TOKYO: Mazda has introduces local pricing for the all-new MX-5 convertible sports car, with the hotly-anticipated new fourth-generation model priced from $31,990, sharpening the pricing by over $15,000 compared to the outgoing NC model.
This puts the MX-5 squarely up against the Toyota 86, with the other budget rear-wheel drive hero still kicking off at $29,990. The MX-5 brings the added bonus of an open roof, however.
Two variants of the MX-5, designated as the ND, will be available when the model arrives on our shores in mid-August.
From launch, both entry-level Roadster and Roadster GT trim levels will be powered by an up-rated version of the Mazda2’s 1.5-litre petrol engine, bringing an extra 15kW and 9Nm to now total 96kW/150Nm.
Driving the rear wheels as per MX-5 tradition, the new model can be had with a choice of six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.
A more powerful 2.0-litre petrol engine will join the lineup later in the year.
Impressively the ND is only 59kg heavier than the original 1989 NA model
Increased use of aluminium and high-strength steel helps make the all-new MX-5 is significantly lighter than before, with a starting point of 1009kg a full 91kg lighter than the equivalent NC model.
Also aiding weight loss is the fact the model is shorter than ever before, with an overall length of 3915mm and a wheelbase of 2315mm. The ND is 1730mm wide and 1235mm tall.
The new model also reverts to a lighter soft-top roof, doing away with the folding hardtop fitted exclusively to the final NC models.
Impressively the ND is only 59kg heavier than the original 1989 NA model, which lacked most modern safety features that are standard in the new car.
Mazda’s attention to weight reduction even extends to reverting to a four-stud wheel and brake package, compared to the five-stud package of the NC.
The new model may trail the 118kW/188Nm output figures of the NC, but the new model’s lighter weight has kept the power-to-weight ratio within the same ballpark, and easily better than the 1.6-litre NA.
The upcoming 2.0-litre version should easily eclipse the performance of the NC, however, making it the fastest non-turbo MX-5 yet.
Australian-spec ND MX-5’s started rolling down the Ujina production line near Hiroshima last week.