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The world’s most popular roadster has been reborn, with the fourth generation of the Mazda MX-5 finally being unveiled at synchronised press events around the planet.
Making its public debut at next month’s Paris motor show, the new MX-5 is a complete redesign and places the two-seater firmly in the 21st Century. Mazda’s SkyActiv technology is set to feature heavily and the car is shorter, lower and lighter than its predecessors.
The new Mazda MX-5’s design follows the same ethic as the firm’s latest few models, but takes on its own character, too, with sharper lines and fairly more aggressive styling. A prominent front end is created with a pointy, low bonnet and narrow, deep-set headlights.
The car’s wheel arches are as flared as ever and the rear haunches round into an equally sharp rear to create a bold stance. Overall, the new MX-5 is 105mm shorter, 20mm lower but 10mm wider that the model it replaces.
Going inside, the car’s cabin has been pulled around the occupants, especially the driver. The seats are lower and the cabin as a whole is set further back than before; Mazda has also moved the pedals, gauges and controls to ensure the driver can focus on looking forward when on the move. Thinner A-pillars and windscreen top allows for improved visibility.
A floating infotainment unit is a large improvement on the outgoing model’s unit and the overall finish of the cabin has been given a much higher quality feel.
Following in the same footsteps of the Mazda3, 6 and CX-5, the new MX-5 will be aided by SkyActiv technology, with some additional new elements. The underpinning of the new car was shown off at the New York motor show and contributes massively to the 100kg the new MX-5 will shed from its old self.
A total weight of around 1,050 is claimed by Mazda for the soft-top version. The engine has been able to move further back due to the new set-up and also helps in creating 50:50 weight distribution and lowering the car’s centre of gravity.
The engines will be all-new for the MX-5 and will consist of a 130bhp 1.5-litre unit and a 165bhp 2.0-litre powerplant. A six-speed gearbox will be fitted as standard, with an auto ‘box available later as an option. A diesel engine and a more power-focussed variant have been rumoured but not addressed by Mazda.
Enhancing the driving experience
Described by Mazda as Jinba Ittai, the company’s approach to the new MX-5’s translates into the way the car brings the machine and driver closer together through direct responses in how the MX-5 handles.
Reducing the weight will no doubt help Mazda achieve this; however, devotees to the classic characteristics of an MX-5 may very be disappointed to learn the new car now steers with the aid of electricity instead of hydraulics.
We will most likely have to wait until next summer before we see the new MX-5 in Mazda showrooms and an entry-level cost of around £22,000.