Mazda’s iconic MX-5 has been around for 25 years and has been at the forefront of driving pleasure. The car has won its fair share of loyalists who swear by its simplicity, charm and fun-to-drive character. The company has now unveiled the fourth-generation of the roadster at simultaneous events held in Japan, USA and Spain.
The latest MX-5 is based on the Japanese makers KODO design language. The new car sports a more aggressive design that is quite different from its predecessors, which had a cute, friendly and rounded shape. The front gets headlights with full LED treatment and large air intakes. The side view is smooth and does not feature any character lines. The muscular wheel arches and side lenses on the front fenders lend an appealing and harmonious look to the side profile. The rear, and for that matter- the front, have a tapering design which give the car a stubby look. The tail lights are small and almost look like a toned down version of those found in the Jaguar F-Type. The bumper bottom gets reflectors which seem way too inward to me and situated at the extreme ends of the posterior. The twin exhaust and the antenna finish off the exterior design.
No word on the engines apart from the fact that they will be having SkyActiv engines – mostly four cylinders with around 2.0 litres of displacement. For the first time, the engine will be positioned at a front, mid-mounted angle in-between the axles. This means that the car should have ideal weight distribution and slightly less cabin space. Transmission will likely be six-speed manual and automatic boxes. Mazda has said that the new generation will feature power steering and this coupled with the fact that this car is more lightweight – more than 100kgs less – than the previous version should make it extremely engaging and entertaining to drive.
Quality of the interior has never been a strong point of the MX-5, but the company is saying that the latest version will get better quality of materials and a more upmarket feel. A touchscreen display is also in the offing and can be used to control some functions of the car.
The model unveiled was a soft- top variant with a fully automated fabric roof. Mazda officials have not revealed any details about a retractable hardtop version of this car going on sale. With almost 80 per cent of sales for the previous generation rolling off the factory with this feature, it is likely that the new car will have it, sooner or later.
Launch date has not been confirmed yet but since this is the 2016 version, the model is not expected to hit showrooms until the third quarter of next year. More details are expected at the upcoming Paris Motor Show and we will keep you updated as and when we get more information.