It’s been almost two years since the Mazda6 MPS concept was unleashed at the Paris Motor Show. But this year, when Mazda’s twin-turbocharged 2,3-litre engined compact saloon returns to the Salon, it will be ready to zoom into production.

It’s been almost two years since the Mazda6 MPS concept was unleashed at the Paris Motor Show. But this year, when Mazda’s twin-turbocharged 2,3-litre engined compact saloon returns to the Salon, it will be ready to zoom into production.


CARtoday.com reported on Tuesday that Ford would be introducing the next-generation Focus RS in 2007 and that a 2,3-litre direct injection Mazda engine or an upgraded version of the 2,5 T five-cylinder used in the Volvo S60 R could do duty in the Blue Oval’s ultimate hot hatch.


But while the Ford Group decides whether the Mazda engine (which was first shown at 2002 Paris Show) will be suitable for the RS, Mazda is preparing the 206 kW intercooled 2,3-liter four-cylinder unit, which is said to produces 359 N.m of torque, for a production version of the Mazda 6 MPS.


According to , the Mazda 6 MPS, which has been scheduled for a mid-2005 world début, was recently spotted during hot-weather tests in California. The car was styled at Mazda's European R&D Centre in Oberursel, Germany and is adorned with sportier front bumpers and rear spoilers than the current version of the Mazda6. And if anybody hadn’t noticed, those macho flared wheel arches house 18-inch Michelin Pilot Sport tyres.


According to reports, the MPS’ engine will be mated to a six-speed manual transmission, which will transfer torque to the wheels via an electronically controlled torque-split four-wheel drive system (with active torque control function and a limited slip differential).


Will the upcoming Mazda (it is still not clear whether it will use the MPS or MazdaSpeed moniker) one day provide much-needed competition for the awe-inspiring Subaru Impreza WRX STi on the South African market. Only time will tell…