AM Online

Mazda's fastest '3'

Mazda UK is expecting a’ healthy’ waiting list for the Mazda 3MPS, the fastest model in the range when it goes on sale in February.

The 155mph car - reputed to offer the same handling characteristics of the Mazda6 MPS, Mazda RX-8 PZ special edition and the two-seater open-top roadster Mazda MX-5 - will be marketed in the UK as a single, fully specified and generously equipped model.

The car will be available as a single model equipped with a turbocharged Euro IV compliant 2.3-litre petrol engine, emitting 231g/km of CO2 and governed through a six-speed manual transmission. It will come with a Thatcham Category 1 alarm and immobiliser, front, side and curtain airbags and BOSE audio system.

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

Mazda UK will have a limited allocation of right-hand drive Mazda3 MPS during 2007, generating a halo effect on sales of the Mazda3 range, expected to reach a total of around 14,000 in 2007.

“The Mazda3 MPS takes our brand’s Zoom-Zoom philosophy beyond our sportscars and applies that same spirit and performance to a model which has appeal to a much broader audience,” said Mazda UK's marketing director Mark 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.”

The on-the-road price for the Mazda3 MPS will be announced nearer to its on sale date. Scots spend £390m on 56 plate.

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