It’s official, the new MX-5 is a hot little roadster - just look at these poll results for proof - featuring familiar design cues from our favourite sports cars past and present. At the front, the car possesses elements of Honda S2000 and Toyota GT86, while the rear reminds us of the Jaguar F-Type; clever move there, Mazda.
With the covers now off and picture gallery live, we were all expecting to be given the juicy details - power, performance, pricing - but this will be revealed closer to the MX-5’s launch date next year…
We did, however, speak with Mazda bosses who hinted at the following interesting information:
Buyers of the new MX-5 ‘will’ get the choice between either a 1.5-litre or a 2.0-litre Skyactiv engine, both of which are direct-injection petrol engines positioned longitudinally.
No performance figures have been revealed, but it’s likely (very likely) that the 1.5-litre-equipped car will offer greater performance (power and turn of speed) than the 1.8-litre version of the Mk3 MX-5.
Bearing in mind the new car’s 100kg weight saving compared with the Mk3, it’s safe to assume that the 1.5 could produce around 130bhp, a slight increase over the Mk3’s 126bhp figure.
The new 2.0-litre Skyactiv car will also be more powerful and faster than the previous-generation 2.0, so expect a power figure above 158bhp.
The Mazda MX-5 is an out-and-out drivers’ car, so you’ll be happy to know that it comes with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard. We also understand that a six-speed automatic ‘box will come as an option.
According to the official Mazda press release, the height of the bonnet is lower than before and the A-pillars and windshield headers have been moved further back, which should mean improved visibility.
The car has perfect 50:50 weight distribution, with the lowest centre of gravity in the model’s history. This has been achieved through Mazda’s lightweight Skyactiv technology, and the fact the new car is 105mm shorter in length, 20mm lower and 10mm wider than the outgoing model. Judging by these photos of its internals, the car will have double wishbone suspension up front, with a multi-link rear axle.
The roof is a manually-operated fabric design, which can be opened and closed with one hand, as in old models.
The first thing that’s clear about the new MX-5’s simple interior is that there is a noticeable improvement in quality. The centre console is dominated by a tablet-like touchscreen device lifted from the Mazda 3, with the familiar seat-mounted speakers ensuring your tunes aren’t drowned out when the roof’s down.
The instrument binnacle is dominated by a central tachometer, which cements the fact that this is intended to be a driver’s car rather than just for posers.
The new MX-5 will cost ‘quite a bit more’ than the Mk3, prices of which start from £18,495 for the 1.8-litre drop top. With this in mind, a conservative estimate for the new car would be arond £20,000.
Desperate to bag yourself a new MX-5? You’ll have to wait until the second half of 2015, I’m afraid. At launch only a soft-top version will be available, with the metal-roofed version coming later.