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by George Skentzos

Mazda has finally unveiled its new generation 3 MPS flagship at the Geneva Motor Show, which also means the Australian public can get their first glimpse of the new model with a delayed unveiling at the Melbourne International Motor Show.

Using a nearly identical MZR 2.3-litre DISI turbocharged petrol engine from its predecessor, the new MPS remains as one of the most powerful front-wheel drive compact cars.

The slightly updated engine now produces 191kW at 5500rpm and the same peak torque of 380Nm at 3000rpm – a wise decision considering the car’s current criticisms.

2009 Mazda3 MPS official details

In addition to this, increased stiffness of the left and right drive shafts also help to minimise torque steer, while recalibrated engine management settings suppress sudden torque peaks.

Optimised aerodynamics has helped reduce fuel consumption from 9.7-litres per 100km on the previous model to 9.2-litres per 100km on the new-generation MPS.

2009 Mazda3 MPS official details

The six-speed manual transmission uses a compact, three-shaft design that reduces the overall length, whilst a wider gear ratio setting allows drivers to fully exploit the wide torque band of the DISI Turbo engine.

To further differentiate this potent model from the rest of the range, Mazda has added a few obvious aggressive design features including a new bonnet air intake, larger floating spoiler and a new bumper design exclusive to the MPS.

2009 Mazda3 MPS official details

The brake system comprises large diameter 320mm ventilated disc brakes in the front and 280mm solid discs at the rear, combined with wider Dunlop 225/40R18 tyres – proven through extensive test drives at Germany’s famed Nürburgring.

Inside, the driver-orientated, wrap-around cockpit features semi-bucket front seats with red highlights, a new LED turbo boost gauge and cluster design.