2010 Mazda3 MPS - MAZDASPEED3: First Official Photos

Today, Mazda published the first official photos of the all-new Mazda3 MPS - known in the U.S. as the Mazdaspeed3, that will be uncovered at the Geneva Motor Show on March 3. The Japanese firm was tight lipped about the hot hatchback's specifications in its press release, as the only detail revealed was that the Mazda3 MPS will continue to use the outgoing model's turbocharged 2.3-liter direct-injection 4-cylinder engine.

No performance figures were released, but the current MPS's MZR 2.3 DISI Turbo engine produces (in European-spec) 260HP at 5500 rpm and 380 Nm of torque at 3000 rpm launching the car to 100km/h (62 mph) in 6.1 seconds and on to a top speed of 250 km/h (154 mph).

The photos show that the company's exterior designers had an easy job with the Mazda3 MPS / Mazdaspeed3 which has been fitted with a wide hood scoop, different lower grille trim, large rear wing, twin tailpipes, side sills and a set of newly designed alloy wheels.

For a hot hatch that wants to compete with the likes of the VW Golf GTI, Ford Focus ST and Opel / Vauxhall Astra OPC / VXR, the whole package seems a wee bit subtle and somewhat uninspired if you ask us, but maybe that's what Mazda was aiming for.