Mazda back to future with all-new MX-5

PUBLISHED: 09:55 16 September 2014 | UPDATED: 09:55 16 September 2014

All-new lighter Mazda MX-5 two-seater sports car aims to take the ownership and driving experience to a new level.

All-new lighter Mazda MX-5 two-seater sports car aims to take the ownership and driving experience to a new level.


Mazda has revealed its all-new MX-5 sports car which goes on sale early next year.

The fourth-generation of the iconic two-seater sports car is the latest model to get Mazda’s Skyactiv technology, including specially-tuned petrol engines, and the first rear-wheel drive version of the Skyactiv chassis.

Weighing 100kg less than the outgoing model and with the lowest-ever centre of gravity, the new edition of Mazda’s iconic roadster enhances the Jinba Ittai ‘rider-and-horse-as one’ responsiveness and agility that has always made the MX-5 the essence of driving fun.

The weight reduction also puts the new MX-5 at a level comparable to the original model, which revived and revolutionised the market for affordable lightweight sports cars when launched in 1989. More than 947,000 have been produced over the past 25 years, and the MX-5 holds the Guinness World Record as the all-time best-selling two-seater sports car.

Over the past quarter-century, the demands for greater environmental friendliness and enhanced safety have grown increasingly stringent. Each successive model of the past three generations of MX-5 has seen small increases in body size and weight in response to these demands. In developing the all-new MX-5, Mazda has returned to the original aims of the first generation which resurrected the culture of the lightweight sportscar.

Featuring the latest incarnation of Mazda’s Kodo soul of motion design ethos and Skyactiv technology, which strikes the right balance between reduced weight, environmental friendliness and safety, the new MX-5 features the most compact body size of any generation.

The new model is 105mm shorter, 20mm lower and 10mm wider than the current model, with 15mm less between the front and back wheels and the front and rear overhangs cut by 90mm.

As well as a nicely-proportioned design, sculpted body surfaces that express the Japanese sense of contrast between stilln ess and motion and a snug cockpit, the driving experience is crucial to the MX-5’s appeal with the focus on making the car even more enjoyable to control and completely faithful in its responses.

The front-midship engine, rear-wheel drive configuration achieves an ideal 50/50 front-rear weight distribution. The engine is closer to the vehicle’s centre, the bonnet, boot lid, front fender and front and rear bumper reinforcements are made of aluminium, and the weight of the soft top is reduced.

Details of Skyactiv petrol engines have not been released but Mazda has a new 1.5-litre unit in various states of tune while the sportiest 2.0-litre engine produces 165PS.

Prices are expected to start at around £20,000 – in line with the current range.

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Andy Russell

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EDP motoring editor, journalist who loves wheels and engines but hates cleaning them.

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