Mazda has announced two new models for its Mazda3 range will be unveiled at the Geneva motor show in March – economical Mazda3 ‘i-stop’, and range-topping Mazda3 MPS hot hatch.
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The Mazda3 i-stop features a new 2.0-litre petrol engine with Direct Injection Spark Ignition (DISI) technology. Already present on high-performance Mazdas such as the CX-7, Mazda3 MPS and previous generation Mazda6 MPS, this improves both power and efficiency.
As the i-stop’s name suggests, this green Mazda3 will also be the first Mazda to feature stop-start technology. This is a system, already used by some BMWs, Minis, Citroens, Mercedes and Land Rovers, that cuts the engine whenever the car is at a standstill, and immediately starts it up again as soon as you go to move off.
The exact details of how the Mazda system functions have not been revealed, but the company claims fuel savings of ‘approximately 12%’.
Moving on to the Mazda3 MPS, this is an all-new performance flagship for the Mazda3 range.
The previous Mazda3 MPS was one of the outright fastest hot hatches you could buy with a top speed limited to 155mph. Since the new one uses a revised version of the same 2.3-litre DISI turbo petrol engine we can expect equally explosive performance.
At the same time, improved emissions and fuel economy bring the new Mazda3 MPS into line with the latest ‘Euro 5’ regulations.
More details to follow nearer the Geneva show.
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