The Mazda MX-5 is one of those cars that have seemingly been given a gender; something I often wonder if manufacturers aim for, or cringe at upon reading reviews shortly after the vehicle’s release.
Whatever the case with the MX-5 might be, the new 2015 model has pushed the ever-popular 25-year old model onwards.
The all-new MX-5, created in conjunction with Alfa Romeo, impresses the most with what you can’t see. Hidden underneath the gleaming panel work will be a new SKYACTIV chassis and engine.
The new chassis will improve the rigidity of the 2015 MX-5, something all open-tops can benefit from, as the absence of roof panels puts extra torsional pressure on the chassis. The new SKYACTIV chassis has enabled Mazda to build the MX-5 lower to the ground than previous versions, as well as giving the vehicle a rumoured longer length wheelbase – though we will have to wait a while to hear confirmation of that from Mazda.
Along with this, Mazda say that the engine will be positioned far more to the centre of the vehicle than before, whilst still sitting behind the front axle. All in all, it promises to improve cornering and the all round ride ability of the 25-year old Mazda.
The hint is that the 2015 MX-5 will also have a diesel engine for the first time as well.
We will have to be patient and wait a while before Mazda actually reveals the car in all its glory later this year, with strong rumours of an appearance at the Chicago Motor Show mooted for early 2015.
And what of that er, gender issue? Well Mazda say that they are addressing this and confidently state that the 2015 model MX-5 will change many a perception of who the MX-5 might appeal to in future. Maybe they’ve finally realised there are male hairdressers too.
The connection with Alfa will mean that the new 2015 Spyder will get the same SKYACTIV chassis as the MX-5. Both will be built with lighter-weight high strength steel that promises to reduce the weight of both vehicles by around 1,050kg.
I’ve been a passenger in an MX-5 many a time over the years, and while I’ve always found the car as a whole to be less than exciting, the ride has always been fairly good. A lighter and stiffer ground-hugging chassis should make a world of difference and take the MX-5 up to the next level.
Images, whatcar.com, auto express.co.uk
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