By the time that this 323 2,0 EGI was launched in the late 1980s, Mazda had made a bit of a name for itself in hot hatch circles with the 323 1,6 EGI. The 1,6-litre unit was due for replacement, but the new engine was still under development in Japan and Mazda South Africa could simply not sit still and wait. It was then that the 2,0 EGI was born. This locally developed powerplant had big shoes to fill – its 1,6-litre sibling had gained fame in local racing and was described as a “giant killer”. CAR tested the 2,0 EGI in June 1989 and noted that while it felt a lot tamer than its predecessor, it was still a worthy buy at the time.
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