The now-over 2022 edition of SEMA wasn’t the richest ever (i.e. number of wacky builds), but it’s still safe to say the Las Vegas event has delivered a fair share of insanely cool machines. However, while those contraptions kept us busy, Kiwi drifter Mad Mike Whiddett showcased an otherworldy “hot hatch” over in Japan. Enter Mad Mike’s Bullet, an 1,400 hp, four-rotor 2022 Mazda3.
Back in January this year, the New Zealand-based slip angle specialist swept us off our feet with a 2D rendering showcasing his Bullet Mazda3, with the vehicle initially destined to slide it up at this year’s Pikes Peak International Hillclimb (PPIHC).
And while the build wasn’t ready in time, it will tackle next year’s Pikes Peak, with the race scheduled to take place on Sunday, June 25, 2023. We’re not sure if the athlete will stick to his usual sideways work or go for impressing the stopwatch while tackling the 156 turns of the 12.4-mile course, which takes participants from 9,300 to 14,110 feet.
Mad Mike vs. Ken Block at 2023 Pikes Peak?
However, we believe Mad Mike will be aiming for Pikes Peak victory rather than throwing it sideways. For one, American drifter Ken Block, whose Climkhana had featured a sideways take in the past, attempted to compete in 2022. Alas, an engine failure (started by a dropped valve) experienced by his 1,400 hp Hoonipigasus Porsche 911 pushed him out of the battle, with the driver vowing to return next year.
Sure, the current BP fourth-generation Mazda3 brought AWD to the U.S. for the first time (FWD is still standard), while a Mazdaspeed3 performance version is nowhere in sight. But this bad body doesn’t play by the official rules, as it comes in RWD form.
The project is handled by TCP Magic over in Japan, while its custom bits and pieces have been sourced from the Land of the Rising Sun, America, and New Zealand.
The four-rotor Wankel works with twin Garrett G42 turbochargers and a Haltech ECU. And while the January announcement placed the rotary unit at 1,200 hp, it seems the 2018 Formula Drift Japan champion, who has also gathered laurels in Formula Drift US and Asia, will have an extra 200 hp to work with.
The sequentially-shifted six-speed manual transmission is linked to an Exedy clutch while sending the power to the rear wheels via a Race Tech Services carbon limited-slip differential from Driveshaft Shop and a Winters Performance rear end.
The car talks to the asphalt via KW coilover suspension and Rays wheels shod in Toyo tires, while the brakes come from Endless.
The 1,400 hp Mazda3 is nicknamed Bullet
Mazda, which has been backing Mad Mike up for years, invited the pro drifter to the Mazda Fan Fest 2022 at the Okynama international circuit on Sunday, November 6 for the debut of the beast—you’ll find the not-short presentation in the YouTube video below. However, the machine, which is dubbed Bullet—a new twist on Mad Mike’s bull heard garage—is not in its final form just yet.
For one, the 2022 Mazda3 will receive ever further aero tweaks—if the original plan showcased in the said rendering still stands, we should also find some Tra Kyoto (Pandem Rocket Bunny) work on the machine.
Sharing is caring and Mad Mike knows this. You see, the Mazda3 has retained its four-door configuration, while also being able to accommodate up to four seats. And given the shriek of that 1,400 hp rotary, this may just become the world’s best race/drift taxi!
Update (January 19, 2023): Here’s Mad Mike putting the four-rotor Mazda3 through its paces for the first time and announcing a Ken Block tribute for Pikes Peak 2023.