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Mazda6 MPS doubt

Glory without power: Sleek new Mazda6 will arrive without a halo model.

Program manager pours cold water over the prospect of an all-new Mazda6 turbo

28 Nov 2007

By DAVID HASSALL in FRANCE

THE future of the Mazda6 MPS high-performance model has been thrown into doubt, with no plans for the time being to offer such a version in the new second-generation line-up.

The turbocharged MPS will be discontinued when the new Mazda6 is launched in Australia in March and may never return because the Japanese car-maker is not convinced there is enough demand for such a model.

Australia is a major market for the 6, but MPS sales have not been strong – at least in part because the mechanically identical but lighter Mazda3 MPS puts it in the performance shade, and also because the 6 does not come with an automatic transmission.

22 center imageLeft: Current Mazda6 MPS.

Mazda6 program manager Ryuichi Umeshita is aware of these problems, as well as the loss of potential sales volume caused by the United States going down its own development path with a slightly larger version of the 6, though still based on the same platform.

Mr Umeshita said he doubted it would be possible to invest in a new MPS and a suitable automatic transmission just for Australia and Europe.

“We will see if there is a big enough requirement in the market,” he told GoAuto at the Mazda6 launch in France last week.

“We will seriously consider this, but honestly speaking we don’t see that.

“As the program manager of Mazda6, we don’t want to be overtaken by Mazda3. We need to have some differentiation. The Mazda3 MPS is a great vehicle, but the Mazda6 needs to be different.”

Read more:

First drive: Mazda hits another Six

Read GoAuto's road test of the Mazda6 MPS


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