You will be aware today the media embargo for the upcoming Mazda MX-5 expires today and I have read the reviews and well, it looks to be stunning, simply put it takes everything that makes the MX-5 great and improves on it, kerbweight for example is reduced overall to make the car lighter than the previous generation along with the inclusion of Mazda’s SKYACTIV powerplants.
I will be driving this new model very shortly and will deliver my verdict here soon, I can say though that I was fortunate to own both a 2nd & 3rd generation MX-5’s and both were fantastic. Lightweight with the full ability to use all of the power without breaking the law, simply put a perfect handling car that I did indeed drive all over Europe.
To prove the new generations perfect 50/50 weight distribution Mazda decided to prove this via this video:
I cannot wait for my turn in one of the new generation.
According to Autoblog
“In the Miata I feel incredibly confident behind the wheel. I know exactly how the roadster will respond to every command, and I use that to my advantage”
“it’s gratifying to know that the Miata continues to stay true to the original, which itself stayed true to the Lotus Elan. It’s still a small sports car. It’s still big fun. It’s still a toy. Best of all, it still makes us happy.”
Japlonik calls it a ‘Miata’:
“This actually might just be the best performance car you can buy. Period.”
“It gave us something close to a perfect day behind the wheel. This car is joyfully, frighteningly fast in the real world.”
Mazda MX-5 press release:
Innovate in Order to Preserve After 26 years and more than 950,000 Mazda MX-5 Miatas sold globally, the 2016 MX-5 has circled back to what made the world fall in love with it in the first place. When the first-generation MX-5 Miata made its world debut at the 1989 Chicago Auto Show, it ushered in a new era of the roadster: fun and affordable, yet with the added benefit of Japanese reliability. And, predictably, its popularity skyrocketed. MX-5s have become daily drivers, weekend toys and championship-winning race cars, alike. Lightweight, nimble and fun to drive, the fourth-generation MX-5 draws inspiration from MX-5s that came before it, pairing the driver as one with the car – in Japanese, it’s loosely translated as “Jinba Ittai.” But it also carves a path that is thoroughly modern and uncharted for Mazda’s flagship roadster. While the purity philosophy behind MX-5 has remained through the years, the 2016 MX-5 has had to adapt, gaining SKYACTIV Technology to make it faster and more efficient and KODO—Soul of Motion design for its striking looks. It is no wonder, then, that MX-5 continues to exist as a class of one, as competitors have come and gone through the years, and it sets the pace for the entire Mazda brand as spirited dynamics and innovation abound throughout the lineup. There has never been a more convincing lineup of cars and SUVs at Mazda than is available today, and every one of them displays a little piece of MX-5 in their value, dynamics and passion. SKYACTIV Technology: When Less is More SKYACTIV Technology is not just a catchphrase; it is a total-effort philosophy to reduce weight and improve efficiency. A byproduct of that is greater handling capabilities and chassis dynamics, providing the driver with a more connected, enjoyable experience. All of Mazda’s sixth-generation vehicles have employed the “Gram Strategy,” which drives Mazda engineers to seek the tiniest improvements in every possible area of the car – a shave here, a redesign there, a complete rethink somewhere else.
As part of that thought process, engineers implemented more high-tensile steel in the vehicle’s structure to improve safety, all while reducing weight. At 2,332 lbs. (2,381 lbs. with six-speed automatic transmission), the 2016 MX-5 is approximately 150 lbs. lighter than the third-generation MX-5, and only 182 lbs. heavier than the original 1990 model, which is incredible when you consider the technology and safety features of the new car versus the original. But weight reduction is only half of the story.
That, along with Mazda’s torque-rich SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter engine and standard SKACTIV-MT six-speed manual transmission, allows MX-5 to achieve a staggering 25-percent greater fuel-efficiency than six-speed manual-equipped previous-generation models. Put it another way: At an EPA-estimated 27 mpg city, MX-5’s estimated city mpg is nearly the same as the previous generation’s highway figure. Six-speed automatic models are EPA-rated at 27 mpg city/36 mpg highway. The SKYACTIV-G engine powering MX-5 produces 155 horsepower at 6,000 RPM and 148 lb-ft of torque at 4,600 RPM, and it sits lower and farther back in the engine bay for a lower center of gravity and quicker response.
