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Mazda-Licious MPS

Let’s put Mazda under the microscope. To my eye, they’re a well rounded car marker who have sustained their existence from the golden age of motoring to present eco times with a grace that you don’t get from many. While Mazda may not share the immense success as its neighbours in Japan, they have not lost their spark. The legendary wankle rotary is unlikely to make a comeback, looking at the latest Mazda MX-5 and the new GVC handling tech, it only goes to show that Mazda have a rich history and a bright future.

That being said, the MPS somehow went overlooked, in Malaysia at least. Few owners who know what’s up can appreciate it for what it is and some among them, go to town on them. Mods wise I mean. Exhibit A, this Mazda 3 MPS. First of all, it is red and sits on a staggered 18″ set of TE37s, meaning it appeals to every current generation petrolhead. It looks stunning in my opinion. The exterior has subtle touches that help increase the road presence but nothing over the top.

Under the hood however, no expense has been spared to take this otherwise mid range hot hatch to higher levels. The standard 2.3L MPS engine is capable of chucking out around about 260 ponies and just under 400Nm of grunt. The owner here has upgraded the forced induction system with a Mambatek ceramic ball bearing turbo, a Cobb front mount intercooler, as opposed to the Subaru-esque top mount and a Turbosmart dual port blow off.

Naturally the larger hardware needs supporting mods to keep things streetable, such as a high pressure fuel pump from Autotech, K&N typhoon air intake and a HTP turbo inlet. Tuned by Devtunez, let’s just say this red streak can hold its own with the continental boys. The engine bay is wire tucked for that extra bit of neatness. A proper wire tuck job can do wonders to the engine bay and this one is a perfect example.

Logically, after sorting out the power, the brakes had to be attended to. Enter, AP Racing Pro5000R big brake kit with 355mm rotors. Go big or go home. Stopping power sorted, a set of Koni Yellow Sport suspensions paired with Eibach pro kit springs suspend the body and the wheels. This combination provides the driver maximum control of the car in the twisties but doesn’t compromise comfort to an unbearable amount. The close to a decade year old chassis enjoys an Ultra Racing strut bar and Corksport anti roll bar for both the front and the rear.

I was never a big fan of the MPS for some odd reason. Probably because I gravitated towards rear wheel drives but now that I actually pay attention to builds, it actually earns an impressed smile from me. Underdog no doubt, but not to be underestimated.

Engine: Mazda MPS, K&N typhoon air intake, HTP turbo inlet, Auto tech High pressure fuel pump, Mambatek ceramic ball bearing turbo GTX2971, Cobb front mount intercooler, Turbo smart dual port blow off, Wire truck

Chassis & Handling: Ultra racing strut bar, Corksport anti roll bar front and back, Koni yellow sport suspension, Eibach pro kit spring

Brakes: Ap racing pro5000r brake kit with 355mm rotor

Exterior: Smoke head lamp, Special effects candy red painting by Autonion sdn bhd

Wheels & Tyres: Rays Te37 front 18×8.5 jj offset 40 rear 18x 7.5 jj offset 40

Workshop: Tune by Devtunez

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