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2010 Mazda3 MPS (European Spec.) Overview Part I – Design

Excitement Refined

The all-new Mazda3 was launched earlier this year with an exciting new design, a stiffer chassis and lively engines that make it one of the world’s sportiest-looking and driving compacts. In fact, it was chosen as the best-looking compact on an AutoBild magazine reader poll of 200,000 Europeans in June. Mazda now expands the Mazda3 line-up with an all-new Mazda Performance Series (MPS) flagship version that is sure to make the hearts of sports car enthusiasts beat faster. It is a unique combination of exhilarating fun and everyday compact car practicality. It inherits an evolved version of the high-performance MZR 2.3-litre DISI petrol from the previous MPS, has a dynamic design based on the new hatchback that’s even more emotional than its predecessor, with a refined driving experience, more comfort, and a long list of new technical features as standard.

The all-new Mazda3 MPS replaces a flagship model that has been a popular sports car around the world since launch in 2006. In just two years, the first-generation Mazda3 MPS quickly made a name for itself by selling 31,100 units globally, a third of them in the USA. Europe is its second-largest market for sales, with one out of every five Mazda3 MPS finding owners here, a total of 6,300 units. The first-generation’s biggest markets in Europe are the UK and Germany, which account for a third of all sales in Europe, followed by Switzerland and Spain.

The new model enters a European C non-premium sports compact segment that grew steadily until 2008, when sales decreased for the first time since 2004 due to the economic downturn at the end of the calendar year. Yet the Mazda3 MPS was very successful between 2007 and 2008, coming from a zero percent market share to take 4.5% of the segment by the end of 2008. This brought new kinds of customers to the brand and helped Mazda solidify its sporty Zoom-Zoom reputation.

Design – More Aggressive than ever Before

The new Mazda3 MPS benefits from an evolution in design introduced with the second-generation Mazda3 hatchback, which is one of the compact segment’s newest and sportiest vehicles. Taking this as starting point, designers added sporty design cues that make the new MPS more dynamic looking and aggressive than ever before, and one of the most aerodynamic sports cars in its class.

Exterior Design – The Promise of Sporty Fun
From the Mazda3 hatchback, the new flagship model gets a larger five-point front grille and dimensions that give it a sporty crouch. This alone would make it even more athletic compared to the previous MPS, but Mazda designers enhanced this by adding new components and styling cues that set the new MPS apart from the rest of the Mazda3 line-up, and that help it stand out even against its sportiest competitors.

A new air-intake is now positioned in the middle of the bonnet that gives the Mazda3 MPS a hot-hatch look, while improving intercooler efficiency. The front end is exclusive for the MPS and designed to give it the muscular, athletic look of a sprinter. It has a new, highly-sculptured front bumper and special front fenders that are larger than those of the normal line-up. These house new 18-inch lightweight wheels with the same, three-dimensional design theme as the alloy wheels of the Mazda RX-8. The front grille and lower bumper sections share the same black metallic finish for a high quality look, and are framed by large front headlamp fascias – much larger than the ones of the first-generation Mazda3 MPS. These contain bi-xenon lamps of an adaptive front lighting system (AFS), that swivels to illuminate the curve at night, and boomerang-shaped position lamps for a premium look (standard or option depending on market).

At the sides, designers combined the striking side panel character lines of the new hatchback with side under-spoilers that lower the car’s visual centre of gravity and enhance its sporty styling. The side mirrors come standard with MPS-exclusive integrated turn signals. At the back, a new and larger roof spoiler and LED tail lamps are introduced that give an even stronger look to the rear end of the car.

2010 Mazda3 MPS (European specification) – Hi-res. Images

2010 Mazda3 MPS (European specification)
2010 Mazda3 MPS (European specification)
2010 Mazda3 MPS (European specification)
2010 Mazda3 MPS (European specification)
2010 Mazda3 MPS (European specification)
2010 Mazda3 MPS (European specification)
2010 Mazda3 MPS (European specification)
2010 Mazda3 MPS (European specification)


Aerodynamic Performance – Form with Function
The exterior design of the new Mazda3 MPS not only communicates high-performance driving fun, it also functions to optimize aerodynamic performance. Starting point here is the new Mazda3 hatchback, which has one of the C-segment’s lowest drag coefficients (Cd) at just 0.30. Adding sporty features like the bonnet air-intake, special fenders and side underspoilers raises the MPS Cd value to 0.32 with a front projection area of 2.217 m2. To offset this, designers employed Mazda’s airflow management technologies on the front bumper design to develop special surface forms. Also they introduced a larger rear spoiler that helps to lower lift to 0.03, contributing to better driving stability, especially at high speeds.

