New 2.5-litre engine, possible diesel to follow
22 October 2008

Our spy photographers have captured the next-generation Mazda 3 MPS being put through its paces at the Nurburgring. The new Mazda 3 will be going on sale in the UK in April next year, with the range-topping MPS version scheduled to arrive about three months later. Under its all-new bodywork the new 3 is a heavy reworking of the current car, and the new MPS will stick with the same mechanical layout of a turbocharged four-cylinder engine driving the front wheels.

Mazda insiders indicate the new car will have a revised 2.5-litre version of the current MPS’s direct-injection engine. Power figures haven’t been finalised yet, but there’s the strong possibility that the new car will actually have slightly more than the 256bhp of the first-generation MPS. That’s a serious amount for a front-wheel drive hatchback, especially as – unlike the forthcoming Ford Focus RS – the MPS won’t get a limited-slip differential. It's likely a second, diesel-powered MPS will follow. At a recent Mazda technical event a senior company engineer told Autocar that a high-output version of Mazda’s new 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine is under consideration for a performance variant of the 3. Renault and Seat have already done well from diesel versions of their hot hatches – and Subaru is working on a DERV-fuelled Impreza WRX – so it would be an obvious development. The images make clear that Mazda has learned at least one lesson from the current MPS, which was criticised in some quarters for its bland looks. Even under the cladding, it’s clear that the new car is far more visually aggressive, with a deep front bumper and a very Impreza-like wing at the top of the tailgate. Prices for the new MPS will be announced nearer the time, but it’s believed it will stick closely to the current model’s £19,000 price tag.

Mike Duff

Our Verdict

Mazda 3 2009-2012

The Mazda 3 hatchback is superbly refined and a more competitive package now previous faults are fixed

Join the debate

Comments
4

22 October 2008

[quote Autocar]Our spy photographers have captured the next-generation Mazda 3 MPS being put through its paces at the Nurburgring. [/quote]

Mazda in a recent dramatic move have poached several engineers from the Nissan GT-R development team to help hone this car. A company source reported a lap time of 7.15:43. Senior engineers have since stated this is a standard car on standard Pirelli P6000 tyres.

Video footage of the run was taken, but those who have seen it believe the actual lap used seems to be the Silverstone national circuit, not the Nurburgring.

Sorry, had to be done!

 

 

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

22 October 2008

Ha ha! good to see some humour on these pages instead of pointless arguing about how terrible britain is and that we shall all leave.

The changes mazda have mate to the 3 are pretty impressive looks wise, lets just hope that they get it better sorted dynamically this time! if so they could have a shot at renaults hot hatch ring record!

22 October 2008

Surprised it won't get an lsd considering the current version has one, seems like a backward step. I actually quite like the current model, nearly bought one.

23 October 2008

"there’s the strong possibility that the new car will actually have slightly more than the 256bhp of the first-generation MPS."

I thought the current MPS did have more than 256bhp? I'm not sure whether loosing the LSD is bad or not, so far I have found it to be a bit of a PITA in the wet.

Good news about a diesel option though :)

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Hyundai Kona
    First Drive
    18 October 2017
    Hyundai's funky-looking Kona crossover with a peppy three-cylinder engine makes all the right noises for the car to be a success in a crowded segment
  • Citroën C3 Aircross
    First Drive
    17 October 2017
    The Citroen C3 Aircross has got funky looks and a charming interior, but it's another small SUV, and another dynamic miss. Numb steering is just one thing keeping it from class best
  • Skoda-Karoq 2.0 TDI 4x4
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Diesel version of Skoda’s junior SUV is unobtrusive and undemanding, but we’d still go for the silkier petrol version of the Karoq
  • Audi Q7 e-tron
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Expensive and flawed but this understated diesel-electric Audi Q7 has a lot to offer
  • Citroën C3
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Is the third gen Citroën C3 ‘fresh and different’ enough to take on its supermini rivals? We spend six months with one to find out