Mazda – possibly the manufacturer least likely to produce the world’s first genuine super hatch. So, kudos to the Ford-owned Japanese marque for tearing up the rule book and doing just that with the quite unbelievable Mazda3 MPS.
When it goes on sale in February, the MPS will boast a heart-stopping 265bhp generated from a turbo-charged 2.3 litre engine. That will give it a limited top speed of 155mph and a quite extraordinary 0-60mph time of just 6.1 seconds, making it three seconds quicker and 30mph faster than the existing Mazda3 Sport.
The MPS will be marketed in the UK as a single, fully specified and lavishly equipped range topper. It will only be coming to the UK in limited numbers (boo, hiss) but it will come with 18-inch 15-spoke alloys, MPS–styled interior and the same practicality drivers already get from the 3’s impressive use of space. You’ll also get ABS, stability control, brake assist, ISOFIX child-seat mountings, top-notch alarm, Bose sound system and wheel-mounted controls.
With the MPS, Mazda probably hopes some of the blandness of the standard 3 will be forgotten. Pricing has yet to be confirmed.