Mazda says no to MPS return despite switch to RWD – paultan.org
Mazda has made it abundantly clear once again that it won’t revive its MPS (Mazda Performance Series) performance brand, which is also known as Mazdaspeed in certain markets. This is according to Alastair Doak, Mazda Australia’s marketing manager, who told Which Car?, “I think our performance equation will jump with CX-60; the plug-in hybrid’s got 234 kW and is a rapid machine.”
The mentioned SUV was revealed earlier this month and is built on an all-new rear-wheel drive platform (Skyactiv Multi-Solution Scalable Architecture), which is significant for Mazda – the only other RWD offerings in the line-up are the MX-5 that uses Mazda’s N platform, and the latest BT-50 pick-up truck with Isuzu’s underpinnings.
The CX-60 will initially be launched with an all-wheel drive plug-in hybrid powertrain that serves up a respectable 327 PS (323 hp) and 500 Nm, making it the most powerful road car Mazda has ever produced. Six-cylinder engines will be introduced later and could be RWD only.
Given the CX-60’s on-paper performance, Mazda doesn’t deem it necessary to bring back its performance division to create something to satisfy enthusiasts. This includes coming up with a performance-oriented version of the CX-5 or any other current model for that matter. “It’d be nice, but the volume realistically would be pretty small for it,” said Doak.
“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 added, suggesting that Mazda has got things covered when it comes to performance from its future line-up.
That’s not to say there’s no performance in Mazda’s model range currently, as aside from the CX-60, there are also turbocharged versions of the current Mazda 3, CX-5 and CX-30, though these still aren’t true MPS cars.
The MPS brand was responsible for tuning models like the Mazda 3, Mazda 6, MX-5, Protégé and RX-8, with the last offering being the second-generation Mazdaspeed 3 that was discontinued in 2013 – it was sold in Malaysia long ago.
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