Interior Design – Exhilaration and Everyday Practicality
On the inside, Mazda’s new compact flagship is a unique combination of sportiness and practicality. Just as functional as the normal hatchback, it has room for up to five adults, a large sliding-lid centre console and 60/40 fold-down back seats to carry larger stuff. At the same time, the interior contributes to a truly exhilarating driving experience. The front seat passengers are cocooned in semi-bucket sport seats with good side support, and more thigh and back support compared to the seats of the first-generation MPS. The shift lever of the six-speed manual transmission is now 60 mm higher and slanted towards the driver, which puts it closer to the steering wheel and makes sporty driving more comfortable.

In front of the driver are new meters including the MPS logo and a new LCD turbo boost gauge placed between the driver metres. This snug, sporty cockpit and gauges moving with engine performance make driving the new MPS a unique experience and contribute to a close bond between car and driver, a real Mazda trademark.

The cockpit is not only sporty, but easier to use. It has been created using a ‘zone layout’ with advanced human-machine interface (HMI) techniques that place displays and controls for natural, intuitive use.

There is a new multi-information display (MID), for instance, that shows all essential vehicle and navigation info – placed next to the driver’s field of vision for a minimum of eye movement while driving – and a new MID switch on the right of the steering wheel that allows switching between displays without making the driver take his hands from the wheel.

The MID includes audio system info, settings and maintenance reminders like volume settings for warnings, switching between km and miles, and even on/off settings for displaying regular service inspections like tyre rotation, etc. The trip computer readout shows current fuel consumption, average fuel consumption, distance-to-empty and average vehicle speed. Also the all-new MPS features Mazda´s Advanced Keyless Entry and Start System with a transmitter key that unlocks the doors automatically, and lets you start the car with an ignition button (standard or option, depending on market).

Materials in a black keynote colour were chosen carefully to communicate quality and sportiness. The seats in half leather have an organic red graphic – matching red stitching on the door trim, shift lever boot, (sliding) centre armrest and steering wheel. Also standard equipment (depending on market) are a premium 10-speaker BOSE® stereo system with Centerpoint® Surround System and AudioPilot2® noise compensation, an interactive lighting control and illumination entry system (standard for all markets) and Bluetooth® technology for hands-free telephoning and for playing MP3 devices on the car’s audio system without cables – among many other premium features.

2010 Mazda3 MPS (European specification) – Hi-res. Images

2010 Mazda3 MPS (European specification)
2010 Mazda3 MPS (European specification)
2010 Mazda3 MPS (European specification)
2010 Mazda3 MPS (European specification)
2010 Mazda3 MPS (European specification)
2010 Mazda3 MPS (European specification)
2010 Mazda3 MPS (European specification)
2010 Mazda3 MPS (European specification)
2010 Mazda3 MPS (European specification)
2010 Mazda3 MPS (European specification)
2010 Mazda3 MPS (European specification)
2010 Mazda3 MPS (European specification)
2010 Mazda3 MPS (European specification)
2010 Mazda3 MPS (European specification)
2010 Mazda3 MPS (European specification)
2010 Mazda3 MPS (European specification)


Interactive Lighting + Action Illumination
The new Mazda3 MPS has a new interior lighting system that creates a welcoming, friendly environment when entering the car. When the car is unlocked, an Illuminated Entry system activates, with a cockpit spotlight, room lamp and foot lamps fading in to illuminate the interior and make entry easy. When the door is opened, a Welcome Lighting system fades in, along with handle grip lighting, to welcome the driver and passengers. When the driver is seated, the centre display, audio and air conditioning systems illuminate one after another.

An Action Illumination system is also onboard that causes the audio and air-conditioning controls to react intuitively to touch. For instance, for the air conditioning system, the temperature setting has lighting that shines red when raising the temperature and blue when lowering it.

2010 Mazda3 MPS (European specification) – Hi-res. Images

2010 Mazda3 MPS (European specification)
2010 Mazda3 MPS (European specification)
2010 Mazda3 MPS (European specification)
2010 Mazda3 MPS (European specification)
2010 Mazda3 MPS (European specification)
2010 Mazda3 MPS (European specification)
2010 Mazda3 MPS (European specification)
2010 Mazda3 MPS (European specification)


2010 Mazda3 MPS (European Spec.) At A Glance
2010 Mazda3 MPS (European Spec.) Overview Part II – Powertrain
2010 Mazda3 MPS (European Spec.) Overview Part III – Chassis and Safety

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