Mazda3 MPS Extreme unveiled in Sydney

Mazda3 MPS Extreme unveiled in Sydney

When Mazda released its Mazda3 MPS (Mazdaspeed3 in the U.S.), hot hatch fans the world over rubbed their hands together in glee. Today is a similarly joyous occasion, as the Mazda3 MPS Extreme has hit the the showroom floor in Sydney at the Australian International Motor Show. Power increases, suspension tweaks, and exhaust upgrades make this hot hatch quite possibly the world's hottest.

The standard Mazda3 MPS already boasts 190kW (255hp) at 5,500rpm and 380Nm (280lb-ft) of torque at 3,000rpm, and it handles well, too - it has been seen tearing around the Nurburgring in just 8m39s. But despite the strength of the original, the Mazda3 MPS Extreme increases performance across the board. The 2.3L DISI turbocharged four-cylinder generates a ground-thumping 210kW (281hp) at 5,300rpm and 425Nm (313ft-lb) of tarmac-tearing torque at 4,400rpm. The power gain is achieved through a retuning of the Powertrain Control Module (PCM). Letting the might little engine breathe freely is a new free-flowing exhaust system and muffler combo that also provides a throaty, powerful exhaust note. The suspension package is provided by Coote, a leading maker of Australian race and rally car suspensions, and it's designed to maintain the sharp, responsive handling in the face of the new-found power.

Where the standard MPS took on a bit of a sleeper look, the MPS Extreme goes for aggressive with black racing stripes over the True Red body color. Also new are extended black wheel arches, tinted windows, and a black roof and rear spoiler. Other exterior adjustments include standard BBS Motorsport wheels with a custom MPS-logo centerpiece. At 19 inches, they're up an inch from the standard MPS's 18-inchers. Dunlop Sports 225/35ZR19 tires provide ample traction, while 320mm ventilated front discs and 280mm rear discs use that traction to haul the MPS Extreme down to cornering speed. A larger master cylinder, four-channel ABS, electronic brake distribution (EBD), and electronic brake assist add to the powerful stopping performance.

The Mazda3 MPS Extreme's Sports Pack treats the interior with black leather trim and red leather accent trim. Red highlights are also found in the dash, gear-shift knob, steering wheel, and door trim.

Six airbags - dual front, side, and head protecting curtain - protect all around the cabin, and the brake pedal collapses to protect the driver's legs. Traction control and dynamic stability control are also standard safety equipment.

The standard Mazda3 MPS's performance pedigree is already impressive, finishing 10th overall in this year's Targa Tasmania, and first in the Showroom category. With the added 20% power and improved handling and braking, the Extreme is certain to exceed even the high benchmark set for it by the standard MPS.