Modern crash regulations and the average buyer’s expectations in terms of comfort make it extremely hard to make a car that weighs under a tonne these days. And so, we’ll give Mazda a little round of applause for cooking up this MX-5 990S.
The last bit of the name refers to the weight - it tips the scales at a mere 990kg. Fat-trimming measures include a reduction of sound proofing materials plus the fitting of lighter wheels and brakes.
The wheels are from Rays, with the set reducing the unsprung mass by 3.2kg. Brembo brake calipers have been added, which are bigger but crucially made from aluminium rather than iron. This gives a reduction of…700g. This doesn’t sound like much, but as 990S development boss Shigeki Saito pointed out at the car’s reveal event, a kilo of unsprung weight reduction is the equivalent of 10kg saved elsewhere.
So, even with the modest reductions, Saito-san felt it necessary to retune the springs, dampers and the electric power steering, Car Watch reports. To spruce up the handling further, Mazda has added something called ‘Vehicle Attitude Stalisation Control’ (translated from Japanese via Google). During cornering, the inner rear brake is applied slightly, keeping the body closer to the ground and maintaining a better tyre contact patch.