The red-hot new Mazda 3 has finally broken cover. These are the first official images of the flagship MPS, ahead of its debut at next month’s Geneva Motor Show.
It uses the same 256bhp 2.3-litre turbocharged engine as the existing model – and offers a 0-60mph sprint of 6 seconds and a top speed of 155mph. Only the imminent 301bhp Focus RS has more power in the front-wheel-drive hot hatch class.
The fresh shape of the latest 3 has been beefed up with a Subaru Impreza-style bonnet scoop, deeper front and rear bumpers, a prominent boot lip spoiler and twin exhausts.
Even though it provides near-identical performance to the outgoing car, the new flagship will deliver improved economy, as well as emissions that meet Euro V regulations. This is due to subtle engine tweaks and a marginally lighter kerbweight.
Also at Geneva will be an i-stop version of the 3. It has a 148bhp 2.0-litre DISI petrol engine with a stop-start system, cutting emissions by 12 per cent to 161g/km. The green set-up is due to be fitted across the range in the coming months.