With the all-new Mazda3 set to make an appearance at the 2013 Johannesburg motor show all the talk around a potential performance derivative is whether the next MPS (Mazda Performance Series) model will feature all-wheel drive.
While the previous generation 3 MPS featured an impressive 190 kW from its turbocharged 2,3-litre engine (and a 0-100 km/h sprint time of 6,96-seconds to match) one of the biggest criticisms of that model was a healthy amount of steering-wheel-tugging torque steer under hard acceleration. Now that the third generation Mazda3 is underpinned by the same platform as the company’s all-wheel-drive CX-5 compact SUV, though, the way has been paved for the forthcoming hot hatch to send power to all-four wheels.
That’s the good news. The not so exciting news is the rumour Mazda could ditch the 2,3-litre engine, and even the turbocharger, in favour of a more “sensible” naturally-aspirated Skyactiv unit as featured in other modern Mazda products. Should this be the case expect power to be in the region of 149 kW. Hardly a scorcher, but at least one of the highlights of the new 3 is its use of lightweight materials and