A legend reborn - the new Mazda MX-5

Sam Bisby

By: Sam Bisby

The world of the two-seater roadster has a new benchmark following the unveiling of Mazda’s all-new MX-5.

For 25 years, the MX-5 has dominated the market and is on the verge of 1,000,000 sales worldwide. Now, this new model promises to push them over that the boundary and solidify its place as the most popular two-seater roadster on the planet.

This new model is Mazda’s fourth-generation MX-5 and will carry on the personification of fun and affordable driving. The basic idea of the MX-5 remains; rear-wheel drive, 50:50 weight distribution and sharp handling dynamics.

Enhancing the driving experience

Mazda describes the experience of driving the new MX-5 as Jinba Ittai, roughly translating into the way the car and driver are brought closer together through the direct responses and feel of the car.

A reduction of weight was a key element for Mazda, after previous generations of the roadster got bigger and heavier, creating a detrimental effect on driver experience. The Japanese manufacturer has therefore knocked a generous 100kg off from the previous generation and Mazda claims this fourth gen model comes in at about 1,050kg.

All-new Mazda MX-5 - Profile

To ensure the car maintains its 50:50 weight distribution, Mazda has moved the engine closer to the car and its bonnet, bootlid and rear bumper struts from lightweight aluminium. Using such a material has also given the new MX-5 a lower centre of gravity.

Purists may be disappointed to hear the steering is now electronically for the first time and it will be interesting to see how this affects the driving experience as a whole.

A contemporary MX-5

As with most new sports cars, Mazda has made a substantial effort to ensure the car wraps around the driver and is therefore sculptured as such. In order to achieve this, the seats are lower and the cabin is set slightly aback in the car, while the pedals, controls and gauges are also positioned in a way so the driver can focus dead ahead.

All-new Mazda MX-5 - Interior

Thinner A-pillars and windscreen top allow the driver a better view of the road and greater peripheral vision as a whole. Plans are also in action to offer a selection of customisations for the cabin in the form of decals and enhanced interior trims.

Powering a legend

Although full details are yet to be confirmed, we know Mazda’s SkyActiv technology will form the basis of the new MX-5’s engines to bring ‘outstanding performance and great fuel economy’.

All-new Mazda MX-5 - Rear

We expect the powerplant range to comprise of 1.5 and 2.0-litre units that will produce around 130bhp and 165bhp respectively. A manual will be available at launch, but it is not known whether, like the outgoing model, Mazda will offer five and six-speed options; an automatic will arrive later in the car’s life.

Launching in summer 2015

Well, we are anticipating the new Mazda MX-5 to be with us this time next year, but the company has yet to divulge any such confirmation.

All-new Mazda MX-5 - Roof

Pricing has also been left out of the launch details, too, but an entry-level cost of £19,995 is the current price tag for MX-5 ownership and we expect it to start at around £22,000 for the new model considering the extensive development of the car.

We’ll have more information on the all-new Mazda MX-5 as we get it, with the car set to make its public debut at next month’s Paris motor show.