Mazda Protegé MPS – First Drive Review – Car Reviews – Car and Driver

22 Mar 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Mazda Protegé MPS – First Drive Review – Car Reviews – Car and Driver
Mazda Protege5

Mazda Protegé MPS

Expanding the of ‘zoom-zoom.’

Although Mazda is in the of an image makeover designed to the company as a purveyor of sporting — you’ve seen the commercial, right? — the is there is not yet a lot of substance behind the and mirrors. Hey, we like the as much as anyone else. But it more than one small to legitimize the notion of Mazda as Central.

And that’s what car is all about. MPS stands for Mazda Series, and the Proteg#xE9; concept was shown at last year’s show in Las Vegas and is now on the verge of production. In addition to giving the New Age hot rodders an alternative to Honda and Acura Integras, the MPS represents first step into a once owned by Nissan: sports-car turf.

We liked the concept we saw in Vegas. And we it even better when invited us to take a spin in a whose next stop was the show. The idea of this first drive was to provide feedback on the project: Small sedans represent uncharted for Mazda. And that’s exactly we’ll do here — as as we’ve cataloged the elements separate the Proteg#xE9; MPS from the 2001 Proteg#xE9; ES .

Recognizing relative inexperience in the small-hot-rod project leader Kelvin turned to Racing Beat for help in developing the car’s which, as it turns out, is the MPS is all about. Since opening its shops in 1971, Racing has been a major go-faster for owners of rotary-powered Mazdas more recently, Miatas. project was handled by Racing principal Jim Mederer.

Mederer in turn worked with Koni and ultimately to get the right dampers and is quick to both Mazda and the Tokico rep for the of the finished product.

The updated made a great starting he says. It’s a very package. Mazda allowed us latitude for getting this and I can’t say enough about guy from Tokico. He really had a lot to do the combination of refinement, control, and

We’re pretty pleased it.

Besides the Tokico dampers, the includes hardened bushings, front and rear anti-roll (25 and 21 millimeters vs. the stock 21 and 16mm), and a reduction in static ride The steering system employs a Proteg#xE9; steering rack, and a set of 205/45 Dunlop SP2000 on 7.0-by-17-inch Racing Hart wheels, transmits the driver’s to the pavement.

Transmits them authority, we might add. element of this car’s profile is more decisive the standard Proteg#xE9; ES, no slouch in its own The MPS attacks corners with the of a Miata and not much more roll.

It’s quick on its feet, its communicates every nuance of its cornering limits seem higher, and it seems to manage all without too much compromise in quality and interior noise.

Mazda Protege5

has summoned a little more to go with all this extra but not much. Massaging the combustion intake manifold, and ignition plus a very mellifluous Beat muffler, yields a bump in torque and horsepower of the four. Mazda hadn’t the output numbers at press but the semiofficial estimate is for 140 horsepower and 140 of torque.

We were unable to run formal tests during our brief but we’d guess the MPS will be to get to 60 mph in the low-eight-second range.

Naturally, cosmetic distinction. Besides the the MPS gets a more aggressive fascia and rocker-panel extensions, these will be shared the Proteg#xE9; 5 hatchback. The rear is unique to the MPS, though, and leather brightens up the seats and steering wheel.

The aluminum-clad pedals are from Sparco, and also a jazzy-looking 280-watt Excelon audio system buttons that seem to be for a PalmPilot stylus.

All in all, it’s a conservative with several unknowns. for example. Mazda will say less than $20,000. guess at least $1000 that.

It was also unclear the car will be called MPS.

But one is clear, at least to us: The Proteg#xE9; MPS quickly endear itself to who takes pleasure in switchbacks, turns, and fast S-bends. It may not nosebleeds. But it’s our kind of nonetheless.

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