It’s been confirmed at the show that the new MX-5 will be powered by an all-new 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine under the company’s Skyactiv banner, a unit which will also find its way into the upcoming Mazda 2. Dubbed the Skyactiv-G engine, it’s a direct injection unit with an ‘ultra-high’ compression ratio.
Although Mazda states the new MX-5 delivers ‘sufficient output for its size’ the company also says it still won’t be about big horsepower. While Mazda won't be drawn on power output, the most powerful Skyactiv-branded 2.0-litre engine currently used in the Mazda 3 and Mazda 6 develops 163bhp.
There’s a lot of talk about how involving to drive the new car will be, with 50:50 weight distribution and a lower centre of gravity than ever although the proof of the pudding will be revealed in summer next year when the car is launched.
The signs are good; pedals, instruments and controls are arranged in such a way as to make the driving position as straight as possible and suspension layout comprises double wishbones at the front and a multi-link arrangement at the rear.


From the show stand we can tell you that the new MX-5 looks less challenging in the metal than it first appears in pictures and that its cabin looks suitably snug. The new Mazda 2 isn’t ready yet (it’ll likely surface at the LA show, and the European-spec version at Geneva next year) so the fourth generation of the World’s Favourite Roadster takes centre stage, flanked by the 6 saloon, CX-5 crossover and the 3 in both hatchback and fastback guise. It will be paired with a new six-speed manual gearbox which Mazda promises will have a suitably short-throw, snickety action.
It'll be the same unit the new MX-5 will be sold with in the US market (the Americans will forgo the weedier 1.5).
There's been no mention at the show of the ugly rumours of a diesel-powered MX-5 in the more distant future. The multimedia screen perched on top of the dash (controlled by a click wheel near the gearlever as per the Mazda 3) looks slightly incongruous in a sports car but otherwise MX-5 veterans will feel right at home.


Mazda says it’ll be easy to operate it from the driver’s seat, and the door trim and quarter windows have been shaped for minimum buffeting and wind noise at speed. An auto will be available in some markets – whether that will include the UK is yet to be confirmed. That said, most Brits are forecast to opt for the motorised hardtop joining the range shortly after launch.



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