Powering the new MX-5 is a new 2-litre version of Mazda’s fuel-efficient Skyactiv engine range. Installed longitudinally the Skyactiv-G engine has a lighter engine block, lightened crankshaft journal diameter, and smaller connecting rods. The engine is now 15mm closer to the cockpit and also 13mm lower, bringing the centre of gravity closer to the driver and lower to the road.
The naturally-aspirated direct-injection engine boasts a power output of 158hp at 6,000rpm and 200Nm of torque at 4,000rpm, with power still being sent to the rear wheel. The automatic transmission is said to be unique to the MX-5, and doesn’t bear the Skyactiv moniker.
Thanks to the use of Skyactiv lightweight construction methods, the new MX-5 fights the flab and tips the scales lighter than the third-generation model. At 1,080kg for the automatic model, the MX-5 is the lightest iteration since the 1989 original.
Around 100kg has been shaved off from the weight of its predecessor thanks to the extensve use of aluminium and high tensile steel.
Furthermore Mazda has managed to trim 45mm off the front overhang, 20mm off the wheelbase, and 40mm off the rear overhang, whereas the car’s roofline is 10mm lower than before, making it the lowest MX-5 so far.
Like its predecessors, the MX-5 boasts a perfect 50:50 weight distribution, and following in the footsteps of the third-generation model, it sports a double-wishbone front suspension and multi-link rear suspension.
The soft-top is not only designed with better sound insulation material that reduces high frequency sound by 40 per cent as compared to its predecessor, it is also designed to be lightweight and easy to fold-up and fold-down. The soft top’s operation is completely manual.
Designed to deliver a top down experience, Mazda says that the MX-5’s A-pillars is more raked, with the door cowls and side mirrors formed to divert the flow of air around the occupants, improving cabin comfort while it is on the move.
Even with such lightness, the MX-5 is a heavyweight in the features department. It comes with leather upholstery, MZD Connect with the 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system hooked up to 9 Bose speakers, full LED headlights, 4 airbags with traction and stability control, i-ELOOP supported i-Stop idling start-stop system, and the i-Activsense suite of safety technologies.
The i-Activsense features fitted on board includes adaptive front-lighting system, high beam control system, and the lane departure warning system.
What about the Manual?
According to Datuk Ben Yeoh, executive director of Bermaz Motor, there is a strong interest in bringing in the manual transmission variant, but the manual model's exhaust note was not able to comply to sudden JPJ’s legsilations imposed on noise emissions. But Yeoh, assures that the issue has been resolved with the department and they are working on introducing the manual variant into Malaysia soon, probably by next year.