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It’s probably the car most teenagers didn’t have hanging on their walls but thought: “Hmm, that’s quite nice” as it rolled by. And now after years of being the best affordable roadster by a country mile, the MX-5 is getting a fresh new face and a host of technological improvements.
Although this announcement will undoubtedly scare the purists a little bit, truth be told, the 2015 edition of the MX-5 hasn’t deviated much from the outgoing car’s mantra.
It flaunts Mazda’s current Kodo design language, which basically means it keeps the old dimensions, save two or three inches here and there, but gains some sharper edges. Under the skin is really where the MX-5 has been tweaked excessively.
Mazda has extended its SKYACTIV technologies (engines and chassis) to the roadster, which will increase fuel efficiency but boost engine power output. Although Mazda has not announced engine capacities as yet, we reckon the 1.3-litre or 1.5-litre SKYACTIV engine whirled by a turbocharger may be employed, but with improved puff over the 2.0-litre outgoing unit.
If we’re lucky, we may see the new 2.0-litre, 167-horsepower mill shoved into the engine bay.
Extending beyond the engine, the car is around 100kg lighter than the outgoing model and with an engine position behind the front axle, a more advantageous weight distribution is achieved. And wouldn’t you believe it? Mazda will opt for the handling-orientated double wishbone suspension system, which should make the new MX-5 as fun around the corners as the previous model.
And that has been the essence of the MX-5 for the best part of 25 years — a great, relatively cheap car that enjoys driving almost much as its driver. Speaking of cheap, the car will likely retail around the US$20 000 mark — not bad for the only car in its class.