Drop top laid bare
Mazda unveils its next topless model
MAZDA has laid bare its next generation MX-5 sports car at the New York motor show.
It took the unusual step of unveiling just the barest of essentials — the engine and chassis (inset) — a move driven by the Japanese brand’s desire to show that the new MX-5 is still purely Mazda DNA. An Alfa Romeo version of the same car is to be made in the same factory.
The deal between the unlikely pair was brokered almost two years ago: Mazda needed economies of scale to help develop the new MX-5 and Alfa Romeo was in need of a fun, affordable sports-car.
The MX-5 and the Alfa will look completely different. They may not even share engines.
The MX-5 is due to bow first, with tis unveiling expected later this year ahead of its arrival in the second half of 2015.
It’s expected to be smaller and lighter than the car it replaces. Mazda famously measures the weight of every MX-5 component — once developing a thinner raidion antenna — to save weight. Carsguide understands the company has set an ambitious target of 1000kg.
The original Mazda MX-5 weighed just 940kg, the secondgeneration model weighed 1065kg. The current version is 1167kg due in part to its folding hard top.
Spy photos of the fourthgeneration, 2015 Mazda MX-5 during testing show the next model is smaller than the current car in its overall dimensions, but the footprint has grown. The soft-top roof returns.
On the new model Mazda is also expected to introduce its fuel-saving “Skyactiv” technology, the name given to a special type of engine tuning that runs a high compression ratio which delivers fuel economy savings.
Meanwhile, it unveiled the final edition that will see out the current MX-5 (main picture).
Just 1000 versions of the 25th anniversary Mazda MX-5 will be made globally, with 40 destined for Australia. Due on sale later this year, they will have Bilstein sports suspension, while the 2.0litre four-cylinder engine with gain specially modified pistons, conrods and a flywheel.
Visually, the limited production model will gain unique 25th anniversary badging (including a build number), white leather trim and charcoal-finish alloy wheels.
It comes in metallic red only. To reflect the sales mix of the current model, about 30 per cent of the 25th anniversary models will come with automatic transmission.