03 February 2009

Scooped: Mazda3 MPS

Golf GTi-baiting hot hatch is coming to Geneva… with a big hole in its face

Mazda3 MPS

Check out more pictures of the Mazda3 MPS

The new Mazda3 MPS is heading to the Geneva show next month, and we’ve got the first pictures of the Golf GTi/Astra VXR rival.

It looks scoopy. With that nostril on the bonnet, a deeper front bumper and big rear wing, there’s more than a hint of the Subaru Impreza STi about the MPS – albeit with a bit more curvy ‘Nagare’ styling.

Read Dan Read's Mazda3 road test.

Mazda hasn’t released any technical details on the 3 MPS yet, but expect it to be powered by a revised version of Mazda’s 2.3-litre turbocharged four-pot, likely putting out a bit more than the current MPS’s 256bhp. And all through the front wheels.

Mazda has worked hard on stiffening the 3’s chassis for 2009, so the new MPS should be a sharper drive than the current MPS, which has always been just a fraction anodyne.

Prices should remain similar to the current MPS when the new model goes on sale in June, so expect an asking price around the £19k mark.

Mazda has also announced that it will unveil an eco-friendly ‘i-stop’ version of the 3 alongside the MPS in Geneva. Stop-start technology and Mazda’s 2.0-litre direct-injection petrol engine will combine to return a 12 per cent improvement in consumption, says Mazda… but we’ll still take the MPS, ta.

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