Frankfurt 2009: Mazda 3 MPS

* All-new Mazda 3 MPS * 0-62mph in 6.1 seconds * Costs 21,500...

Frankfurt 2009: Mazda 3 MPS

What is it?
The hot hatch version of Mazda's new 3 hatchback

What's new?
The hot 256bhp 2.3-litre Mazda 3 MPS shares the same revisions that Mazda has applied across the entire Mazda 3 range. The company says the updated aerodynamics give better high-speed stability, while the new steering and suspension will make the car better to drive than the previous version.

Revised gearing and a reduction in the car's weight have helped to cut CO2 emissions by 3g/km, allowing the MPS to meet Euro 5 emissions standards.

Despite the changes, there is no loss of performance, with 0-62mph in 6.1 seconds and a limited maximum speed of 155mph.

Safety features include stability control, alongside emergency stop signalling, which automatically activates the hazard-warning lights at motorway speeds when the anti-lock brake sensors detect emergency braking.

Electronic brake-force distribution and emergency brake assist systems are included. The 3 MPS also gets the rear vehicle monitoring system from the Mazda 6 family car, which warns the driver of vehicles approaching from behind.

How much will it cost?
The 3 MPS will cost 21,500 when it goes on sale in October.

In the UK, the car will be sold in one trim level, with lots of kit. Metallic paint will come as standard, as will a sporty look, thanks to a large bonnet air scoop, special front and rear wings, a special front grille and deep bumpers and side sills.

Inside, the MPS has Bluetooth, a 10-speaker Bose stereo and part-leather sports front seats. There are also unique MPS graphics, dual-zone climate control, sat-nav and keyless entry with push-button engine start.

The high equipment levels mean that there are virtually no options. The only choice you have is exterior colour and there are only four of those: silver, black, red or white.

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