The MazdaSpeed Atenza - derived from the word attenzione in Italian, and the car to become the 6 MPS - was not a car that people gave much attention. The MPS's styling was quite introverted when compared to other Japanese saloons, with only the larger twin exhausts and bonnet hump giving the slightest inclination that it could be something other than mundane. Peter Birtwhistle, head of Mazda's European design studio, was keen to reject the marking of a traditional turbocharged Japanese saloon for something more subtle and sophisticated.
The engine shared its block with the standard 6 but using direct injection, a first for Mazda at the time and now readily used in all its Skyactiv-G engines, as well as a turbo to bump the power to 260hp. Dynamically the MPS was sharp too, with proper rally-style oversteer on offer if you were brave enough to push beyond the initial understeer. Well, so we've heard... Inside, much like the standard 6, the ideal driving position can be found quite easily thanks to some well-set pedals and plenty of adjustment from the steering. The only way you will know you are in an MPS from the interior are some better quality dials, a leather steering wheel and blueish metallic finish on highlight panels.
Speaking of which, HowManyLeft says just 642 MPS 6s are left on British roads, making it truly scarce in 2018. Combine that with its considerable ability and the 6 MPS looks more tempting than ever.
SPECIFICATION - MAZDA 6 MPS
Engine: 2,261cc, 4-cylinder turbocharged
Transmission: 6-speed manual, all-wheel drive
Power (hp): 260@5,500rpm
Torque (lb ft): 280@3,000rpm
First registered: 2006
Recorded mileage: 73,000
Price new: £23,950
Price now: £4,495
See the original advert here.