned them to be more grand touring than git-on-the-track. The car clocks in a zero-60 time of around 6.2 seconds, and that is about a second and a half off the contemporary Subie WRX, so rumors of that car’s death are of course greatly exaggerated
Along with the burly turbocharged and intercooled DOHC four, the Mazdaspeed6 also lorded over its lesser brethren a strut brace behind the rear seat and another brace under the dash. That, and stronger mounts for all the suspension pieces made it about 50% stiffer than the civilian edition. The ad notes the addition here of a stiffer aftermarket transmission mount as well.
Visually, the cars can be identified as the hottie rather than the nottie by a hood that’s a little taller so as to accommodate the intercooler, a slightly larger grille in front, and proprietary 18-inch wheels. All taken together, it’s still a bit of a Q-ship.
This one’s a little more striking, in arrest-me red, and the ad says that it has an orange metal flake clear coat on top of that. Okay.
The bodywork doesn’t evidence any obvious issues, and nobody’s dad would ever give the stink eye to someone picking up their daughter for a date in this as it’s pretty nondescript from the front porch.
Cloth seats and Mazda’s excellent ergonomics greet you inside, along with the aforementioned candy bar. The all-wheel drive comes without a center diff - the front one is limited slip while the back has an electric clutch - or a mode switch for the three driving conditions for which the car is programmed. That makes for fewer driver-based decisions, but does take some of the fun out of the experience.
Mazda didn’t sell a ton of these when they were available new. The Speed3 proved the cheaper, more flinagable selection, and of course that model continued through a second generation while the Speed6 ended after this model had run its course.
Prices when new tickled the balls of $30K, while nowadays they seem to trend at about a third of that. This one comes in at $5,000 or about half the average. Of course, this isn’t your average Japanese mid-size sedan and now it’s time to figure out how to vote on that not-so-average price.
What’s your take on this Mazdaspeed6 and its $5,000 asking, is that a killer deal even if the car isn’t a WRX killer? Or, is this a Speed6 that’s priced to eighty-six?
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