The all-new Mazda3 MPS delivers a unique combination of even more exhilarating driving fun and everyday compact car practicality. It retains the sensational 155mph performance of its predecessor, while adopting the numerous innovations of the second-generation Mazda3 on which it is based. Improved aerodynamics give greater high-speed stability. A stiffer bodyshell, new power steering and modified suspension guarantee a compliant ride with crisp, precise responses to driver inputs. Higher gearing and the application of Mazda’s weight-reducing ‘Gram Strategy’ helps to reduce CO2 emissions by 3 per cent and ensure the new model meets the stricter Euro 5 emission standards.
“Our latest Mazda3 MPS is a strikingly bold design, more dynamic looking, more aggressive and more assertive than ever before,” comments Mark Cameron, Sales & Marketing Director, Mazda Motors UK. “The new bonnet air-intake, new-style 18-inch alloy wheels and larger rear spoiler create the muscular, athletic look of a sprinter. Delivering sensationally spirited performance, the new Mazda3 MPS puts the heat back into the hot-hatch sector with ‘stand out’ looks that put rivals in the shade and it boasts exquisite handling and incredible dynamics.
“Typical of Mazda’s engineering ethos, the new Mazda3 MPS is a very complete package – not just in terms of its enhanced powertrain and chassis upgrades, but also with regard to its very high level of standard equipment. And alongside sensational performance it will of course retain the accessibility, practicality, reliability and build quality of its sister models,” adds Cameron.
The all-new Mazda3 MPS is being marketed in the UK as a single, generously specified and lavishly equipped model, priced at £21,500 (on the road) including mica or metallic paint finish. The unique MPS body styling – featuring aggressive bonnet air scoop, special front wings, new grille, new bumpers and deeper sills, plus a larger rear wing – adds 20mm to the length of the regular Sport model.Power and control, with safety and refinement
Each Mazda3 MPS is fitted with the immensely powerful and responsive MZR 2.3 DISI* Turbo engine – carried over from the previous model, but updated to ensure it meets Euro 5 emission requirements without a loss of power. A new exhaust system, with dual tail pipes, results in a 10dB noise reduction at engine speeds over 5,000rpm.
As before, this turbocharged petrol engine generates 260ps and 380Nm of torque (at just 3,000rpm) and drives the front wheels via a six-speed manual transmission. An electronic throttle and electronic boost pressure control ensure lively throttle response and stunningly fast acceleration without turbo lag. Sophisticated computer-controlled electronics modulate the delivery of torque to minimise torque-steer and to complement the operation of the limited-slip differential – ensuring maximum traction.
The six-speed manual gearbox has wider spaced gear ratios than the previous model and is fitted with low-viscosity fluid to reduce shift effort when the transmission is cold. Like the regular Mazda3, the new Mazda3 MPS places the gear shift lever 60mm higher and slanted towards the driver, while the gearbox design also ensures precise and clean shift characteristics for more driving fun.Stiffer bodyshell & revised chassis
Besides reinforcing the body structure – achieving a 41 per cent and 15 per cent improvement in torsional and flexural stiffness respectively, compared to the previous model – Mazda engineers also gave the new Mazda3 MPS a more sporty suspension set up, without degrading ride comfort. Both the MacPherson front suspension and the multi-link rear suspension have higher spring rates, larger stabiliser (anti-roll) bars and higher-performance dampers for a flatter ride with less roll. The suspension is also lowered by 5mm compared to other new Mazda3 models.
Wider, new-style alloy wheels are fitted with wider, lower profile (225/40 section) tyres and upgraded front brakes, feature larger 320 mm ventilated discs. The power steering now features electro-hydraulic assistance tuned to produce a more direct steering feel and an even closer bond between car and driver, a true Mazda trademark.Fully specified and lavishly equipped
The all-new Mazda3 MPS is so lavishly equipped as standard that there are no factory-fitted options available. Standard premium features include Bluetooth technology (that enables wireless operation of both mobile phones and playing MP3 devices through the car’s audio system), Welcome Mode lighting (which fades-up the interior lights when the door is opened and the centre display, audio and air-conditioning lights when the driver is seated), and a surround-sound BOSE premium audio system with 10 speakers, plus steering-wheel mounted audio controls.
The driver-oriented cockpit and dashboard with a wrap-around, sporty feel and an extra special ambience is complemented by new front sports bucket seats, which ‘cocoon’ the occupants and give greater thigh and back support, are part-trimmed in black leather. Red MPS graphics appear on the seats, door trims and dashboard, while red stitching on the steering wheel, gearshift, handbrake, centre armrest and door trims contrasts with the black keynote interior décor.
All-new Mazda3 MPS also comes with Mazda’s new MID (multi information display) with a compact satellite navigation system developed especially for this model. It uses a high-resolution 11 cm (4.1 inch) screen mounted in the dashboard’s upper section, where it can be seen easily, and it can be operated using a control switch on the steering wheel.
Comfort and convenience equipment includes dual-zone climate control air-conditioning, electric windows front and rear (with global closing), a heated front windscreen and smart keyless entry. A push button start, and a new LCD turbo-boost gauge between the main instruments provide a real sense of sportiness to back up the performance credentials.An arsenal of ‘active’ safety technologies
Naturally, safety is paramount on the high-performance Mazda3 MPS and it is equipped with an array of ‘active’ safety systems to minimise the hazards of everyday driving – including a tyre pressure monitoring system and ‘adaptive’ front bi-xenon headlights that turn to illuminate curves ahead.
A Traction Control System (TCS) and Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) are standard, as is the new Emergency Stop Signalling (ESS) system that automatically activates the hazard warning lights at cruising speeds when the ABS sensors detect emergency braking. The performance of the four-wheel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) is enhanced by Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Emergency Brake Assist (EBA).
Additional safety is provided by the new Rear Vehicle Monitoring system (RVM), previously available only on Mazda6. This aid to safe lane-changing uses wide-angle radar units to monitor traffic behind the Mazda3 MPS and warns the driver of an approaching vehicle before he/she has a chance to move across into a busy lane by mistake. The system, which is effective in all weathers, also detects vehicles driving in the ‘blind spot’ area and does not monitor or detect cars following behind in the same lane.
Like all other Mazda3 models, the MPS is equipped with front, side and curtain airbags, active front headrestraints, front seatbelt pre-tensioners and load-limiters.Ultimate expression of Zoom-Zoom
“The exciting all-new Mazda3 MPS is Mazda's highest performance hatchback and it gives fleet decision-makers, company and private car drivers the opportunity to choose a high-performance, more than credible alternative to the hot hatch offerings from other marques,” adds Mark Cameron. “With its truly exhilarating dynamics, practicality and unrivalled performance, the all-new Mazda3 MPS is the ultimate expression of ‘Zoom-Zoom’ driving excitement in a sophisticated super-hatch. It embodies the true spirit of the UK’s favourite sportscar brand, appealing to both the heart and the head – the perfect flagship for our newly introduced Mazda3 range,” concludes Cameron.
All-new Mazda3 MPS will be available with a choice of four body colours at no extra charge – Aluminium Silver Metallic, Black Mica, Velocity Red Mica and Crystal White Pearlescent.
This is a 12-year+ news article, from our Mazda archive, which dates back to the year 2000.
If in doubt check with your local Mazda dealer as car prices and technical data will have changed since 2009.
Although our car news is published in good faith, we cannot guarantee it to be error free or complete or up-to-date.
3 Images may not be UK specification cars. Colours and exterior and/or interior elements may differ from actual models.
The car news and images remain the copyright of the rights holder and may not be used without their consent.