If you're not scared of a little torque steer, well actually a hell of a lot of torque steer, the Mazda 3 MPS BK Series may be for you. With a 190kW and 380Nm of torque sent to the front wheels only, lighting up the front tyres at the slightest sniff of throttle in a lower gear is par for the course. Depending on your driving tastes, the MPS is bags of fun.
It's a lot of power to ask a front wheel drive to cope with, but the Mazda 3 MPS is chock full of tech to help keep it sorted. A limited slip differential is standard, along with electronic control of engine torque, stability and traction control work together to keep this Ninja assassin on the straight ahead. It's mostly successful, but it's no casual drive, and that's what we love about it.
From the outside, it's a bit of a sleeper. Unless you're a fan, not many are going to know you've got maniacal terrier ready to slip the leash. There's no power bulge in the bonnet, the rear spoiler isn't too over the top, and a discreet MPS badge on the rear hatch is one of the few giveaways. All up, it's a lot of car for not too much money. Win, win!
ENGINE: 2.3-litre inline 4 cylinder Turbo intercooled DOHC with VVT
MAX POWER: 190kW @ 5500rpm
MAX TORQUE: 380Nm @ 3000rpm
DRIVETRAIN: Front wheel drive with 6-speed manual transmission
TYRES: 18"inch alloys with 215/45 tyres all round
0 to 100km/h: 6.1 seconds
TOP SPEED: 250km/h (speed limited)
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