Sunday 26 October 2008

Hot Mazda3 MPS caught in Germany

Spied testing this week on the Nürburgring circuit, the new five door hatch's profile looks generally unchanged, but the side detailing is completely new. A new dual-exhaust system highlights the sculpted rear bumper design. The rear wing is similar to the current model's, but appears to be slightly larger on this prototype.

Those enthusiasts hoping for a front-mounted intercooler will be disappointed, as the hood scoop indicates that the top-mounted intercooler layout of the current 3 MPS/Mazdaspeed 3 has been carried over to the new car.

Out goes the old 2.3 litre, 256bhp, 4 cylinder engine in favour for a 2.5 litre 5 cylinder turbo from the Ford Focus ST. In the Mazda, which is due in 2009, this will offer around 250bhp+ and much better fuel economy. And the discreet look of the current 3 MPS is set to be axed in favour of a more menacing design.

Prices should start from £20,000 with a electronically limited top speed of 155mph when UK sales start Summer '09. The regular Mazda3 sedan should be at the Los Angeles motorshow in November, while the five door hatchback will be launched at the Bologna Show in Italy in December.

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