The FWD MPS is based on the 5-door hatchback version of the Mazda3, rather than the sedan, and it features the same 2.3L turbocharged DISI (direct injection spark ignition) four-cylinder found in the MazdaSpeed6, although detuned to a still respectable 246 hp and 184 ft-lbs. of torque. Thankfully there’s a limited slip diff included in the package. In addition to the MS6’s engine, the MS3 also gets its six-speed standard transmission.
The suspension has been beefed up and is supported by extra bracing to improve chassis rigidity. Mazda estimates the MS3 will enjoy 60 percent more roll stiffness than the standard version. The brakes have also grown, with the vented front discs clocking in at 12.6 inches and the rears 11 inches.
The front end conveys the corporate “Zoom-Zoom” message with flared fenders draping 18-inch wheels, a power dome hood and that gaping lower grille. Out back there’s a large diameter tailpipe and roof spoiler, as well.