Mazda fans all over the world have been begging for a return of the Mazda Performance Series sub-brand, otherwise known as MPS or MAZDASPEED, for ages. However, Mazda has been too busy launching their line of new Skyactiv models to oblige their performance-oriented fans.
Today, we learned that Mazda has heard the demand, and they’re working on a solution. More specifically, it looks like the new Mazda2 may be the first car to receive the MPS treatment.
First hints of the news originally came at the Mazda2’s international launch from an interview between Australian auto blog CarAdvice and Mazda’s global sales and marketing manager, Yasuhiro Aoyama. He describes that the most likely scenario would be for the Japanese automaker to create a sports variant of their new city car as the model ages into its mid-life cycle.
Aoyama said, “One of the challenges we are currently considering is how to maintain the product competitiveness throughout the lifecycle. Once we introduce one [new] model, [its] competitiveness will gradually deteriorate… So we need to maintain the competitiveness of the vehicles.”
He goes on to say that a sportier version would work for many markets, and that it’s definitely one of the primary options on the table. Another Mazda exec., Kengo Fukushima, ecstatically explained that he would love to have a viable competitor to the Ford Fiesta ST, and that a Mazda2 MPS could be the car to do that. However, he carefully disclaims that there are “no plans yet”.
The other interview we have comes from European auto blog, Autocar, and the Mazda2’s chief engineer, Ayumu Doi. Apparently, Doi was emphatic that the MPS sub-brand was absolutely “not dead”; instead, Mazda is carefully evaluating how they can apply their ‘Fun to drive’ mantra to a more performance-oriented model. Clearly, there are be very high expectations for any new MPS car.
Even with those extremely high expectations in mind, Doi said that Mazda would NOT forsake their Skyactiv technology and principles in favor of bespoke performance parts (like how the new Infiniti Q60 will use Mercedes-sourced engines). Instead, they would focus on chassis improvements and powertrain tuning to manufacture an MPS variant that would feel legitimately sporty without sacrificing the brand’s hard-earned image.
Either way, we’re thrilled to hear that a Mazda MPS revival is anywhere close to the drawing board. And, that we’re not the only ones wanting sportier Mazda models. As Aoyama said to CarAdvice, “We have similar requests [for MPS models] from many regions… The sportier way should be one of the best ways for Mazda to pick up and continue to raise our revenue level.”You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.