Mazda MX-5 2.0 GT Sport Tech

Mazda’s perennial sports car returns to the evo fleet, this time in range-topping, 2022MY form

- Sam Jenkins (@evosamj)

LOW SLUNG AND FREE OF UNNECESSAR­Y complexity, an MX-5 will always be a welcome Fast Fleet addition. Picking up where our 2019 MX-5 2.0 SE-L Nav+ left off (see evo 274), this 2022 GT Sport Tech range-topper comes equipped with a selection of tasty factory-fit upgrades while retaining that charming back-tobasics sports car formula we’ve grown to love.

Taking delivery as an MX-5 virgin, first impression­s are good. Stooping down to reach its door handle is a novelty that’s yet to wear off, and although the seating position is a little too high, the occasion of driving a compact two-seater is something I could definitely get used to. Having covered over 3000 miles in my C63 during the past couple of months, slotting into an MX-5 is a refreshing experience.

Mazda’s naturally aspirated 2-litre four-cylinder produces its 181bhp peak at a lofty 7000rpm, and combined with a modest 151lb ft of torque it means that even this most powerful official MX-5 doesn’t feel particular­ly fast. The quoted 0-62mph time is a respectabl­e 6.5sec, which is enough to match its rivals, but extracting significan­t in-gear pull requires careful ratio selection.

Thumb the start button and the four-cylinder sounds admittedly average, but warm it through and it immediatel­y inspires satisfying rev matches, with a tactile six-speed manual only helping matters. If exhaust note is high on your list of priorities, Mazda will fit a sports exhaust system for an additional £917, although this option didn’t make it onto our car.

New for the 2022 model year is our car’s fetching Platinum Quartz paint (£570), which with a Light Stone nappa leather interior makes for a striking overall aesthetic – it’s already picked up numerous compliment­s. The GT Sport Tech package adds 17inch BBS wheels, a nine-speaker Bose sound system and, most notably, a set of Bilstein dampers. Being the 2-litre model, it also comes with a limited-slip differenti­al as standard. In addition to this we have the optional lowering springs (£472), a rear-view camera (£427) and stainless steel scuff plates (£143).

If VX22 KHE looks familiar, that’s because we drove it prior to it becoming our long-termer, at a sodden Anglesey Circuit where it took on a previousge­neration MX-5 tuned by BBR (evo 299). Smaller in dimensions and with a sizable reduction in kerb weight, our unmodified current-gen car performed rather well. Helping its performanc­e could have been a new feature for the 2022 MX-5: Kinetic Posture Control. While nothing has changed on the car mechanical­ly, Mazda claims this system is able to reduce body roll and increase stability by subtly applying the brake on the inside rear wheel midcorner. Combine this with those lowering springs and Bilstein dampers and it’s soon clear that this car is more capable than our previous long-termer.

You’ll require an additional £6705 over an entrylevel, 1.5-litre MX-5 to achieve our car’s particular spec, bringing the total to £32,430. Given the amount of extra kit fitted and the ludicrous price of some performanc­e cars in 2022, this seems reasonable, but consider the £26,441 price tag of our last MX-5 and it doesn’t seem quite so favourable. Time will tell if it’s worth the extra cash, but the first signs are promising.

Date acquired July 2022 Total mileage 3680 Mileage this month 664 Costs this month £0 mpg this month 42.0

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