2010 Mazda3 MPS review and pictures

Posted on Saturday, 5 September 2009 , 17:09:29 byDan

Filed under MazdaHatchbacks

Mazda3 MPS

Mazda revealed the Mazda3 earlier this year, a model with an exciting design, a stiffer chassis and lively engines that make it one of the sportiest-looking and driving compacts in the world. Under the hood it hides a MZR 2.3-liter DISI petrol engine and it offers a refined driving experience, more comfort and a long list of new technical features as standard. The hatchback has a more aggressive and sportier look like the front grille and lower bumper section share the same black metallic finish. The engine is capable of developing 260PS and 380 nm of torque and this makes it the most powerful front-wheel drive compact cars in the world. Power will be sent to the wheels through a 6-speed manual transmission.

The all-new Mazda3 was launched earlier this year with an exciting new design, a stiffer chassis and lively engines that make it one of the world’s sportiest-looking and driving compacts. In fact, it was chosen as the best-looking compact on an AutoBild magazine reader poll of 200,000 Europeans in June. Mazda now expands the Mazda3 line-up with an all-new Mazda Performance Series (MPS) flagship version that is sure to make the hearts of sports car enthusiasts beat faster. It is a unique combination of exhilarating fun and everyday compact car practicality. It inherits an evolved version of the high-performance MZR 2.3-litre DISI petrol from the previous MPS, has a dynamic design based on the new hatchback that’s even more emotional than its predecessor, with a refined driving experience, more comfort, and a long list of new technical features as standard.

The all-new Mazda3 MPS replaces a flagship model that has been a popular sports car around the world since launch in 2006. In just two years, the first-generation Mazda3 MPS quickly made a name for itself by selling 31,100 units globally, a third of them in the USA. Europe is its second-largest market for sales, with one out of every five Mazda3 MPS finding owners here, a total of 6,300 units. The first-generation’s biggest markets in Europe are the UK and Germany, which account for a third of all sales in Europe, followed by Switzerland and Spain.

The new model enters a European C non-premium sports compact segment that grew steadily until 2008, when sales decreased for the first time since 2004 due to the economic downturn at the end of the calendar year. Yet the Mazda3 MPS was very successful between 2007 and 2008, coming from a zero percent market share to take 4.5% of the segment by the end of 2008. This brought new kinds of customers to the brand and helped Mazda solidify its sporty Zoom-Zoom reputation.

At a glance

Exterior

Based on sporty, second-generation Mazda3 hatchback with a more aggressive and sportier look
New bonnet with air-intake and two deep character lines for a hot-hatch look and optimised intercooler efficiency
Special MPS front fenders and a new specific front and rear bumper design for a more solid and athletic look
Front grille and lower bumper section share same black metallic finish
Larger front headlamp fascias hold cylindrical bi-xenon headlamps with boomerang shaped position lamps (standard or option, depending on market)
Specific MPS round fog lamps
Side under-spoilers that lower the car’s visual centre of gravity
Aerodynamic designing results in one of the segment’s lowest drag coefficients at 0.32
New, larger rear spoiler increases down force, and contributes to lowering lift to 0.03
LED tail lamps
Privacy glass for the rear windows (standard or option, depending on market)
New 18-inch aluminium alloy wheels (18 x 7.55 J) with three-dimensional design similar to the wheels of the sports icon Mazda RX-8
Total of four body colours available ranging from racy Velocity Red, to Aluminium Metallic, Black Mica and Crystal White Pearl

Interior

Driver-oriented cockpit and dashboard for a wrap-around, sporty feel
New meters with red MPS logo
New LCD turbo-boost gauge between the driver metres
New multi-information display (MID) including integrated navigation system (standard or option, depending on market)
10-speaker Bose® premium surround-sound system, with Audiopilot2® noise compensation and Centerpoint® surround system (standard or option depending on market)
Hands-free system for Bluetooth®-equipped cell phones and mobile audio players (standard in most markets)
Special semi-bucket front sport seats in half leather with superior fit
Special MPS black interior with red graphic design throughout the cabin (on seats, door trim and dashboard) and red stitching on door trim, steering wheel, gearshift lever and sliding centre armrest

Powertrain

One of the world’s most powerful front-wheel drive compact cars with a high-performance MZR 2.3L DISI* Turbo petrol Euro V engine, producing 191 kW/260 PS at 5,500 rpm, and high torque of 380 Nm at 3,000 rpm
In-cylinder cooling effect from direct injection realizes ca. 10 percent more torque compared to conventional-intake engines with same displacement
Advanced boost pressure control suppresses sudden torque peaks for linear torque development
Left and right drive shafts optimized to minimize torque steer
Torque-sensing super limited-slip differential (LSD) as standard
Top speed of 250 km/h and acceleration 0-100 km/h in 6.1 seconds
Aerodynamic performance, engine calibration, electric hydraulic power-assisted steering, and slightly higher gear ratios keep fuel consumption at a moderate level
Sportier engine sound with dual exhaust pipes that are 10 dB quieter than the previous MPS single exhaust at engine speeds over 5,000 rpm
The world’s first single-nanotechnology catalytic converter helps reduce the amount of precious metals needed
Six-speed manual transmission with slightly wider gear ratios than before
Triple-cone synchronizers for first, second and third gears and a double-cone synchronizer for fourth gear for optimised gearshift operation
Low-viscosity transmission fluid reduces shift effort when the engine is cold

Chassis and Safety

Reworked body and chassis deliver improved control and stability
NVH levels some of segment’s best, for improved driving comfort, together with sportier engine sound
Special reinforcements inside the front cowl member gussets, a large tunnel member and ca. 17 percent more high-tensile steel deliver a 41 percent improvement in liftgate diagonal displacement and a 15 percent increase in body hysteresis compared to the previous Mazda3 MPS
Larger diameter stabilizers with longer mount spans achieve greater roll linearity
Modified coil spring rates for MacPherson strut front suspension and multi-link rear suspension
Special dampers with increased damping strength contribute to higher roll stiffness
Like the all-new Mazda3, the MPS now possesses three highly-rigid steering gear mount bushings, instead of two used on the previous model, which improve response to steering wheel action
New exclusive wider Dunlop 18-inch tyres (from 215 to 225) with more rigid sidewalls and damping strength improve grip and give a more direct steering feel
New electro-hydraulic power-assisted steering helps to save fuel, especially at high speeds, and offers optimal steering feel
Large diameter 320 mm ventilated front disc brakes, 280 mm rear solid discs, 8+9 inch tandem brake booster and 1-inch diameter master cylinder for powerful and stable braking
Newly-introduced electronic brake assist added to four-wheel ABS and DSC (all standard)
New adaptive front lighting system (AFS) with pivoting bi-xenon lamps that illuminate the curve at night (standard or option, depending on market)
New rear-vehicle monitoring system (RVM) that detects if a car is approaching from the left or right rear, or is in the blind spot, and warns the driver before he changes lane (standard or option, depending on market)
New emergency stop signal (ESS) that flashes hazard lights to warn following vehicles if the driver suddenly brakes (standard)
New tyre-pressure monitoring system (TPMS) as standard or option, depending on market
Parking sensor system (standard)