Australian hot hatch enthusiasts will see the new-generation Mazda3 MPS just hours after the turbocharged performance hatchback makes its international debut on the other side of the world.
Mazda is fast-tracking a high-performance Mazda3 MPS version of the new-generation Mazda3 range to the Melbourne International Motor Show less than a day after its official world debut at the Geneva Auto Salon.
The new-generation Mazda3 MPS will be revealed on the Mazda Melbourne Motor Show stand on Wednesday, March 4.
This is a huge coup for Australia and for hot hatch fans, but it's not the first time Mazda has rushed a new car Downunder for a near-simultaneous reveal. The Mazda MX-5 roadster starred at the Melbourne motor show in 2005, again just hours after making its international debut in Geneva the night before.
The Mazda3 MPS is the performance king of the new-generation Mazda3 range, and has the potential to rewrite affordable hot-hatch benchmarks, primarily with its feisty 2.3-litre turbo engine, but also through its finely-tuned chassis and sports suspension.
The previous model's pedigree is proven in the toughest automotive environment – motorsport. The first-generation Mazda3 MPS has competed twice in Targa Tasmania – a five-day road race across Australia's smallest state – and finished in the top 10, amongst a field of Porsches, Lamborghinis, Evos and other exotica.
Alongside the Mazda3 MPS on the stand will be the updated Mazda MX-5 roadster and two new-generation Mazda3s, in sleek sedan and sporty SP25 hatchback form. The new-generation Mazda3 will be offered with a range of economical petrol and diesel engines. Mazda is confident it will make significant advances in style, safety, value for money and driving spirit.
The new-generation Mazda3 will be the most significant new car at the Melbourne International Motor Show. Australians buy more Mazda3s than any other new car on the market, according to official January sales figures.
The new-generation Mazda3 range goes on sale in April 2009. The Mazda3 MPS is slated for launch in Australia in the third quarter of 2009.
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