CJ Wilson is a pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Like all of us, when we’re not at work, we have other hobbies and interests. Unlike most others, Wilson’s major league salary means that his hobbies may be of a different echelon than yours.
One of Wilson’s interests is auto racing- Mazdas in particular. The major-leaguer owns CJ Wilson Racing as well as CJ Wilson Mazda in Countryside, Illinois. His daily driver is a CX-5 crossover. Just because he doesn’t drive G-Wagens like some of his coworkers doesn’t mean that he can’t enjoy the same kind of personal touch that helps a daily driver stick out in a crowded parking lot.
To that end, his racing interests and his auto dealership have teamed up to develop the CX-5 Tuned by CJ Wilson. The equation starts with a 2013 Mazda CX-5 GT, and adds a custom coilover package developed with ProParts engineering. The CX-5 features Koni dampers, Breyton 19-inch wheels, BFGoodrich g-force Sport COMP-2 tires, and a MAZDASPEED cold air intake. According to Wilson, “We wanted to enhance the SkyActiv philosophy even more, making a vehicle that was even more fun to drive and beautiful to look at while further improving the already class leading MPG figures.” He continued, “This car is actually my daily driver- so the real key was to make sure that it remained compliant over the potholes and bumps you encounter on real roads.”
Though certainly an enthusiast brand, few vehicles outside of the Mazda3 have been getting the lovin’ touch from MAZADASPEED. With that, its refreshing to see such an approach taken to a car that buyers might not immediately associate with performance driving. In addition, with SEMA around the corner, we know that aftermarket projects can often go awry. It’s refreshing to see a tasteful performance-minded daily driver. With the crossover market burgeoning, hopefully this is the first of a growing trend of refined aftermarket crossovers.
Photo credit: CJ Wilson Racing