First Look : New 2015 Mazda MX-5 announced

Twenty-five years after the original Mazda MX-5 was revealed at the 1989 Chicago Motor

show, Mazda have announced their new fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 at the 2014 New

York Motor Show. This new MX-5 is expected to go on sale in early 2015. However, what

is so special about this new MX-5 is that it has been manufactured in collaboration with

Alfa Romeo. The new Alfa Romeo Spider model will utilise the same technology as the new

Mazda MX-5, although the Spider is not expected to be released until the end of 2015.

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Despite sharing the same basic steel structure, the new Mazda MX-5 and Alfa Romeo Spider

will be very different roadsters. For example, Mazda’s engineers are endeavouring to strip

at least 100kg from the previous MX-5’s kerb-weight by implementing high strength steels

throughout, making the new MX-5 an estimated 1,050kg.


Moreover, the MX-5’s engine range is predicted to include a pair of Mazda’s unique four-

cylinder SKYACTIV petrol engines; one will be a 1.5-litre unit and the other a 2.0-litre, with

approximately 130bhp and 165bhp respectively. A manual gearbox will also continue to be

offered, with the option for motorists to switch to an automatic.

In this manner, the new MX-5 strives to harmonise the classic aspects of previous MX-5

models alongside innovative modern technologies. Mazda’s Chairman, Takashi Yamanouchi

has revealed how;

The original concept behind the MX-5 was so simple; to offer the pure joy of a lightweight

sports car that moves precisely as the driver intends…While responding to increasing

safety and environmental requirements, over the 25 years since its launch we have had to

continually reinvent the MX-5 – far beyond simple evolution – in order to stay true to that

original ideal”.


This evolutionary mantra transfers to the stylistic aspects of the new MX-5. It will feature

an exclusive ‘soul red’ body colour, black roof, off-white leather upholstery and door trim,

as well as a hand-finished dashboard panel and 17inch gun-metal grey alloy wheels. When

speaking about the design of the new MX-5, chief designer Peter Birtwhistle commented


It’s a tight edgy little car that is going to appeal to a broader range of people. We know the

clichés about the MX-5 as it gets older, but this will position it differently. I think it’ll attract

a lot of young guys…We need to take on some of the flavour of Kodo [Mazda’s design

language], but we have to ensure it is identifiable as an MX-5. It is a standalone product

for us…You sometimes think after three generations let’s start afresh with a clean sheet of

paper. But you have a massive customer base who have a connection with the previous car,

so you have to tread carefully.

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Indeed, Mazda are keen to retain the stylistic and vehicular aspects which have made the

MX-5 models of the past into extremely successful roadsters. For many years, the Mazda

MX-5 has led the roadster market; having been awarded ‘Most Popular Roadster’ at the

Honest John Awards 2013 as well as holding the Guinness World Record for the best selling

two-seater sports car, with over 900,000 units sold to date. The MX-5 also holds the record

for the fastest convertible roof top; in merely 12 seconds, you can raise or lower the MX-5’s

soft roof top. Subsequently, Mazda reiterate that the new aspects of this MX-5 seamlessly

harmonise with the classic persona which has made the MX-5 models so popular with

motorists. Thankfully, all of the new MX-5’s motoring accolades which were unveiled at the

New York Motor Show hint that this new model will indeed continue to deliver as one of the

market’s most accomplished and popular roadsters.

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