Mazda MX-5 Mk1
A weigh-in confirms our classic MX-5 really is a sub-ton car
AALMOST EVERY CAR I’VE ever owned has had a quoted kerb weight of under 1000kg. In my early years of driving, this was somewhat budgetary; cheap, economical cars also tend to be fairly light. But these days it’s because I enjoy the driving experience of a lightweight car – the lack of inertia to every movement, be it through a series of twists on the road or in a punishing braking zone at the Bedford Autodrome.
But I’ve never known precisely how much any of my cars have weighed. Instead I’ve relied on the official figures, but just like mpg, power or performance numbers, these can vary significantly in the real world.
I’ve always erred on the side of pessimism and assumed my MX-5 was on the wrong side of one metric ton, rather than the 971kg claimed by Mazda. But as it currently lacks a passenger seat, spare wheel and radio, I also hoped that maybe this would drop it back below 1000kg. The true figure on evo’s scales? 959kg, with around three-quarters of a tank of fuel. I’m quite chuffed with that, and also with the weight distribution: only 2kg difference across the rear axle, and with the front only 55kg heavier than the rear, a front-to-rear ratio of 53:47.
Throw in the passenger seat and spare wheel and it’d probably be closer still to 50:50. But more importantly, I now know I can install a roll bar and some extra chassis stiffening and still have wiggle room before breaking that psychological one-ton barrier.