Despite consistent rumours of a Mazda performance series (MPS) return, Mazda’s global boss has confirmed there are no current plans for the go-fast badge’s revival.
Speaking with the Australian motoring media at the Los Angeles auto show today, Mazda’s managing executive officer of global sales and marketing, Masahiro Moro, said the revival of MPS is not an official project internally.
“We don’t have [Skyactiv] turbocharging engines yet, so first of all [for] MPS we don’t [even] have official project yet,” Moro said.
The statement comes despite reports as recently as a few months ago suggesting a new-generation Mazda 3 MPS would come with a 220kW 2.5-litre turbocharged engine and all-wheel drive.
Mazda’s internal focus appears to be the expansion of its regular models across a challenging global market, with the MX-5 having taken up the majority of the company’s R&D budget allocation for sports cars for the near future.
“We need to figure out if we really [should] prioritise to develop MPS line or doing different things,” Moro said.
“We need to chose the right things to do for Mazda with limited resources. I think our main focus is selling current Skyactiv generation one [vehicles] to allow us to reinvent into the future with generation two. That is our main focus.”
Both Mazda 3 and Mazda 6 MPS models were available as manual only, which limited their potential market. Nonetheless, the Mazda 3 MPS proved popular in Australia with sports car enthusiasts but was discontinued in 2013 and has not been succeeded by a new version based on the third-generation small car. Meanwhile, the less popular Mazda6 MPS AWD based on the first-generation mid-sized sedan left our market in 2009.
This year there have even been rumours of a Mazda 2 MPS to take on the likes of Ford Fiesta ST, and there’s even hope that Mazda will turbocharge its CX-3 SUV for what could prove a popular alternative for car enthusiasts in need of SUV practicality.
The MPS news follows Mazda’s confirmation that its RX sports car program will remain dormant for the foreseeable future.
Which Mazda models would you like to see the company give the MPS treatment to?