In the 1990s Mazda watched a fantastic era of WRC along with envious eyes, seeing the particular sales it was generating to get Mitsubishi and Subaru. Therefore it began plotting to gatecrash the party…
It is beyond dispute that the globe of affordable performance 4WD in the late 1990s hailed from Subaru and Mitsubishi . The Impreza and Lancer Evo were both move stars, proven at the greatest level and full of race-bred potency and charisma.
A nearby 3rd party looked on with jealousy. Mazda never really had this or appetite for a functions WRC entry, but like a Japanese neighbour to the 2 heavyweights of the division, Mazda couldn’t ignore the success the particular head-to-head battle was using the two brands. Car men and girls all over the world had been either Impreza or even Evo . You couldn’t end up being both; not back then. It had been a party that brewed regard and Mazda wanted to put in via the back doorway.
One of the rarer cars on the Geneva Motor Show, on the 2000 show the Mazda stand featured the new Homage, the Mazda Demio as well as the special Mazda 626 MPS concept. #tbt Geneva 2000. pic. twitter. com/CE9jhcmvY1
— Mazda UNITED KINGDOM PR (@mazdaukpr) March 4, 2021
In the lack of a Geneva Motor Display this year, Mazda’s UK PAGE RANK Twitter account has been reminiscing
Your 626 MPS at the 2k Geneva Motor Show. Rumour has it only one was produced and sadly it’s not openly known what happened to it, yet there it was: a remarkably driven riposte to the established gamers. MPS stood simply for Mazda Performance Series and the business wasn’t overstating the particular 626’s potential. While the Evo and Impreza used turbo charge fours, the 626 had been built around a twin-turbo V-6 of similar capacity: second . 5 litres. It most likely made it a bit heavier on the nose, but it was a terrible of an USP – only the sort of ticket needed to obtain itself into the hottest display room shindig in the industry.
This KL-ZE-series V6 put on larger radiator and intercooler hardware, an ECU improve and a freer-breathing exhaust. According to the established JDM meeting at the time, official power had been listed at 280bhp unfortunately he probably a good squeeze greater than that. Torque was 289lb ft and tunnelled the way to all four wheels using a system Mazda never obviously detailed, other than that it was an everlasting AWD setup. Performance has been said to deliver sub-5. 0-second 0-60mph sprints and a max speed around 150mph, all with a manual gearbox. Through a 2021 lens it sounds even more incredible than it must have performed then.
Weight was considered 1380kg, which was a touch weightier than the Evo and Impreza equivalents and probably shown the extra size of the canister block. It had the required chassis tweaks to handle this, though, with a wider monitor, wider tyres on 18″ alloy wheels and height-adjustable springs with multi-way adaptable dampers. Braking was managed by 345mm/315mm brake discs front side and rear. Gripping those people were whopping great six-pot calipers at the front and four-pot items at the back.
It looked fantastic and we can only imagine exactly how it drove, but the production-ready version would have produced a desperately tempting 3rd option in the WRC fight that raged around the switch of the Millennium. Sadly the particular response Mazda felt this got to the car wasn’t sufficient to justify the expense of creating it a reality. There was furthermore the issue of the 626’s times already being numbered: the particular 6 was in development looking forward to its 2002 arrival and exactly what was the point of releasing a performance variant of the car that would be obsolete regarding 12 months after the hot 1 first hit public the road? If only Mazda had obtained the 626 MPS in order to Geneva in, say, mil novecentos e noventa e seis.
To add to the myth left out, an orange Capella MPS appeared at the Tokyo Car Salon later in 2k, but for all we know it was the same car wearing a brand new paint job. A 323 MPS then appeared in the British Motor Show that will year, possibly as a jerk to how much more the united kingdom had liked the MPS idea than perhaps various other nations did at the time. This only had 150bhp from the fairly ordinary inline-four, however it gave birth to directly-related special editions in The japanese and the US.
Perhaps the oddest thing concerning this first appearance of the MPS badge was how long the direct successor took to appear. Perhaps after 2002 Mazda’s directors were dithering more than whether the WRC bubble acquired burst; whether the same industrial advantage was still likely to be there for the car’s full model cycle. Probably there were wranglings with then-sister company Ford. Whatever it had been, the much-loved, ever-underrated 6 MPS only found its way to 2006 with a Ford-derived second . 3-litre turbocharged engine, due to the fact that it was by then in line with the same chassis as the Mondeo. The 626 MPS appeared even better, though, and we are a bit gutted that the current classifieds aren’t at least house to a few.