New MX-5 Revealed: What We Think of Mazda’s Latest Roadster
With 25 years of history and almost one million sales to its name, Mazda’s MX-5 has grown into one of the world’s most iconic roadsters. Last week, Mazda unveiled the latest version of the MX-5 – a shorter, lower and lighter model than its predecessor.
— Road & Track (@RoadandTrack) September 4, 2014
The MX-5 has always been a light and nimble car, and the 2015 model pushes this concept to its limits. The new MX-5 (or Miata, if you’re reading from North America) is an impressive 100kg lighter than its predecessor.
Combined with the reduced weight, the new MX-5 is wider, shorter, lower and much sportier in general than past models. Soft-top models of the iconic roadster could be as light as 1,050kg, according to Mazda’s engineering team.
Interior and technology
Unveiled in Japan, Spain and North America simultaneously, the new MX-5 is full of ultra-modern technology. The cabin adopts the floating entertainment system from the Mazda 3, albeit with brand new speakers built into each seat’s headrest.
The interior is exceptionally driver-focused, showcasing the new MX-5’s history as a fun and accessible sports car. The A-pillars are further back than on the most recent models, giving drivers a wider viewing angle of the road they’re on.
Rather than shedding features to save weight, Mazda has built the new MX-5 around a new SKYACTIV chassis. The new chassis offers increased performance without the weight of a typical roadster chassis, as well as a low centre of gravity.
The MX-5’s suspension combines a front double-wishbone system with a multi-link rear suspension arrangement. With all new brakes, this MX-5 has the handling and stopping power to make any journey both safe and exciting.
Engine and performance
Although Mazda hasn’t yet confirmed the engines available in the new MX-5, auto industry insiders believe that the new model will be available with two different engine options: 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre petrol engines.
Both engines are rumoured to feature the latest SKYACTIV technology and generate 130bhp and 165bph. Two gearboxes will be available: a six-speed manual, as well as an automatic gearbox.
Buyers of the new MX-5 will enjoy not just two choices of engine and Mazda’s great manual gearbox; they’ll also benefit from the manufacturer’s famous reputation for reliability.
MX-5s have historically been some of our most reliable vehicles, with repair claims made on just 13% of all the MX-5 warranties we’ve sold. In fact, recent research has ranked them as the our 10th most reliable vehicle manufacturer.
Design and style
The new MX-5 is a feast for the eyes, from the stylish exterior to the comfortable and ultra-modern interior. Unlike other carmakers, who massively revise their design as each new model is released, Mazda has gradually updated the MX-5 over time.
There’s a more aggressive front end, with LED headlights and a look reminiscent of the classic sports cars of the 1960s than previous MX-5s. The rear wheel arches are bigger and the car, as a whole, feels more serious than previous models.
Despite this, it’s smaller than last generation’s MX-5. Not only is this MX-5 105mm shorter than the last model; it also sits 20mm lower to the ground. Mazda seems to have bucked the trend of making each new model bigger than the last.
Pricing and availability
The MX-5 has always been a people’s roadster – a stylish, fun car that neither costs a fortune to buy nor to maintain. The new model’s pricing certainly shows that Mazda is fully aware of the car’s audience and reputation as an affordable, fun machine.
Pricing is expected to start at around £20,000 with the new model going on sale in the UK early next year. We expect to see driving enthusiasts flock to the latest, and undoubtedly sportiest, version of Mazda’s iconic roadster once it’s available.
Will you be investing in the new MX-5? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of mazda.co.uk