Mazda has updated the MX-5 where it counts for 2024
Mazda has applied a host of changes to its evergreen roadster, with the goal of improving feel, drivability and in-car connectivity
The Mazda MX-5 has an unbreakable grip on the small sports car market – rivals have come and gone, but none have made a dent in its number one spot in the sales charts. This is despite the fact that the current ND version is approaching nine years old, in which time Mazda has applied numerous incremental updates to the model. Another is due for 2024, this time aimed at refining the MX-5’s driving dynamics and in-car tech.
The MX-5’s pert, sharply surfaced design has barely changed, save for redesigned front and rear LED light units and a new Aero Grey paint colour. Instead, Mazda has focused its efforts on making the MX-5 more intuitive and playful to drive, with detail changes to its drivetrain and chassis.
Manual 2-litre MX-5s receive a new asymmetric limited-slip differential, which has been tuned for optimum lock-up characteristics on-throttle and when coasting. In particular, the new hardware enables a more stable attitude on the way into the corner thanks to a stronger locking effect in this phase.
A more lenient track mode for the DSC stability program is also included to take advantage of this, with a revised throttle map for more linear, sharper engine response. The steering, meanwhile, gains a new power steering calibration that reduces friction in the rack – something that robs the system of a natural, fluid feel in the outgoing car.
The current pair of naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol engines are carried over unchanged for 2024, with the 1.5-litre unit generating 130bhp and the larger 2-litre boosting this to 181bhp. The latter comes equipped with a strut brace, the aforementioned limited-slip differential and Bilstein dampers as standard.
Inside, the MX-5’s ageing 7-inch infotainment touchscreen has been swapped out for a larger 8.8-inch unit running Mazda’s newest software, which sits next to an updated instrument panel. Extra USB-C ports and a frameless rear view mirror round off the changes to the interior.
As before, the MX-5 range will be split across Prime-Line, Exclusive-Line and Homura models, with a choice of a soft-top or folding hard-top with the RF version; UK pricing is yet to be announced, but expect a small uplift over the current car’s £25,825 starting figure.