Posts Tagged ‘mazda2 MPS’

Rumor: Mazda to Revive MPS Brand Later This Year

Posted by Stephen On Friday, April 24th, 2015

2010 Mazdaspeed3

2010 Mazdaspeed3

For the past six or seven months, we’ve been hearing quiet rumors about the return of Mazda’s MPS performance sub-brand.  The last one came in February of this year when the Mazda2’s chief engineer, Ayumu Doi, clearly informed us that to the Mazda Performance Series is “not dead”. He went on to insinuate that a performance Mazda2 is a likely candidate for the brand’s returning debut.

Today, Australian news source Motoring has an updated story for us. Apparently, a hatch WILL be the first car to get the MAZDASPEED treatment, but it won’t be the Mazda2… It’ll be the Mazda3. For those who don’t know, the old Mazda3 MPS hot hatch was arguably the most beloved MPS in the brand’s past life. Pictured below you’ll find what the new MPS model might look like, rendered by Design RM.

But, wait… It gets better!

Mazda 3 MPS Rendering

Not only does this mean that Mazda is definitely bringing back the MPS brand, Motoring also says that it will be later this year at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Apparently, Mazda plans to tease us with a Mazda3 MPS prototype or concept at the motor show in September. But, they’ll still get us a production car by the end of the year so that the brand can restart its life with a 2016 model year.

Nothing is for sure, but early indications are that the hot Mazda3 will run on a 2.5L four-cylinder turbo petrol with upwards of 300 horsepower. The hatch will also run on AWD just like the new Ford Focus RS.

Mazda 3 MPS Rendering back

We still haven’t forgotten about the Mazda2 MPS, and neither has Mazda. We have no idea when they’ll do it, but they apparently do intend to offer MPS variants of other models, the Mazda2 being one of the chief contenders. Another option – the one we’re most excited about – is a possible Mazda MX-5 MPS, which could become the flagship model for the brand.

Either way, we’ll be sure to keep you in the loop on any other updates, official or otherwise. In the meantime, enjoy this old MPS auction find:

Japanese Car Auction Find – 2007 Mazda3 MPS

2007 Mazdaspeed3

Known as the Mazda3 MPS, Mazdaspeed3 or the Mazdaspeed Axela depending on your market, this was one of the defining cars for Mazda’s performance sub-brand. Although these aren’t the best quality images, we hope you can still appreciate the significance of the car beneath.

2007 Mazdaspeed3 rear

As a 2007 model year, this would have been the beginning of the second-generation Mazdaspeed3’s production. It was powered by a 2.3L inline-four that outputs 263 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque, with front-wheel drive and paired with a 6-speed manual transmission.

For more details about this 2007 Mazda3 MPS, keep reading for the auction sheet translation below:

2007 Mazdaspeed3 auction sheet

“Interior B, exterior condition C, first registered March 2007, Mazda Speed model, DBA emissions code, 6-speed manual, AAC, power steering, power windows, original AWs, airbag, ABS, minor scratches, dimples, steering wheel worn, interior grime, wheels scratched, door mirrors scratched, front windscreen has minor cracks, marks as per map”

Sporty Mazda2 MPS Officially Under Consideration

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

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.

Mazda MPS logo

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.

2015 Mazda2

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.

Mazda 2 Sporty Sketch

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.”

Demio / Mazda2-Based Hot Hatch is Officially “Under Consideration”

Posted by Stephen On Monday, August 25th, 2014

2015 Mazda2 Demio

For many years now, Mazda fans all over the world have been asking for a performance-oriented hatchback. Before the introduction of the all-new SKYACTIV Mazda2, the Zoom-Zoom automaker’s only reaction to these pleas came in the form of ethereal concepts and show cars that could never realistically make it to production. With the new Mazda2/Demio’s release, however, it seems like things have changed. Mazda is now officially “considering” a Mazda2-based performance model.

If a Mazda hot hatch ever made it to production, it would compete with the likes of the VW Polo GTI, the Fiat 500 Abarth, and the Seat Ibiza Cupra, with a representative saying it would most closely compete with the Ford Fiesta ST. Unfortunately, we have no word on whether or not this theoretical car would ever make it to US shores, even if it did make it to production.

Still, one can dream.

According to an interview between Australian automotive news outlet and Mazda sales and marketing manager Yasuhiro Aoyama, a sporty Mazda2 could refresh market interest in the now-new model sometime down the road. He elaborated, saying, “One of the challenges we are currently considering is how to maintain the product competitiveness throughout the lifecycle. Once we introduce one model, the competitiveness will gradually deteriorate… So we need to maintain the competitiveness of the vehicles.”

In other words, Mazda knows that their time in the limelight – including all the press about SKYACTIV and Kodo – won’t last forever, and therefore they need a realistic plan to maintain growth. Apparently, offering a mid-cycle performance variant for select models is looking like a good way to do it. For the Mazda2, he said, “A sportier version would work [for some markets]. We are currently considering any kind of potential… And the sportier version is definitely one of the considerations.”

2008 Mazdaspeed2 Concept

In fact, Mazda has already given some thought to what their hot hatch would be called, using a name first seen all the way back in 2008 – the Mazdaspeed2, a 2008 concept of which is pictured above. In other markets, it would be known as the Mazda2 MPS.

Whatever you call it, the new sporty hatchback would likely feature the same compact turbocharged engine that’s currently being developed for the new Mazda MX-5 Miata, which we should see before the end of this year. Additional tweaks would also need to be made to the current Mazda2’s mechanics and chassis, including performance-tuned brakes and a stiffer suspension, along with several aerodynamic modifications.

In the end, it sounds like we definitely won’t get a sporty Mazda2 anytime in the next year or two. But, Mazda has made it clear that they hear the pleas of their fans, and that a Mazda2 MPS is absolutely on the table, even if nothing’s concrete. Either way, the all-new Mazda2 is cool enough to keep any Mazda fan happy for a while, so we’re content sitting on our hands until we hear more.