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2015 Mazda MX-5

With a history that began in 1989, the Mazda MX-5 is one of the best sold convertibles on the market. In its 21 years of history, the MX-5 saw three different generations, numerous design updates, and even more engine changes. However, the most impressive update has been announced for the fourth generation that is set to be launched in 2012.

The Mazda MX-5 will remain a rear-wheel drive compact sports coupe with exterior design inspired by the Shinari Concept unveiled earlier this year. With the new generation, Mazda will focus on reducing the total weight to less than 1,000 kilos.

At the launch of the Shinari concept, Ikuo Maeda, general manager of Mazda Motor Corp.’s design division said: "this design will lead to the next generation of Mazda design and will lead to other elements." Guess the MX-5 will be among the first to adopt Mazda’s new "Kodo - Soul of Motion" design language.

UPDATE 05/03/2013: Rumors have emerged that an unexpected engine will join the MX-5 lineup. See more after the jump.

Hit the jump to read more about the fourth generation Mazda MX-5.

Exterior and Interior

Mazda MX-5

The body of the next generation MX-5 will be made in steel, but it will feature high-strength panels, and some ingenious structural solutions, such as a twin-backbone frame, to solve the problem of open-top rigidity.

One of the most unmistakable characteristics attributed to the previous generation of the MX-5 Miata is the large grille that it look like it was on a perpetual caffeine fix. The fourth generation MX-5 did away with that in favor of a more basic grille that’s similar to what we saw on the original Miata.

The headlights of the MX-5 was also given a make-over where it now carries a distinct up-slanting teardrop shape with LED lighting technology. Upon closer inspection, you’ll notice that the new lighting configuration is also pretty similar to the original’s set-up. Meanwhile, the interior will get sports seats and different aluminum insertions.

An unnamed source reports that the MX-5 will hit showrooms in 2015 with a lighter body and chassis, and a sportier look than the current model. The estimated weight the source gave was 1,000 kg (2,204 lbs), which is 276 lbs less than the 2012 model. In a car as small as the Miata, that is significant weight loss, to say the least.

There is also talk that Mazda will offer its roadster up with many more options that will help give the car more of a personality. This will help form a stronger bond between the person and the car. Typically, Miata owners already have this bond with their car, but a little extra something can’t hurt.

Lastly, there will be a top-end model, similar to the Mazdaspeed version in 2004 and 2005, that will be even lighter yet and more tuned for racing, as it will be stripped of unnecessary add-on features to save every ounce.

There was one bit of info on the project altogether and it is that Mazda will only provide the platform (chassis, uni-body, and drivetrain); Alfa Romeo will add on its own body and interior. So scratch the evil idea that we’ll have two almost identical cars.

The Engine

Mazda MX-5

Under the hood of the future Mazda MX-5, it was originally thought that there would be a newly developed 1.5-liter Skyactiv-G four-cylinder engine that would produce around 125 horsepower, mated to a six-speed manual transmission. As for the US-spec model of the Miata, Mazda will offer a 2.0-liter engine that produces north of 145 horsepower that’s also mated to a six-speed manual transmission with an option to change it to a dual-clutch semi-automatic transmission.

The new engine will reportedly feature variable cam phasing, lighter, low-friction reciprocating parts, and possibly a new exhaust manifold design, all of them as part of Mazda’s SkyActiv engineering campaign.

As of August 2012, an unnamed source has stated that Mazda has chosen an engine already and it is a 1.3-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder. It pumps out a healthy 200 horsepower, which is 22 horsepower more than the 2004 and 2005 Mazdaspeed MX-5 produced and 33 horsepower more than the current model . We’re also certain that we’ll see torque cresting the 200 pound-feet mark, though there was no mention of that.

In May 2013, rumors emerged that the MX-5 lineup will carry a diesel option in the form of a 1.6-liter SkyActiv-D engine with around 130 horsepower. The rumors are unconfirmed, but the source also claims that since a diesel roadster is a tough sell to traditional Miata buyers, gasoline options will still be available.

