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.