Japan’s superstar takes an Italian edge
The world’s favourite sports car, the Mazda MX-5, will be new again in 2015.
Not just that, but the Japanese superstar also will be twinned as an Alfa Romeo Spider in a clever copycat move — think Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ — to generate the cash for the change.
The re-imagined MX-5 is expected to be much more grown-up than today’s car and not just because the first scoop pictures of the coming roadster point to a model that’s going to be longer, lower and wider.
It also picks up SkyActiv technology for stronger performance with less fuel use. Overall, the tip is for greater refinement and a bigger cabin. Testing has just begun with inevitable hot laps at the Nurburgring, the punishing German track, for essential chassis tuning work. Carparazzi caught this MX-5 test mule during its initial track foray and the pictures indicate significant changes in the car’s dimensions.
The chopped-up bodywork of a current third-generation MX-5 reflects a longer nose, extra centimetres in the wheelbase and extra width in the track beneath extended arches.
Wheels and brakes look much like today’s items but the exhaust is a departure from the current car.
The other not changing is the folding roof over a twoseater cabin, the basic recipe that’s made the MX-5 an ongoing success since the original hit the road in 1989.
Alfa Romeo is revealing few details about its version of the MX-5. We can surmise that it will install its own engine — perhaps a development of the 1.7-litre turbo fitted to the 4C — to give the car an Italian edge in the conventional rear-wheel drive package being revived for the 21st-century Spider.