When Can I Buy One?

The fourth generation Mazda MX-5 is expected to be launched in 2013 with sales beginning in early 2014. Pricing for the car has yet to be announced but as is the case with most of the MX-5’s line-up of models, you can safely assume that it’ll come at a base price of £17,990, which is a little under $30,000 based on current exchange rates.

The Competition

Mazda MX-5

The new Mazda MX-5 will have to face models like the Mini Cooper S Convertible and the Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder . However, Kia has also recently announced that the company plans a small sports car due out in early 2013 that will take on models like the MX-5.

Some good news for Mazda is that Mitsubishi plans to drop the Eclipse model, so that will be one less vehicle nipping at the Mazda;s heels. The real competition sits with the Cooper S which is getting better with every year. For 2011, it will be offered with a new 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine and a new 2.0-liter. The model is offered with high-quality materials and an extremely harmonious color scheme.

LOVE IT
  • Fourth generation of the iconic MX-5
  • New grille is much better than the smiley version
  • There’s a reason why its so popular
LEAVE IT
  • Still not as powerful as we’d hope
  • Not the cheapest option on the market


71 comments:

Definitely, Mazda is doing their very best on having this convertible with the top. Mazda MX-5 is the best sold, and now they’re planning to put turbocharged engine.

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Definitely, Mazda is doing their very best on having this convertible with the top. Mazda MX-5 is the best sold, and now they’re planning to put turbocharged engine.

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I admire the strong dedication of Mazda to have the innovation in their cars. Mazda popularized their car through their great presentation of sporty vehicles.

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The beauty of it can be seen on its performance.

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Mazda’s best maintenance is evident on its specs and features. The quality is something to look forward to, in case you’re still wary.

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I think that the maintenance of its competitive side is what made this Mazda MX-5 well-known. In the upcoming release, I bet it’s the quality that the enthusiasts will definitely check out.

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I still prefer the first Gen look and I can accept the 2nd Gen, but the 3rd one lost my interest. I feel like the look was designed to compete with BMW. The new style doesn’t appeal to me nt does the price increase. Remy, I am with you on not attractive.

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We should admire the dedication of motor companies when it comes to the innovations of their past models, like the Mazda. Their fourth generation of MX-5 makes them even more popular, and they are able to maintain its sporty appearance.

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I think its fascia is kind of amusing to look at. Anyhow, the details pretty much tell that it is efficient.

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I don’t like how it looks, but its performance is undeniably efficient.

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I’ve waited long enough for this. I’ll be disappointed if the enhancement is only mediocre.

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They have overdone its design. The previous one was more beautiful.

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I agree with you, Remy. The current MX-5 is kind of funny because of its face, and if I encounter one of this on the street after smoking grass, I’m pretty sure I will laugh ’until I drop seeing a smiling car. smiley LOL.

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Am I the only one who doesn’t find this attractive? It’s just not my type, besides, there are too many cars which are a lot better than its performance.

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Wow, I’ve missed this Mx-5. I hope Mazda will add more unexpected package to this one.

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I sort of like the current MX-5’s appearance more. Nevertheless, I know that the next style will grow on me too. Besides, there’s a reason to the new external features; the upgrades made are truly purposeful.

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Mazda MX-5 is really an icon and this 2013 version builds on the success of the fourth-generation model with some updates maintaining the sporty look. The entire range is powered by a 1.5-liter Skyactiv-G four-cylinder engine rated at 125 hp.

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The exterior is a playful type. I’m hoping for a more production of this car in this year. I suggest that if they can lessen the curves and put some corners and embossed lines to produce a strong characteristics of this car. 

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Wow! This Mazda is so fantastic! Haha. I am so stunned while looking at it. For me, it will look better on metallic or glossy pink body paint. Ooops, this is way too pricey for it.

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I guess the 1.5-liter Skyactiv-G four-cylinder engine of this Mazda is enough for it. And it truly fits for its size. Anyway, I love the original looks of it and so with the color.

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