New Mazda MX-5 takes shape

The new ND generation Mazda MX-5 has received one of the lengthiest teaser campaigns in recent memory.

First Mazda told us it was taking the roadster back to its lightweight roots, then showed the bare chassis without its bodywork, and eventually the finished product around six months ago.

Then they let us drive the thing, but only the 1.5-litre version and they wouldn’t reveal how much power its little naturally aspirated engine actually produced or how quick it was (or wasn’t).

Today we have more details – they’re typically vague but give an insight into the new generation Mazda MX-5’s lightweight body structure.

The original MX-5 weighed around 940kg and as it evolved into the NB and NC generations it got bigger and flabbier with its curb weight swelling to over 1150kg.

The new car reverses the trend, weighing from 1009kg despite carrying considerably more safety and comfort features than previous MX-5s. In another turn of events, It’s also the smallest MX-5 ever.

Compared to the outgoing MX-5, the new 1.5-litre base car’s engine is 17kg lighter and the manual gearbox it’s connected to is 7kg leaner. The rear differential has also shedded 10kg compared to the current car.

Thanks to greater use of aluminium and high-tensile steel, the suspension is also 13kg lighter than before and the body around 20kg slimmer.

Overhanging body parts have also been reduced by 4kg, lowering the yaw inertia moment of the car and improving the car’s dynamic ability.

When the ND MX-5 goes on sale locally later this year it will be available with either a 1.5-litre or 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine.

Exact power outputs are still unconfirmed but tipped to be in the ballpark of 90kW and 120kW respectively. 

The ND MX-5 is also expected to be much cheaper than the outgoing version which starts at $47,280. To be competitive with its nearest rival the Toyota 86, the MX-5 will likely be priced below $40,000 for the first time since 2005.

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