FANS OF lightweight roadsters will be salivating after Mazda unveiled its new, fourth-generation MX-5. Not only does the sports car look slicker than ever, it will also weigh significantly less than the outgoing model, and have a lower centre of gravity for sharper handling responses.
The Mk 3 model weighed 1,150kg but the new car weighs just 1,050kg – a full 100kg less. It’s an impressive achievement considering the outgoing car was already fairly light. The current Porsche Boxster, for example, tips the scales at 1,385kg. The reduction in weight means the new MX-5 weighs around the same as the much-lauded original, launched in 1989.
The car will be the first Mazda to marry rear-wheel drive with Mazda’s so-called Skyactiv chassis, the car maker’s term for its new generation of technologies designed to reduce weight and improve efficiency. In addition, it will be powered by a new range of tuned, Skyactiv-G petrol engines.
Mazda says the combination “enhances the Jinba Ittai ‘rider-and-horse-as one’ responsiveness and agility” associated with the MX-5. In other words, it believes it is even better to drive than the current model, which we labelled a “pure driver’s car”. It should be pretty good, then.
The new design features sharper light clusters front and rear, but a curvier shape overall. It has a swooping bonnet and a more pronounced rear end following Mazda’s “Kodo – Soul of Motion” philosophy of a “muscular body with a strong backbone”.
The MX-5 is officially the world’s best-selling, two-seater sports car, with more than 947,000 units sold in the model’s 25-year history. On the strength of our pictures and the car’s specification, the all-new model is unlikely to put the brakes on that success.
The models’ prices and launch date have not been announced but expect the new Mazda MX-5 to hit showrooms in July 2015, and cost around £20,000.
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