Posts Tagged ‘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.”