Mazda has ruled out bringing back the Mazda performance series (MPS) versions of the Mazda3 and Mazda6 despite announcing its intentions of creating a top-spec rotary-powered sportscar.
The Mazda3 MPS was available with both the first and second generation Mazda 3, while the Mazda6 MPS last went out of production in 2008. Both cars used a 2.3-litre turbocharged petrol engine with 190kW of power and 380Nm of torque with the 3 driven through the front wheels while the 6 made use of an all-wheel drive system (manual only).
Despite Mazda’s emphasis on ‘fun to drive’ through its ‘zoom zoom’ marketing, the introduction of the third-generation Mazda3 last year saw no MPS model and the company’s global president and CEO, Masamichi Kogai, confirmed to CarAdvice today that it won’t be coming back anytime soon.
“The performance vehicles of Mazda 3 and other models, we don’t have plans at the moment. So we have to really have one best model.” Kogai said referring to the upcoming rotary sportscar.
The MPS models, Kogai says, would detract from the core models and considering Mazda’s limited R&D budget, the company has had to cut the performance models out.
“Because we have limited resources, if we keep developing derivatives and too many derivatives, the resources we can afford to allocate on the base model or the core models will go down and then we are not able to perfect each of these models.”
It’s an interesting admission, considering the next-generation rotary sports car will be the halo vehicle of the brand, with its intended purpose to lift the brand image for the rest of the range, which at that point could do with other performance models to compliment what will likely be known as the RX-9.
Nonetheless, with the rotary sports car still some years away, there is a possibility that Mazda will reconsider bringing back the MPS line with the next-generation of the Mazda3 and Mazda6.
Would the RX-9 and MX-5 be enough to satisfy Mazda fans or should the Japanese brand bring back the MPS lineup?