A digital artist has created a pretty convincing rendering of a new-generation Mazda3 MPS, but don’t get too excited … late in 2018, the Japanese firm made it quite clear it had no plans to build a hot hatch or indeed any other high-performance vehicle.

Yes, X-Tomi Design has shared the rendering you see above, handing the fourth-generation Mazda3 hatchback a more aggressively styled front bumper, larger alloy wheels (framing red brake callipers) and a gloss-black finish for the side-mirror caps and roof.

Late in 2018, the head of Mazda said the automaker was 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 in June 2018, told Drive that performance vehicles were not a “priority”.

“Mazda is a small player and if 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.

So, no out-and-out performance model, then. The new Mazda3 is instead powered by 1,5-, 2,0- and 2,5-litre petrol units, as well as a 1,8-litre turbodiesel mill. In addition, the firm’s new supercharged compression ignition petrol engine – dubbed Skyactiv-X – will be offered.