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2015 Mazda MX-5

All-new fourth-generation model is the most compact MX-5 yet

Published: September 4, 2014, 2:00 AM
Updated: November 22, 2021, 4:15 PM

2015 Mazda MX-5

The wait is over for the world's legion of Mazda Miata/MX-5 fans. The long-awaited fourth-generation MX-5 has finally been revealed to media and fans at events held simultaneously in Japan, Spain and the USA.

Officially known as the MX-5 in North America and most other markets, it's still affectionately referred with its original Miata moniker by many fans and it's called the Roadster in Japan.

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Whatever it's called, while the new model is and looks all-new, it's still unmistakedly Miata in appearance. A bit edgier, but not too much; a bit Ferrrariesque up front, which is no bad thing; but totally true to the lineage.

Designed in tune with Mazda's back-to-basics SkyActiv philosophy, the company says the new model is the most compact of any generation MX-5 so far. It's more than 100 kilograms lighter than the model it replaces, 105 mm shorter in overall length, 20 mm lower and 10 mm wider and it rides on a wheelbase that is 15 mm shorter.

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Inside, while there remains a comfortable familiarity, there's also a step up in quality of materials and a more contemporary look, centred on an infotainment screen similar to that in the Mazda3.

Visibility is said to be improved by a lower hood line and thinner A-pillars and windshield header.

Powerplant details have yet to be revealed, beyond

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the fact that two SkyActiv gasoline engines will be offered. What is known is that the engine sits lower and further rearward than in earlier models, resulting in a lower Cg (centre of gravity) and 50:50 weight distribution.

The new rear-wheel-drive chassis, which was previewed at the 2014 New York International Auto Show, features double-wishbone front suspension and a multi-link indepemdent rear.

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"Innovate in order to preserve" was said to be the motto for the fourth-generation MX-5. In spite of much more stringent environmental and safety demands than when the first generation MX-5 was introduced 25 years ago, the new model stays true to the original aim of offering the pure driving fun of a lightweight sports car.

It's a formula that has made the Mazda MX-5 the world's best-selling two-seat sports car, with more than 940,000 units sold through the first three generations.

The fourth-generation model appears poised to continue that legacy. Sales will begin in markets around the world starting in 2015.

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