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Mazda3 MPS: Big Scoop

Motoring Channel Staff - 3/February/2009

Mazda3 MPS
Mazda3 MPS

Mazda3 MPS
Power for the new Mazda3 MPS will come from a
revised version of the previous 2.3-litre MZR turbo

Mazda3 MPS
The Mazda3 MPS - now with more scoop

Hiroshima, Japan – As we reported in January, Mazda will officially unveil the next-generation Mazda3 MPS (a.k.a MazdaSpeed3) at the Geneva Motor Show in early March.

Mazda has released a number of images and details of the new model and to call it 'aggressive' doesn't do the new design justice.

After exhaustive conversations with the Subaru Impreza WRX STI hatch's former stylist, the new model features a gaping hood scoop that signifies hardcore performance like few other design cues.

Feeding the Mazda3 MPS's intercooler, the purposeful air intake built into the hood is not just for show either.

Most of the new design cues revolve around the obligatory body kit, including new side skirts, a deep front apron with a stylised lower air dam, plus a new rear apron with integrated twin exhausts and a roof-mounted spoiler.

Big fat alloy wheels are also part of the MPS package and you can bet the next financial bailout that there'll be bigger brakes and stiffer suspension lurking beneath.

Power will not come from a forced induction version of the new Mazda6's 2.5-litre 4-cylinder engine as first thought.

Instead the exotic new performance hatch will use a revamped version of the 2.3-litre turbocharged engine employed on the previous MPS models, once again featuring direct injection for big power numbers and a fast-spinning nature.

The power output is as yet unknown but is expected to deliver Evo and STI rivalling power of more than 210kW and 400Nm of torque.

In a brief press statement, Mazda's PR machine says the 'MPS hot-hatch's sharp new clothes advertise the performance lurking beneath, both in the form of its 2.3-litre direct injection turbocharged engine, and its razor-sharp handling.'

The Japanese company claims the new-generation Mazda3 MPS will 'rewrite hot-hatch benchmarks' when it goes on sale from the second half of 2009.

The Mazda3's program manager, Yoshiyuki Maeda, says "The exhilarating Mazda3 MPS is the ultimate sporting expression of our new-generation Mazda3 range.

"It builds on the already capable new-generation Mazda3 hatch with higher levels of ferocity and exhilaration, and – like all new Mazda models – with an eye to environmental concerns, powering responsibly into the motoring future," adds Maeda-san.

Will this be the must-have hot hatch of 2009? 

In terms of raw power and torque output, the Mazda3 MPS has a chance to be the new king, out-muscling the Subaru WRX STI with its intercooled, turbocharged 2.3-litre 4-cylinder powerplant. 

But if the new generation Mazda3 MPS is front-wheel drive like its predecessor, it will lose some credibility in the eyes of a lot of enthusiasts.

We'll have to wait and see whether the Mazda3 MPS is an AWD vehicle when the veil is lifted from the Mazda exhibit at the Geneva Motor Show.

"The MPS has evolved to an entirely new level of emotional design and exhilarating performance," concludes Yoshiyuki Maeda.

Let's hope this evolution of 'exhilarating performance' includes an all-wheel drive setup.

Related Links:
- Mazda3 Hatch (2010)
Mazda3 Sedan (2010)
Mazda6 MPS (Road Test)
Mazda3 in Sydney (2010)
Mazda RX-8 (2008)
Mazda MX-5 Roadster Coupe (Road Test)
Mazda Kiyora Concept (2008)
Mazda CX-9 (2008)
Mazda6 (2008)
- Mazda2 (2008)

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