MX-5 em­braces the “Spirit of Sportscar” Mazda phi­los­o­phy

The Hamilton Spectator - - WHEELS - LEGGAT MAZDA BURLING­TON 805 Walk­ers Line, Burling­ton, ON (888)482-5836 www­burling­ton­

Lastly, the man­ual adds an in­duc­tion man­i­fold sound en­hancer that gives the en­gine a more throaty sound.

There’s a lot more stan­dard equip­ment, such as au­to­matic self-lev­el­ling LED head­lights and LED run­ning lights.

On the in­side, a nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem is stan­dard, as is a seven-inch color cen­tre stack touch­screen with Mazda Con­nect through the stan­dard cen­tre con­sole mounted hu­man ma­chine in­ter­face (HMI) with ro­tary ac­cess knob.

The driv­e­train is the same as ev­ery­day Mi­atas, with a 2.0-litre di­rect in­jec­tion in­line Sky­ac­tiv four-cylin­der pro­duc­ing 155 hp and 148 lb/ft of torque.

Fuel con­sump­tion on rec­om­mended pre­mium fuel is 8.9/7.1L/100 km city/high­way with the man­ual and 9.0/6.7L/100 km in the au­to­matic.

Trunk space is nat­u­rally lim­ited to 127 litres. There is no spare tire, but an in­fla­tor kit in the trunk aug­mented by a

stan­dard tire pres­sure mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem to alert the driver if a tire is go­ing down.

One could not have asked for a bet­ter venue to in­tro­duce the RF than San Diego and its many hilly routes go­ing out to the east in sunny skies and 22 de­gree Cel­sius tem­per­a­tures.

My co-driver owns a pris­tine 2008 Mi­ata and is very fa­mil­iar with its habits, so he put on a driv­ing dis­play with the RF, rarely touch­ing the brakes but us­ing the gears and en­gine brak­ing to the full for a most en­ter­tain­ing ride for me.

I sensed the ex­tra 200 lb of the fold­ing top over the rear wheels plus the lim­ited slip diff made the RF a tad more sta­ble in high-G cor­ners.

I was nowhere near as smooth, but I man­aged to make the most of the gear changes that re­main as light and pos­i­tive in en­gage­ment as they were back in 1990, with a clutch to match.

Af­ter my stint at the wheel, I got out with a big smile on my face.

And that’s what the MX-5 does. It puts the joy into just go­ing some­place – any­place – just for the heck of it.

Yes, the new MX-5 RF con­tin­ues to em­brace the “Spirit of a Sportscar” Mazda phi­los­o­phy in ev­ery way.

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