From £14,805
Brackley-based tuning specialist BBR has a long history of working with Mazda’s MX-5, and the firm has now launched a three-stage tuning programme for the 3 MPS. BBR’s work turns the Mazda 3 MPS into a seriously quick hatch

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    Mazda 3 MPS BBR 320

    Brackley-based tuning specialist BBR has a long history of working with Mazda’s MX-5, and the firm has now launched a three-stage tuning programme for the 3 MPS
22 December 2011

What is it?

The Mazda 3 MPS has always been something of a sleeping giant in the hot hatch market. It’s unusual in having an oversized, 2261cc four-cylinder engine, but while its 256bhp power output was eye-widening stuff at launch, these days it’s merely towards the sharp end of the class.

Brackley-based tuning specialist BBR has a long history of working with Mazda’s MX-5, and the firm has now launched a three-stage tuning programme for the 3 MPS (and the identically engined 6 MPS).

Stage one consists of a remap for the DFI ‘four’ taking power to 290bhp and torque to 330lb ft. Stage two, as driven here, adds a high-flow fuel pump, a new air filter, and a sturdier turbo inlet hoses, plus a replacement exhaust downpipe, pre-catalyst and catalyst, all at a cost of £2040 fitted. In this state of tune the MPS generates 318bhp at 6580rpm and 370lb ft at 3800rpm, with most of that torque available from just over 3000rpm. Stage three promises to be bordering on the insane, with a bespoke turbocharger and intercooler delivering more than 400bhp.

What’s it like?

There are two main benefits to the stage two conversion. First, the car is now sensationally quick when run through the gears, and by any realistic yardstick. Secondly, the amount of low and mid-range torque is very satisfying, and makes this Mazda an effortlessly good overtaking machine. Fourth gear alone satisfies most requirements. Nevertheless, the downside is plenty of torque steer if the roads are bumpy and greasy.

BBR has also turned its attention to the chassis, fitting a set of its own springs (and also offering Koni adjustable dampers, although our test car retained the standard units). The new springs, which cost £465 fitted, are shorter but softer than the factory items, so the car sits purposefully lower and the geometry of the suspension is subtly altered. Turn-in is improved and the less aggressive spring rate improves the ride, but it would be good to try the car with the Konis.

Should I buy one?

BBR’s work on the Mazda 3 MPS turns it into a seriously quick hatch. At the sort of speeds this 3 MPS can now carry on a typical B-road, some improved damper control could make it into a really superb one.

Adam Towler

Mazda 3 MPS BBR 320

Price: £25,690 (new car with BBR stage two conversion and springs); Top speed: na; 0-62mph: na; Economy: na; Co2: na; Kerb weight: 1385kg; Engine: 4 cyls, 2261cc, turbo, petrol; Power: 318bhp at 6580rpm; Torque: 370lb ft at 3800rpm; Gearbox: 6-spd manual

Join the debate

Comments
18

3 January 2012

Sounds a bit of a bargain.

Whats Mazdas view regarding warranty I wonder?

3 January 2012

The 3MPS has always been the left field choice in the hot hatch market but not a bad one by any means.

This warming (in stage 2 form at least) does seem to add to the car.

Now, the all important question, what's the warranty like? Previous BBR conversions have been very good, even manufacturer covered but nothing written on this.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

3 January 2012

must have a pretty good chassis as standard to handle 300+ bhp, just with the addition of some springs and optional koni dampers.

www.KOOOLcr.com

 

3 January 2012

[quote kcrally]must have a pretty good chassis as standard to handle 300+ bhp, just with the addition of some springs and optional koni dampers.[/quote]

The Mazda 3 uses a MK2 Focus chassis.

3 January 2012

I bet this would be fantastic to drive - especially with the Focus chassis. A bit of a sleeper, no doubt. It seems like a lot of car for the money, too. It's a shame that there aren't more figures available for it yet.

3 January 2012

I currently own a 3 MPS in the same colour as shown and have being considering getting it tuned but have had difficulty in finding somewhere who could do it. This comes as a breath of fresh air to me and let me tell you from owning a few hot hatches before this one that it is massively underated. Quite large, comfortable and seriously rapid even in standard form. People talk about torque steer, well my last car was an Astra VXR and that was horrendous!!! The MPS is a puppy comapred to that. This will turn the MPS into a devastating point to point weapon. And no the warranty wouldn't cover it....I already asked Mazda in Norwich...

3 January 2012

[quote Wanos]

I currently own a 3 MPS in the same colour as shown and have being considering getting it tuned but have had difficulty in finding somewhere who could do it. This comes as a breath of fresh air to me and let me tell you from owning a few hot hatches before this one that it is massively underated. Quite large, comfortable and seriously rapid even in standard form. People talk about torque steer, well my last car was an Astra VXR and that was horrendous!!! The MPS is a puppy comapred to that. This will turn the MPS into a devastating point to point weapon. And no the warranty wouldn't cover it....I already asked Mazda in Norwich...

[/quote]

Must be a great car. It's one of the only proper driver-focused hot hatches that are currently out there, with a performance oriented engine and a proper manual 'box. It really is a very fast and unsuspecting car, and I think it looks great. Is there much turbo lag?

3 January 2012

I wonder what old age car - either the 3 or 6 MPS can use these indecently improved figures? I would love either of them - but choice would be for the 6 - but heaven only knows the insurance cost I already pay 1750 quid for a standard 6 !!!

3 January 2012

a genuinely interesting sounding car, if that price is right... anyone from Autocar want to confirm it? The sticker price for the MPS is £23,185 thus if £25,690 as stated is correct, a mere two-and-a-half grand for that level of breathing upon is a complete bargain. And most likely not true.

3 January 2012

Fast? Yes but whatever its performance abilities are, it's just too expensive to run due to its tax bracket and 25mpg. Plus I think it is pretty ugly. Good Q car though.

The comments section needs a makeover... how about a forum??

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