The head of Mazda says the Japanese brand is not planning on reviving its high-performance MPS sub-brand.
When asked about the possibility of an MPS-badged version of the new Mazda3, Akira Marumoto, who was appointed president and CEO of the company as recently as June 2018, told Drive performance vehicles were not a “priority”.
“Mazda is a small player and if [you are asking whether] that segment has a high particular priority for Mazda my answer would be ‘no’. Therefore, we not planning for MPS in the future,” he told the Australian publication.
Marumoto explained the firm was instead focusing on becoming an alternative to premium European brands.
As Drive points out, Mazda recently rolled out its turbocharged 2,5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine to the CX-5 and Mazda6, so there was speculation this unit would also find its way into the new, fourth-generation Mazda3 hatchback.
But the automaker has instead confirmed the new Mazda3 will be powered by naturally aspirated 1,5-, 2,0- and 2,5-litre petrol engines, as well as a 1,8-litre diesel mill. Transmission options will include a six-speed manual gearbox and an automatic cog-swapper with the same number of gears.
At the end of 2017, the president and CEO of Mazda North America said the brand had no immediate plans to revive the MPS badge, explaining that it instead seeks to focus on ensuring “the customer appreciates every day driving rather than peaky performance”.