2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 15:44
Mazda has renewed the sporty flagship of the 3 series. With 260 hp, only the Ford Focus RS has more power in the serial compact class.
Hard times take their toll. For the athletes in the compact class, it is not necessarily the economic crisis that makes life difficult for the Golf GTI, Ford Focus RS or the Opel Astra OPC. The market was already in decline two years ago. In 2008, 5647 drivers opted for a compact class vehicle with 200 hp or more. For most of them, the question of an everyday car no longer arises at all, be it because of financial or environmental aspects. End times mood prevails in the chosen circle. The Mazda 3 MPS is now also facing this difficult market environment. Three years after its market launch, a small new edition is to set new highlights.
Air inlet on power dome
The wide air inlet on the power dome of the hood in particular is reminiscent of the models that Mel Gibson chased through the Australian desert in his star role "Mad Max". In addition to the optical power, the air inlet primarily serves to improve the cooling efficiency of the engine. The radiator grille has also been redesigned. Instead of the grille from the predecessor, which was strongly reminiscent of the Golf GTI, the Japanese now used slats. Thanks to the black fog lights and the cylindrically shaped headlights with cornering lights, the everyday car creates a more powerful appearance than the sporty classic from Wolfsburg, but does not come close to the Ford Focus RS, even if the rear spoiler is just as noticeable as on the 305 hp model from Cologne.
The obligatory lowering is also discreet at ten millimeters, but with the improved wheel suspension, the modified chassis and greater stiffening, it makes for a pleasant ride, even at high speeds. The electronic steering inhibits the torque of 380 Newton meters at 3000 revolutions per minute as soon as the steering wheel is moved. This supports the inexperienced driver who does not yet know how to correctly assess the power of 191 kW / 260 PS. But the driving machine by no means mutates to slouch. The sprint from 0 to 100 km / h takes 6.1 seconds. 1460 kilograms, distributed over 4.51 meters, can be moved up to the electronically governed top speed of 250 km / h. The Mazda should then consume 9.6 liters of Superplus.
But this value is only to be seen as a guide value, in everyday use just under three liters more can be planned for 100 kilometers. Because the 260 hp can be felt the first time the accelerator is depressed and almost constantly challenge the driver to indulge in rapid propulsion. In contrast to the Focus RS, the 3-series MPS hugs the asphalt even beyond 220 km / h and absorbs any shocks.
While the GTI reaches its limits here, the Japanese driving machine can be tickled even further without having to compromise on driving comfort and sporty driving behavior. The newly calibrated 2.3-liter turbo direct-injection petrol engine with Euro 5 works with a sporty sound even in the highest ranges, which on the one hand is easy to hear, but on the other hand is not blown into the interior at all.
Practical benefits included
The cockpit itself sets itself apart from the normal series 3 series with red graphic design on the partial leather seats and red stitching on the steering wheel or gear knob. An entry lighting system welcomes those entering, and a boost pressure display in the middle of the red illuminated instruments reinforces the sports car idyll in the left lane of the motorway as well as on winding country roads.
But the practical benefit is not neglected either, since the athlete has taken over the advantages of the normal threesome. Up to five occupants can comfortably romp around in the interior, and with a trunk volume of 340 liters you don't have to do without luggage if you are prepared to invest 27,400 euros in the almost fully equipped Mazda 3 MPS.
Short list of surcharges
720 euros could be added for the small but practical navigation system or 2400 euros for the so-called plus package with Bose sound system. The 3 Series MPS starts out at 900 euros more than the GTI, but has 50 hp more and offers even more driving fun than the bestseller. But the demand remains modest. In the first three years around 1200 vehicles were sold in Germany and in the first year Mazda only expects an average of 400 sales. Hard times just take their toll.