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Mazda 3 MPS photos

Mazda showed off the its updated Mazda 3 MPS model at the Geneva auto show, a car that should come to the U.S. as the Mazdaspeed 3. This car gets Mazda's Nagare styling, shown in concept cars for the past few years, and a uniquely placed navigation screen.

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Wayne_Cunningham.jpg

Wayne Cunningham

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Mazda gives the Mazda 3 MPS a significant update at the Geneva auto show, which is good news because it will show up in the U.S. as the Mazdaspeed 3. The update gets revised bodywork employing the Nagare styling Mazda has shown off in various concept cars on the grille.

See more coverage of the 2009 Geneva auto show.

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As the MPS or Mazdaspeed, the front-wheel-drive 3 gets a limited slip-differential standard, giving it excellent handling. Although its engine is too big for rally regulations, we would still like to see this car with all-wheel-drive, pitted against the Subaru STI and Mitsubishi Evo.

See more coverage of the 2009 Geneva auto show.

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The 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, with direct injection, puts out 260 horsepower at 5,500rpm and 280 pound-feet of torque at 3,000rpm. That kind of power gets it to 62 mph in 6.1 seconds.

See more coverage of the 2009 Geneva auto show.

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The steering wheel has sprouted as many buttons as we usually see on Acuras, with controls for audio, Bluetooth, navigation, and cruise.

See more coverage of the 2009 Geneva auto show.

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The stereo controls are similarly configured as in previous Mazdas, although the tuning knob increases in size. At the top of the dashboard is a small LCD, along with a monochrome display.

See more coverage of the 2009 Geneva auto show.

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The LCD serves as a navigation screen. The small map size is problematic, but the placement in the driver's peripheral vision is good. Of course, there's no guarantee Mazda will offer this navigation option in the U.S.

See more coverage of the 2009 Geneva auto show.

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