Mazda is set to unveil two diametric opposites at the Geneva Motor Show: the new-and-frugal Mazda3 i-Stop and more importantly to us gearheads, the rip-snorting 2.3-liter turbocharged all-new 2010 Mazdaspeed3.
Of course, Mazda's actually unveiling the non-U.S. version of the 2010 Mazdaspeed3 — the 2010 Mazda3 MPS (also called the Mazdaspeed Axela). But expect to see something similar for the U.S. market with the longer name in the near future. But first, let's talk about the more eco-friendly Mazda3. The i-Stop is designed to be a fuel miser, with the MZR 2.0 Direct Injection Spark Ignition engine with Mazda's i-stop system, which pulls off stop/start duties to save gas. The result is a 12% increase in fuel economy over the standard model.
That's nice and all, but it's the hood-scooped and scorching red Mazda3 MPS (Mazdaspeed3) with the four cylinder MZR 2.3-liter DISI Turbo engine which piques our interest. If the last model was any indication this should be a hoot of a car on the street and at the track. Expect complete details when the cars are unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March.
All-new Mazda3 i-stop, Mazda3 MPS to Premiere at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show
Mazda Motor Corporation will debut two new models of the all-new Mazda3 (known as Mazda Axela in Japan) product range at the 2009 Geneva International Motor Show from March 3 through 15, 2009. The world premiere of the Mazda3 with i-stop, Mazda's advanced fuel-saving start-stop system, will be shared with the all-new Mazda3 MPS, Mazda3's high performance flagship model. The Mazda3 MPS (Mazdaspeed Axela) now features improved fuel economy and emissions that satisfy Euro Stage 5.
The Mazda3 is one of Mazda's core products, with more than two million units of the first generation produced. The design of the new model has a bolder and more dynamic stance; it is agile and confidence-inspiring, enhancing the sense of oneness between the driver and car. It also has high environmental and safety performance levels, exemplifying Mazda's Sustainable Zoom-Zoom long-term vision to provide cars that are eco-friendly and safe while still being fun to drive.
The Mazda3 with i-stop embodies Sustainable Zoom-Zoom and adds a new eco-friendly option to the lineup. It features the i-stop system in combination with the MZR 2.0 DISI (Direct Injection Spark Ignition) engine. Together, these two Mazda proprietary technologies help the new model achieve approximately 12 percent lower fuel consumption (urban cycle) than the current European Mazda3. By providing great driving performance as well as top-class fuel economy, the Mazda3 with i-stop is a different type of eco-car that will exceed customer expectations.
The Mazda3 MPS sport compact pushes Mazda design further and its exciting driving performance perfectly represents Mazda's Zoom-Zoom spirit. Carrying forward the MZR 2.3 DISI Turbo engine, Mazda3 MPS builds on the popularity and recognition of the previous model. It evolves the driving experience to an entirely new level of quality and pleasure with its emotional design and exhilarating performance.
The all-new Mazda3 Program Manager, Yoshiyuki Maeda, says, "These two models add extra value to an all-new Mazda3 lineup that has already shown strong appeal. The new Mazda3 series takes a significant step ahead in both the realms of driving performance and environmental technology to lead the way toward a new generation of motoring."