It's back to basics with Mazda MX-5.
Byline: Andy Enright Motors Correspondent firstname.lastname@example.org
Agile and tactile ... the six-speed manual Mazda MX-5 has that inherent rightness about it that hasn't dated LIGHTER, sharper and better engineered than the car it replaces, this fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 does everything right. It's offered with a 1.5 or 2.0-litre petrol engine and what it lacks in outright power it more than makes up in agility and tactility.
Is there another car sold today that rivals the Mazda MX-5's legacy? It has rewritten the record books again and again for sports car sales and its recipe of light weight, driver focus and simple front engine and rear drive layout just has an inherent rightness about it that hasn't dated.
But, as is the case with most cars, successive generations get bigger and heavier. The MX-5 hasn't been immune to this issue, customers demanding improved safety, more equipment and better quality as each successive generation has been developed. With this MK4 model though, Mazda has drawn a line in the sand and gone back to what made the MX-5 so great in the first place.
This rejection of a 'more is better' philosophy is a running theme throughout this 'ND' MX-5. The car's offered with either a 1.5-litre 131PS engine or a 2.0-litre 160PS unit. Mazda's chassis engineers will steer you to the 1.5-litre powerplant as they feel it's the purest specification for the MX-5 and also the lightest, tipping the scales at around the tonne. That makes this the lightest MX-5 since the original first generation 'NA' car of the Nineties.
This fourth generation design conforms to five key criteria that Mazda claim define the MX-5 - rear drive with a front-mid engine layout, 50/50 weight distribution and an eagerness to change direction, plus a low kerb weight and an affordable price. All models get six-speed manual gearboxes.
The MX-5 is about agility and tactility. Because the engines are smaller than their predecessors, this allows them to be tucked back in the car.
Weight has been pared back by using aluminium for the bonnet, boot and front wings, while the soft top hood is also lighter, improving the centre of gravity. Much of the front suspension is aluminium, as is the gearbox casing, the differential casing and the bracing that runs down the car's backbone.
Given that there's only one bodystyle, one engine and two gearboxes, there are quite a few MX-5s to choose between. Mazda has launched the car in four trim levels, SE, SE-L, SE-L Nav and Sport, with all three being offered with the 1.5-litre engine and the latter pair teamed with the 2.0-litre lump. Prices start at around PS18,500, with 2.0-litres models costing from just over PS20,000.
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|Publication:||Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)|
|Date:||May 22, 2015|
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