The new Mazda3 MPS will be the fastest, best handling, best braking model in the hugely popular Mazda3 range when it goes on sale in the UK next February, priced from just £18,995 on-the-road. In fact, Mazda3 MPS reaches the same heights of handling prowess as the Mazda6 MPS, Mazda RX-8 PZ special edition and the iconic two-seater open-top roadster Mazda MX-5.

The Mazda3 MPS will be marketed in the UK as a single, fully specified and lavishly equipped model. Highly sophisticated and remarkably refined, the Mazda3 MPS combines sensationally spirited performance with remarkable everyday practicality. Encompassing the true spirit of the UK’s favourite sportscar brand, the Mazda3 MPS appeals to both the heart and the head and will be the perfect flagship for the Mazda3 range and the Mazda brand in the C-segment.

Each Mazda3 MPS will be mechanically identical with MPS-branded sports seats with black leather side bolsters and centre sections in black sports cloth. In addition, customers will be able to choose between four exterior paint colours – with mica or metallic finish.

Mazda UK will have a limited allocation of approximately 1,000 right-hand drive Mazda3 MPS vehicles during 2007 and anticipates a healthy waiting list for this stunning newcomer. The arrival of Mazda’s 155mph ‘super-hatch’ will also have a ‘halo’ effect on sales of the Mazda3 range which are expected to reach a total of around 14,000 in 2007.

“The Mazda3 MPS is designed for a global market and annual production will be more than 10,000 units in 2007,” commented Mazda UK’s Marketing Director Mark Cameron.

“In the UK, the sports hatchback market is both well established and more demanding in terms of styling. For this reason we have developed a Sports Styling Pack, which includes a larger rear spoiler, two-spoke sports door mirrors and lowered suspension, to enhance the vehicle’s sporting prowess.

“Priced at £500 fully fitted, the Sports Styling Pack will be available in Mazda showrooms from March 2007, and we expect around 70 per cent of Mazda3 MPS buyers will opt for this pack. Over time we expect all Mazda3 MPS models in the UK to feature the Sports Styling Pack as standard.”

A choice of four body colours will be available – two micas (Black and Cosmic Blue), one metallic (Sunlight Silver) and one solid (True Red) – and every model will sport 18-inch diameter, 7-inch wide 10-spoke aluminium alloy wheels as standard.

Refined and sophisticated, the new Mazda3 MPS is the complete antithesis of the boy‑racer hot-hatch and will give both private and company car drivers the ultimate ‘Zoom-Zoom’ experience in a compact package – taking the already potent performance of the current range-topping Mazda3 2.0i Sport model to an extraordinary new level.

“The Mazda3 MPS takes our brand’s Zoom-Zoom philosophy beyond our sports cars and applies that same spirit and performance to a model which has appeal to a much broader audience,” continued Cameron. “The Mazda3 has always been praised for its driving dynamics, handling and road holding and clearly has a chassis that can handle more power.

“Typical of Mazda’s engineering ethos, the Mazda3 MPS is a very complete package – not just in terms of its enhanced powertrain and chassis upgrades, but also with regard to its very high level of standard equipment. And alongside sensational performance it will of course retain the accessibility, practicality, reliability and build quality of its sister models.

“British motorists have had a long-term love affair with hot-hatches and our Mazda3 MPS ‘super-hatch’ will offer them an unbeatable combination of performance, refinement, equipment, value and exclusivity,” concluded Cameron.

The exciting Mazda3 MPS will be Mazda’s highest performance hatchback and it will give fleet decision‑makers and company car drivers the opportunity to choose an alternative to the performance car offerings from prestigious European marques. With its exhilarating dynamics, practicality and unrivalled performance, the new Mazda3 MPS will be the ultimate expression of ‘Zoom-Zoom’ driving excitement in a sophisticated super-hatch.