Mazda celebrates 25 years of the MX-5 in grand style with the launch of the new fourth generation Roadster.[Not a valid template]
Of course replacing the world’s most popular roadster – which, after a quarter of a century has nearly 1 million sales to its name (at 947,000) – requires more than just a facelift. Clearly Mazda felt so too, the handsome look on the 2016 model you see above the result of the Japanese marque’s desire ‘to satisfy its vision of how an open-top lightweight sports car should look’. Interestingly, Mazda’s first port of call in this approach was to make the occupants look better. Makes sense, right?
Using the new Kono design language as used for both the Mazda3 and Mazda6, the new MX-5 combines softened bodylines with flared panels to create more aggressive look than the outgoing third generation model. Key to this are the über slick headlights and pronounced front haunches, whilst at the back we find beefed out rear wheel arches and a more pronounced – read ‘higher’ – rear bumper. Despite these aggressive new proportions, the new MX-5 stills measures smaller than any of its illustrious predecessors, the wheelbase reduced by 15mm over its illustrious predecessors. The new 4th gen also measures 105mm shorter and 20mm lower, although for improved traction now comes in 10mm wider.
Another key point for Mazda‘s newboy during the development stage was weight shedding, with more than 100kg being dropped courtesy of a new lightweight SKYACTIV chassis. The brand new engine range – which includes a 130bhp 1.5-litre 165bhp 2.0-litre as of yet confirmed petrol units mated with a six-speed manual gearbox – has also been mounted behind the front axle for improved weight distribution and centre of gravity, all in the name of improving the already stellar handling. New stiffened, lightweight suspension makes its presence felt in this regard too.