Mazda MX-5 revised for Tokyo motor show

Mildly updated MX-5 with chassis revisions revealed at Tokyo show

The changes constituting the Mazda MX-5’s first refresh apply to both the roadster and RF versions. The subtle revisions are largely superficial, although Mazda has updated the chassis to further refine the long-standing, small sportscar formula.

The bulk of the changes revolve around cosmetic personalisation, with Mazda offering a larger selection of colour and trim choices for the 2018 models. There are deeper changes to the steering and suspension which should sharpen the handling, too.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

According to Mazda, the handling characteristics are better served by its core Jinba-ittai (horse and rider as one) philosophy; a rear-suspension retune and a recalibration of the power steering are the noted changes with the integral 50:50 weight distribution remaining intact. Whether these modifications address the excessive roll at ten-tenths we’ll have to wait and see. Mazda also claim improvements in NVH levels and ride quality courtesy of the adjustment.

> Click here for our Mazda MX-5 review 

The choice between the two inline-fours is unchanged. The smaller, 1.5-litre is good for 129bhp, with the torquier 2-litre developing 29bhp more. The extra swept volume is most welcome in everyday driving when you don’t have to work the larger engine as hard. The roadster is exclusively mated to a six-speed manual transmission, whereas you can specify the RF with an automatic ‘box with the same number of ratios.

Mazda has enlarged the choice of paint colours with new grey and metallic red finishes. RF buyers can now also opt for a two-tone colour scheme on the retractable hardtop. Roadster owners aren't excluded from roof-based customisation, Mazda has introduced a dark cherry roof option.

There's more choice when it comes to trimming your interior as well, with Auburn leather upholstery extending the options list. Although the raft of changes have yet to be sanctioned for UK-specification cars, it’s safe to say they should transfer over, especially with buyers continuously seeking a greater degree of personalisation.

Recommended

Mazda MX-5 review
Mazda MX-5 convertible

Mazda MX-5 review

19 Nov 2020
Mazda MX-5 R Sport 2020 review – floats like a butterfly, but stings like one too
Mazda MX-5

Mazda MX-5 R Sport 2020 review – floats like a butterfly, but stings like one too

30 Sep 2020
BBR Super 225 Mazda MX-5 review
Mazda MX-5

BBR Super 225 Mazda MX-5 review

18 Jul 2020
Mazda MX-5 Mk3 (NC) – review, history, prices and specs
Mazda MX-5

Mazda MX-5 Mk3 (NC) – review, history, prices and specs

23 Jun 2020

Most Popular

Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series breaks Nürburgring lap record
Mercedes AMG GT

Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series breaks Nürburgring lap record

The GT3-derived Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series is now officially the world’s fastest series production road car around the Nürburgring Nordschleife, lap…
17 Nov 2020
Synthetic fuels explained: is there such a thing as carbon neutral petrol?
Technology

Synthetic fuels explained: is there such a thing as carbon neutral petrol?

Could carbon-neutral synthetic fuels save the internal combustion engine and safeguard the future of the cars we love?
18 Nov 2020
Ferrari 812 GTS 2020 review – ultimate open-top V12 thrills
Ferrari

Ferrari 812 GTS 2020 review – ultimate open-top V12 thrills

A wonderful combination of near-hypercar pace and open air driving
3 Dec 2020
TechArt Porsche 911 Turbo S has more power than a GT2 RS
Porsche 911 Turbo

TechArt Porsche 911 Turbo S has more power than a GT2 RS

German tuner TechArt has worked its magic on the 992-generation Porsche 911 Turbo
1 Dec 2020