Saturday, February 19, 2011

Mazda 3 MPS to be launched in Malaysia with a sticker price of RM175k

Drove the previous gen MPS while I was living in Australia and it was quite the pocket rocket (same power output as the new model: 190kW, 380Nm). 

That much power was somewhat controllable as the MPS came with a torque-limiting system (coupled with a limited-slip front differential, switchable stability and traction control systems) for the first two gears to manage torque steer, excessive wheelspin and power-on understeer.

The only issues with the old MPS was that the exhaust note was a little restrained and the hydraulic rack steering system was a tad bit light for spirited driving. While it was responsive and well-weighted enough to entertain, it lacked the feedback and razor sharpness of say a Focus or a Golf. Lets hope this new car has rectified some of those issues.

Anyway, Bermaz (Berjaya) is definitely keen on wanting a bigger slice of the local automotive market. The fact that MPSes have always come in manual guise might limit its appeal to the auto / slush box loving Malaysian public.

Oh and I prefer the previous MPS' looks compared to this new 'smiley' faced one.

Mazda3 MPS to be launched in early March – RM175k

Yes, it’s definitely cheery news for the performance hatch brigade, especially those into stick shifters – the Mazda3 MPS is set to be launched on March 2, and you can catch the car in the metal at the Mazda Motor Show at 1 Utama from then to March 6.

The five-door hatch, which was spotted in January at JPJ Putrajaya doing type approval, will roll into the market at RM175,000, which is definitely competitive for what it is.

The Mazda Performance Series gem is powered by a turbocharged MZR 2.3 litre DISI block offering 256 hp at 5,500rpm and 380Nm of torque at 3,000rpm, working with a six-speed manual tranny and a torque-sensing limited-slip differential.

The Mazda Motor Show will also see the introduction of the locally-assembled Mazda3 in both sedan and hatch form. The car began rolling out of the production line in January at the Inokom assembly plant in Kedah, and production is expected to be around 3,000 units a year.

No pricing has been announced yet, but going the CKD route should bring the price to a very competitive level – we’ll just have to wait for March 2 to find out what it is. Four colours will be available for the locally-assembled version.

Aside from that, the Mazda Motor Show – which will be located on the ground floor of the new wing of 1 Utama – will feature pretty much the entire range of Mazda vehicles brought in by Prima Merdu and distributed by Bermaz, these being the Mazda2, Mazda5, Mazda6, Mazda8, CX-7, CX-9, RX-8 and MX-5, so if you’re into your Mazdas, the roadshow is where you’ll find the full deck of cards at one go.


Firdaus Asri said...

It's not AWD after all but $$$/HP ratio means it's very bang for buck. Like you mentioned, I just don't like the smiley face.

Temujin said...

Why do u guys despise the smiley face??

I'm liking them over the previous version hahaha..

Btw, might drop by OU during the show next week. May be looking for a new run-around.

Terst driven the 6, and was quite impressed.. But in the end was turned off by the less than impressive CVT paddle shifters (there's a lag of 3 seconds before the box eventually shifts).

The CX series as well as the MPS3 looks interesting too; the CX is a good rival to the Nissan Murano and MPS a proper hatch, but I'm dreading the MPS as a performance car as it is still FWD.

But it would be interesting to know how much the ordinary 3 would cost as a CKD ;)