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!
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.
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
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.
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:
“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”