New Mazda MX-5: New York motor show video

First picture of the chassis and engine that will underpin the new Mazda MX-5 roadster. Video and full details here

Mazda has revealed first details of its new MX-5 roadster at the New York motor show. As sales of the front-engine, rear-drive sports car approach the one million mark, this is our best preview yet of Mazda’s fourth incarnation.

Just the one picture has been revealed so far, showing the new MX-5’s ‘Skyactiv’ chassis and transmission. The in-line four-cylinder petrol engine sits behind the front axle, allowing this to be classed as a front-mid-engined car. That aids a 50:50 weight distribution, which alongside a lower centre of gravity than the car it replaces plus a 100kg cut in weight, bodes well for how the new roadster hill handle. It’s already a bit of an affordable performance hero, and sharper reactions ought to boost that profile further.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to our exclusive new offer and SAVE 39% on the shop price, get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £20!

The engines themselves haven’t been spoken about, but among Mazda’s Skyactiv petrol engines are 1.5- and 2-litre units, and happily, they avoid the current turbocharging default. The Mazda 3 is available with a 163bhp 2-litre normally aspirated engine, and this would seem a shoo-in to succeed the 158bhp 2-litre that does service in the mk3 MX-5 Sport Tech. That model weighs 1248kg in hard-top form, suggesting a figure of around 1150kg for an equivalent mk4. If soft-top versions continue to be offered, we could see a smaller-engine MX-5 that gets close to the 1000kg mark.

With a manual gearstick sprouting from the middle of the chassis and rear-wheel drive, everything seems in order with little to upset the MX-5’s rather traditional recipe. Mazda chairman Takashi Yamanouchi admits ‘the history of the MX-5 is one of changing everything in order to stay the same. A history of innovating in order to preserve the ideal’. An automatic gearbox is expected to be on the options list, however.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

While there are no hints at the exterior design of the new car, there is at least a new MX-5 to look at in New York. It’s another special edition, this one marking 25 years since the original’s Chicago motor show debut. Available exclusively as a 2.0 Roadster Coupe, it comes only in Soul Red, with black contrasting, a white leather interior and Bilstein dampers as standard.

The new Mazda MX-5 is set to share its underpinnings with the next Alfa Romeo Spider, though recent rumours have suggested the partnership is in doubt. Prices are yet to be confirmed but a starting point below £20,000 is predicted. Value for money has always been an MX-5 strong point, and the new car is unlikely to change that.

Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/mazda/mx-5/202091/mazda-mx-5-refreshed-for-2020
Mazda MX-5

Mazda MX-5 refreshed for 2020

8 Jan 2020
Visit/mazda/mx-5/202077/bbr-super-220-review-modded-mazda-mx-5-hits-with-a-light-touch
Mazda MX-5

BBR Super 220 review

2 Jan 2020
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/used-cars/19675/used-car-deals-of-the-week
used cars

Best used cars for sale this week

We’ve delved into the classifieds and chosen our favourite cars for sale this week
27 Mar 2020
Visit/mercedes-cla45-amg-hatchback/22953/mercedes-amg-cla-45-s-coupe-uk-review
Mercedes CLA45 AMG hatchback

Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 S coupe UK review

The more stylish version of eCoty 2019’s bronze medallist is as impressive on UK roads as it was overseas
28 Mar 2020
Visit/porsche/911-turbo/202379/new-porsche-911-turbo-gains-lightweight-and-sport-packages
Porsche 911 Turbo

New Porsche 911 Turbo gains Lightweight and Sport packages 

The 2020 Porsche 911 Turbo hasn’t been with us for long, but a raft of packages and optional extras are already in the pipeline
26 Mar 2020
Visit/features/22907/hyundai-i30-fastback-n-versus-the-col-de-turini
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Col de Turini

We take the Hyundai i30 Fastback N up the Col de Turini, a 31km stage of the Monte Carlo World Rally Championship
19 Jul 2019