Mazda reveals new MX-5
Mazda has revealed the new MX-5 promising improved ride and handling and suggesting it marks a return to the original aims of the first-generation MX-5. It goes on-sale in 2015.
THIS IS THE FOURTH-generation Mazda MX-5 and, according to Mazda, it marks a “returning to the original aims of the first generation car and embodying the fundamental pleasure of driving an open-top lightweight sports car in a product suited to today’s needs.”
Mazda says this new MX-5 reverses the trend of previous generations which grew in size and weight, and is smaller and lighter than its predecessor. And while we don’t know exactly how much lighter, we do know that it’s found weight savings of around 100kg.
This weight reduction has most likely down to the bonnet, front wings and boot now being made out of aluminium, and lighter material being used for the soft-top.
This new MX-5 sits 20mm lower than its predecessor, is 10mm wider and although the vehicle is now 105mm shorter overall, the wheelbase has only shrunk by 15mm. While Mazda is playing its cards close to its chest about which engine will sit underneath the new, lighter bonnet, it has referred to engines in its press kit, suggesting possibly a 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre petrol engine might be available.
Whatever engine, or engines, sit beneath the bonnet they’ll be mated to a new six-speed manual or automatic transmission that have been tuned specially for the new MX-5. The MX-5 also features a reworking of the current model’s double wishbone front-end and multi-link rear, leveraging off Mazda’s SKYACTIV technology. The new MX-5 promises improved handling, according to the product development boss, Nobuhiro Yamamoto who said the engine now sits lower down and further back in the body lowering the centre of gravity and endowing the new MX-5 with a 50:50 weight balance.
On the inside, Mazda has stuck with the original concept, meaning there’s still only room for two, although thanks to the lower bonnet line and thinner A-pillars and windscreen header rail forward vision should be better.
Mazda claims the interior should feel more luxurious than its predecessor with prodigious use of soft-touch plastics. The dashboard is dominated by a large infotainment screen which is controlled by a rotary knob down next to the handbrake lever.
As of July 2014, total production volume of the Mazda MX-5 exceeded 940,000 units and it continues to hold the Guinness World Record for the best-selling two-seater sports car. More information will be revealed closer to the 2015 release of the new Mx-5.