The infusion of the KODO – Soul of Motion design and SKYACTIV Technology suite have radically changed to MX-5 altogether, however the new roadster from Mazda remains a compact open-top and two-seater. It also takes up a front-midship engine, rear-wheel drive configuration, 50:50 front-rear weight distribution and low yaw inertia. With the SKYACTIV suite, the new MX-5 gets a more compact and lighter body, with a weight reduction of more than 100 kilograms, compared to the 3rd-gen MX-5.
Mazda MX-5: A completely New Roadster
For the fourth-generation MX-5, the designers have put in plenty of efforts to ensure a Roadster that stands out with beautiful proportions and all. Changes to the driver’s seating position and forwarding the cabin a little toward the rear have instilled a broader perspective and lower center of gravity.
The general KODO impression of the new MX-5 gives it an expression of stability that makes the Roadster appear as though it is firmly gripping the road surface. Additionally, the roadster’s contours present reflections off the body’s surfaces to make the car look alive as well as create a sense of emotional attachment. To impart a sense of speed, the lines from the headlights converge at the front fenders and to the front of the rear tyres, which then sweep over the rear fenders.
To achieve the desired compact body size of the new MX-5, the overall body length was made the shortest of any generation to date, thanks shortening of front and rear overhangs. The wheelbase was also shortened. Achieving beautiful proportions while working with a shorter overall length required developers to lower the height of the vehicle. By lowering the height of the engine’s mounting position, the bonnet could also be lowered. In turn, the reduced bonnet height made it possible to lower the hip-point of the seats and secure a comfortable seating position in line with the lower overall height of the fourth-generation Roadster.
The aim for the interior was to create a cockpit design that brings a smile to the face and gets the heart pounding simply by looking at it or sitting in the driver’s seat. One example is how the body panels wrap around to extend right into the door trim and thereby dissolve the visual boundaries between the vehicle’s interior and exterior. In addition to providing a feeling of open space as only possible with an open-top body, the lines emphasize a feeling of oneness between the driver and car. Attention is also paid to the shape of the door trim, more compact quarter windows and the positioning of tachometer and steering. The tacho and steering forms a perfect symmetry between the round climate-control louvers to the right and left of the instrument cluster. Like most Mazda variants, the all-new MX-5 is equipped with the MZD Connect in-car connectivity system; based on Mazda’s new-generation human-machine interface (HMI).
Powertrain line-up includes a specially tuned SKYACTIV 1.5-liter and 2.0-liter direct-injection petrol engines that are paired with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. Needless to say, the new MX-5 adopts SKYACTIV Technology and a longitudinal layout to match the rear-wheel drive configuration.
To ensure lightweight and 50:50 weight distribution, the new MX-5 incorporates a continuous framework which denotes an integrated body and chassis frame. Another measure implemented to reduce weight involved the adoption of aluminium which are utilized for the bonnet, boot lid, links for the front fenders, chassis components and header panels for the soft top. Moreover, aluminium front and rear bumper reinforcements assist to cut weight of overhanging parts. All the aluminium parts on the new MX-5 are put in place to assure the Roadster’s dynamic performance.
As an integral denomination of all Mazda variants, safety is paramount on the new MX-5 with the adoption of i-ACTIVSENSE suite, side airbags, a head protection function and Mazda’s active bonnet, along with a whole host of safety features normally observed for Mazda cars.
Domestic distributors Bermaz Motor (Mazda Malaysia) estimates a fourth quarter preview of the all-new Mazda Mx-5. Look out for more updates on Motorsportchannel.com.
2015 Mazda MX-5 Specifications (Japan)
Length: 3,915 mm
Width: 1,730 mm
Height: 1,235 mm
Wheelbase: 2,315 mm
Curb weight: 1,000 kg
Engine: SKYACTIV-G 1.5 direct-injection petrol engine
Transmission: SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual
Max. output: 96kw (131ps) / 7,000rpm
Max. torque: 150Nm / 4,800rpm
Front/Rear suspension: Double wishbone, Multi-link
Steering: Electric Power Assisted Rack & Pinion Steering (EPAS)
Brakes (front/rear): Ventilated discs / solid discs