It inherits an evolved version of the high-performance MZR 2.3-litre DISI petrol powertrain 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 and more comfort, plus a long list of new technologies as standard.
The all-new Mazda3 MPS replaces a flagship model that has been a popular sports car around the world since launch. 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.
Exterior Design – The Promise of Sporty Fun
From the Mazda3 hatchback, the new flagship model gets a larger five-point front grille and dimensions that give it a sporty crouch. This alone would make it appear even more athletic compared to the previous MPS, but Mazda designers enhanced this by adding new components and styling cues that set the new MPS apart from the rest of the new Mazda3 line-up, and help it stand out.
Aerodynamic Performance – Form with Function
The exterior design of the new Mazda3 MPS not only communicates high-performance driving fun, it also functions to optimize aerodynamic performance. Starting point here is the new Mazda3 hatchback, which has one of the C-segment’s lowest drag coefficients with a Cd 0.30.
Adding sporty features like the bonnet air-intake, special fenders and side under-spoilers raises the MPS Cd value to 0.32 with a frontal area of 2.217 square metres. To offset this, designers employed Mazda’s airflow management technologies on the front bumper design to develop special surface forms.
And they introduced a larger rear spoiler to reduce lift, which contributes to even greater driving stability, especially at high speeds.
MZR 2.3-litre DISI Turbo – Enhanced Drivability
Using high-pressure, direct-injection petrol technology has a host of advantages over classic injection systems. Torque generated by the 2.3-litre DISI engine is about 10 percent higher at 3,000 rpm, because of the cooling effect caused by injecting petrol directly into the combustion chamber.
The engine is optimized even further by the introduction of a new bonnet scoop. Its cooling efficiency results in a smooth, linear increase in the rotation speed of the blades of the single-scroll turbo charger to deliver more power at lower engine speeds. The MZR 2.3-litre DISI Turbo produces maximum power of 260 bhp at 5,500 rpm.
It responds quickly to pedal movement thanks to high maximum torque of 380 Nm at a low 3,000 rpm, sprints from 0-to-100 km/h in just 6.1 seconds and has a top speed of 250 km/h.
In terms of emissions, the new Mazda3 MPS improves upon its predecessor and meets strict Euro Stage V standards, without any loss of driving fun. The manual six-speed transmission is fitted with slightly higher gear ratios than the original model, and electric hydraulic power-assisted steering is introduced.
Both these changes contribute to keeping fuel consumption at a modest level. The new MPS is also lighter (by around 25 kg), has an optimised aerodynamic design with a low drag coefficient of Cd 0.32, and new engine calibration. All this results in a slight improvement in overall fuel economy (0.1 litre less per 100 km combined) and 7 grams less CO2 at 224 g/km).
New Mazda3 MPS Body Shell – Stiffer, Lighter, Stronger
A new-generation Mazda3 bodyshell is used for the new MPS, with17 percent more high-tensile steel and special reinforcements. These include a unique support member inside the front cowl member, gussets that strengthen the joints between the rear suspension towers and rear floor panel, and a new and larger centre tunnel member.
Body rigidity compared to the previous MPS is drastically improved by these measures – 15 percent better for longitudinal and 41 percent better for torsional stiffness.
Driving Stability tested at Germany’s Nürburgring
During development, Mazda Motor Europe’s engineering team (based in Oberursel, Germany) spent weeks with the new Mazda3 MPS conducting test-drives all over Europe to establish just the right suspension and steering settings that will ensure the new flagship model meets the demands of European customers.
They focused on making the new model exceptionally easy to drive under the following four situations that are prevalent in Europe: high speed driving on the motorway, bad weather conditions including strong winds and heavy rain, poor road surface conditions, and merging traffic on main roads.
During testing, measurements (like brake temperatures, damping performance, etc.) were confirmed by the subjective impressions of Mazda testing team. This allowed Mazda’s European development team to achieve the desired level of handling and drivability specific to the demands of European customers.
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