An Open-Top Sports Car for All Drivers MX-5 was designed around its driver, with a thought given to even the slightest details as part of Mazda’s human-centric driving position. Pedals have been optimized to fall in-line with the natural movement of the driver’s feet for greater comfort. The hood has been lowered, the windshield A-pillars pushed back and made more upright for greater visibility and the exterior paint color has been brought into the door panels – all to provide a greater sensation of the world outside of the car. Passengers have also been positioned inset to feel in-line with the center of the vehicle. All of this has been done for Jinba Ittai, elevating the driving experience in connecting the driver with the vehicle. With driver-centric ergonomics and a redesigned cockpit layout, an even greater number of drivers will be able to experience MX-5. KODO—Soul of Motion Design Since the debut of the Mazda Shinari concept in 2010, Mazda has been developing its KODO—Soul of Motion design language, which is defined by a long hood, short overhangs, a cropped cabin pushed far back on the body and large wheels moved as far as feasible towards all four corners.
The challenge to the design team with MX-5 was to translate the KODO theme to the car’s smaller scale, while keeping true to the car’s pure identity. Designers focused on the following: – Beautiful proportions to make occupants look good – A deeper expression of the KODO design theme that conveys agility – Body surfaces that richly express the Japanese sense of contrast between stillness and motion – An interior design that breaks down the boundaries between the inside and outside of the car – A snug-feeling cockpit with symmetry and a singular axis that fosters concentration on driving Designers worked painstakingly to create a shape that was reminiscent of previous MX-5s, but to move forward with a lower, sleeker profile as well that makes MX-5 look as though it is gripping the road. Helping to tell that story is a newly introduced Ceramic Metallic paint, a multi-dimensional paint color that highlights MX-5’s purposeful details. Key aspects designers strived to achieve for MX-5 ensured: – The MX-5 is equally beautiful whether the top is up or down – The interior maximizes the pleasure of open-top driving – The soft top is easy to operate while seated – Wind control makes driving with the top down a pleasure – Designers worked with engineers to ensure that a “wind-in-the-hair” feeling remained – Headrest speakers further enhance top-down driving enjoyment
Keeping the front of the car low was a challenge, given regional bumper-height regulations in different global markets, so the use of LED headlights on all models became a requirement because of the smaller space they require to produce a given amount of light. As on previous models, the face of the MX-5 Miata defines the playfulness of the car. The headlights, which have LED low and high beams with a bulb turn signal, run cooler than the HID xenon headlights they replace and are 4.1-percent brighter. The headlight units are also 40mm shallower, 20mm shorter in vertical height, have a 40-percent thickness in the outer lens and are approximately 15-percent lighter weight than the headlights they replace.
The results: A clean shape with taut lines that conveys a sense of leanness, stability and beautiful surfaces. Worth the Weight As has been the case with all of Mazda’s vehicles since the advent of SKYACTIV Technology, the MX-5’s weight has been reduced from its predecessor to improve efficiency, performance, handling, agility and steering precision. Taking more than 150 lbs. out of what was already one of the lightest vehicles for sale in North America was no easy task, so engineers had to think about each component of the MX-5 to achieve their objectives while maintaining a 50:50 weight distribution. The air conditioner is approximately 20 percent lighter than the unit in the previous generation. The soft top – lauded since the launch of the first MX-5 Miata in 1990 as the singularly best-designed manually operated soft-top – is 65 grams lighter than before through the introduction of aluminum top-bows and supports, and is even easier to operate, yet it is insulated to provide a quieter interior. In making the vehicle lighter, the trunk was reshaped to have a wider opening and a deeper recess to allow for two weekend travel bags, which was not possible in previous models. With the 2016 MX-5, the amount of high-tensile steel (780 MPa or higher) used throughout the structure of the MX-5 has increased from 58 percent of the car to 71 percent. All exterior panels but the windshield frame and doors are made of aluminum, reducing the weight of the body-in-white by approximately 45 lbs. Seats are more than 35-percent thinner than the outgoing model’s, owing to a net and urethane seat material replacing traditional springs. This, in turn, allowed engineers to remove approximately 17 lbs. from each seat and position them lower in the MX-5 for an improved center of gravity, visibility and functionality within the interior for taller drivers. It’s all about the details.