The project chief for the Mazda CX-3 says the Japanese automaker would consider the development of a high-performance version of the small crossover, adding that the prospect of resurrecting the MPS badge – although unlikely – is not off the table.
Speaking to motoring.com.au, product planner Minoru Takata said that if there were sufficient demand for such a vehicle, Mazda should "definitely" consider building it.
“Yeah, I think it’s very important. At the moment, we don’t have any plans to introduce that kind of high-performance vehicle in the CX-3 , but if there is a demand we should definitely consider that. That’s my opinion,” Takata told the Australian publication.
Interestingly, he added that the turbocharged 2,5-litre petrol engine the brand uses in the likes of the updated Mazda6 sedan would not be considered for a hot CX-3.
“If I’m allowed to develop that sort of vehicle, I’m not going to put a turbo engine. But I would look for a bigger displacement,” Takata revealed, hinting that the naturally aspirated version of Mazda’s 2,5-litre four-cylinder unit would be the go-to engine (the current CX-3 uses a 115 kW 2,0-litre mill).
He added that although he couldn’t rule out the return of the MPS badge, its resurrection would be “challenging”.
“If there is a demand and we can build a business case, we would consider having MPS again, but at the moment there are no plans for MPS. Everyone is trying, but it’s challenging.”