SP Rides: A Ride Revitalized
BY MICHAEL KITCHENS
Year, Make, Model: 2012 Mazda 3
Owner: Ivan Santos
Hobbies: Tennis, cars, sushi
Color: Pearl White
Engine: Corksport full exhaust with race pipe, short ram intake
Exterior: Custom bodykit (06-07 STi front lip, rear lip, side skirts), custom RGBW Halo, Demon Eyes LED strip, rear window spoiler, custom front grille
Interior: Custom fabric wrapped (headliner, A, B, C pillars, and panels) LED footwell and interior lights, custom shift knob and boot
Suspension: Air Lift Performance 3P air suspension, Megan Racing control toe arms
ICE: Custom trunk enclosure with wood flooring setup, Pioneer 10-inch subwoofer, monitor, PS4 and Wii console enclosure
Wheels/ tires: Color-matched 18-by-9.5 Work Emotions CR2Ps, purple tone lug nuts, Achilles ATR-K Sport tires in 205/35ZR18 all around
Ichido means ”once more” and it’s a commonly used phrase by Ivan Santos, who just so happens to teach tennis to young kids. He uses it because it sounds a bit different from the standard expression in English. It stands out, and therefore, the phrase means a bit more for his students. In a nutshell, that’s what this 2012 Mazda 3 is all about.
Santos could have chosen a much flashier ride to modify — he also has an Integra on the side — but it was a gift from his parents for graduation. In appreciation for their love and support, he felt that modifying this ride would make a statement.
And it surely does. This is a gorgeously maintained example of what you can do with something that’s a little more unique. You see these every day on the street, but not like this. Although the aftermarket for this car is slim, Santos has done a remarkable job being creative. For instance, the squat and thick body has been modified with a front lip from an 06-07 STi that he sourced and made to fit. It looks like it belongs there and complements the side skirts and the rear lip kit. The Pearl White flake is clean and lustrous, and it glows under the light alongside the RGBW Halos and LED strip inset into the headlights.
Santos and his father performed every modification on this ride. Their biggest addition is the Air Lift Performance air suspension. The 3P helps this ride to squat deep on its haunches over the dream wheels, which are 18-by-9.5 inches, Work Emotions CR2P which are color-matched in white. Ivan loves the white on white feel and I agree the ride looks perfect.
Megan Racing control toe arms have been added to help with the wheel angles while a Corksport full exhaust with an added race pipe stands out amid the pearl white rear. A short ram intake has also been added for power.
In addition to the exterior goodness, the interior has also been done right. A custom fabric has been applied to choice components of the interior to include the headliner and A, B and C pillars. Even the side panels in the doors and the rear trunk have been emblazoned with the choice flower fabric. A huge shift knob and color-matched boot and e-brake cover have been added as well. The trunk is hand-built and features a custom wood floor setup that shows off a gaming console alongside the mechanics of the air system. It’s very clean and sexy and really adds some flavor.
This car really does have some bump in its trunk as it features a low-profile Pioneer 10-inch subwoofer mated to a Pioneer 4000 NEX double din in the dash up front. Combined with the rear trunk monitor, it truly is a visual and aural feast for the senses.
Santos immensely appreciates the gift that his parents gave him and it made him think not only about himself, but also about how those around him give unselfishly. It’s made him more aware about how important it is to give back, which is something he does with his students every time, once more.