Mazda rules out MPS revival again, despite new RWD platform
Shelved since 2007, it now appears more likely than ever that a MPS revival won't be happening.
The first generation Mazda6 was also the last to offer an MPS model.
Mazda has denounced speculation for the third time in as many years of a MPS revival following the reveal earlier this month of its new rear-wheel-drive SkyActiv Multi-Solution Scalable Architecture that underpins the CX-60.
Officially shelved in 2007, the most recent rumour alleged that the incoming new 6 could herald the return of the Mazda Performance Series designation many had anticipated would feature on the 3 Turbo launched in the United States two years ago.
Following Mazda’s surprise announcement last week though that the rear-wheel-drive 6, slated for reveal this year after nearly three years of rumours powered by the new straight-six engine, had been scrapped for good, the automaker’s Marketing Manager for Australia has painted a similar picture of the MPS designation.
“It’d be nice, but the volume realistically would be pretty small for it. We have a GT spec and SP GTs – we think our cars ride and handle pretty well anyway, and I think we back ourselves in with the look of those kind of vehicles,” Alastair Doak confirmed to whichcar.com.au when asked about the possibility of an MPS badged CX-5.
“If we do step up with even more performance than we’re offering currently, then I think we’ll be doing okay, and we’ll have RWD architecture again as well, which will set us apart.”
He however stated that the spirit of MPS will “still be there” in Hiroshima’s next generation of sporty models.
The latest confirmation of the MPS’s end comes two years after an unnamed Mazda representative told CNET’s Road Show in North America that no future plans are in place to produce models under the equivalent Mazdaspeed banner.
“Mazda is focused on becoming more mature and upscale. It is our priority to continue to evolve the next generation of Skyactiv Technologies.
“As part of this evolution, we are refining and applying our turbocharged engines to more models to provide better, stronger performance with engaging driving dynamics,” the spokesperson was quoted as saying.
The axing of the 6 and restricted availability of the 3 Turbo to certain markets, leaves the MX-5 as Mazda’s sportiest model with plans currently afloat to unveil an all-new model in 2024 or 2025 powered by the mild-hybrid assisted SkyActiv-X compression ignition engine.