The Mazda MX5
There are many reasons why the Mazda MX5 is the world’s best-selling sports car. Almost 950,000 Mazda MX-5s have been produced over the past quarter century, making it the best-selling two-seater sports car of all time. We like to call it ‘the people’s car’ – for it is owned by rich, poor, young, old, male and female. Classless, and arguably genderless, people love the Mazda MX5.
I own one, and I race them too. Our beloved editor Jill Rayner also owns one. I only intended to keep mine for a few months, and three years later I’ve still got it! ‘Our Jill’ has had hers for a few years too; they’re reliable, cheap to run, great for day to day use, and fun to drive. Enduring mechanicals and reliability go a long way in securing owner loyalty. And now there’s a new one.
Arriving some 25 years after the original MX-5 was unveiled at the 1989 Chicago Auto Show, this MKIV MX5 is introduced when the Company is ‘not doing badly at all thank you’. This lighter, lower, livelier roadster features Mazda’s SKYACTIV technology and ‘KODO’ design. It’s shed 100kg over the old, enhancing the benefits of that magic combination of a front-midship engine, rear-wheel drive, and 50:50 front to rear weight distribution.
Its designer’s KODO applied their ‘Soul of Motion’ design theme for the exterior, with a lower centre of gravity and longer bonnet. Simple, user friendly interior design and switchgear retains the traditional MX5 feel but this time we have state-of-the art technology inside such as i-ACTIVSENSE active safety technology and ‘MZD’ Connect, the company's in-car connectivity concept.
So this latest generation MX5 is new from the ground up, and enters the UK market in July 2015 with two new petrol engines, a 1.5 and 2.0 litre. MX-5 program manager Nobuhiro Yamamoto said the new car had to conform to five crucial rules characterising the MX-5 – rear drive with a front-mid engine layout, 50/50 weight distribution, minimal “yaw inertia” (how quickly it changes direction), a low kerb weight, and affordability. Yamamoto, who developed the original MX-5 and has worked on all the generations of the car, said he went back to the first car for inspiration.
Watch out for further news from us as this car drip feeds to the market. Prices remain unannounced.
- Kevin Haggarthy