Lighter Mazda MX-5 touches down


Unveiled in Japan late last year, Mazda has officially divulged local price and spec details of its all-new fourth generation MX-5.

Shorter and lighter than the previous NC generation, the new ND features the latest iteration of Mazda’s KODO design language, with the Hiroshima firm claiming the newcomer to be the most agile since the original NA debuted in 1989.

Dropping its overall length by 105 mm, the ND is also the first to employ a weight saving technique Mazda refers to as Gram Strategy. Aimed at shaving as much weight as possible from the smallest of components, the newcomer comes in at 100 kg less than before, with extensive use being made of aluminium in the chassis and body structure.

Unlike the previous Roadster Coupe option, the MX-5 is now solely offered as a soft top with the roof doing without electric aids in favour of manual opening and closing, again to save on mass.

The skimping of weight has however not impacted the list of standard kit with the MX-5 featuring climate control, cruise control, 17-inch alloy wheels, Mazda’s MZD connect infotainment system incorporating internet radio and Bluetooth audio streaming, nine-speaker Bose sound system, keyless go/start, Hill Launch Assist, i-Loop regenerative braking, dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, EBA and dynamic stability control.

Conforming to the Japanese principle of Jinba Ittai, meaning Horse and Rider as One, the MX-5 foregoes the trend of small displacement turbocharged engines, in favour of a revised version of its predecessor’s 2.0-litre normally aspirated petrol engine.

Despite featuring Mazda’s SKYACTIVE-G technology and being eight kilograms lighter than before, power remains unchanged at 118 kW and 200 N.m of torque with a six-speed manual again the only available transmission. While a smaller 1.5-litre mill and six-speed automatic gearbox are offered in other markets, it remains unlikely that either of these would become available soon.

A three year / unlimited km warranty and three year service plan is included in the R389 800 sticker price.