Nearly every manufacturer of rear-wheel drive cars today would always pop the phrase “perfect 50:50 weight distribution” like they are going out of style. After all, who wouldn’t want to enjoy a perfectly balanced car, but are those claims true?
Ever since the first MX-5 burst on to the scene 26 years ago, Mazda had always claimed that one of the hallmarks of their roadster was has near perfect 50:50 weight balance, and what better way to prove the worth of their latest fourth-generation MX-5 than putting it on a steel fulcrum balance structure. And not only that, the MX-5 is loaded with all the liquids it needs to run, with a driver on board to boot as well. Proving that you can enjoy Mazda’s 50:50 weight balance promise while being in it and driving it.
The end result, while isn’t entirely unexpected, is impressive to say the least. Mazda says that they managed to achieve this thanks to the company's engineering challenge they call “The Gram Strategy”, where engineers comb through every single component in the car to find places they can cut down its weight, even if it is by a few grams, hence its name. By shaving a gram here and a gram there, Mazda's engineers are able to not only fight the flab, but direct the remaining mass in places where it would be beneficial to the driving experience. That is how Mazda has managed to bring the weight of the fourth-generation model down by 68kg over its predecessor.
And speaking of its predecessor, Mazda conducted the same test with the third-generation model in 2011. And like its successor, the old guard stood tall and unassisted on that fulcrum as well. No wonder it is still the world’s best-selling roadster.