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The Mazda MX-5 (ND) is the fourth and current generation of the Mazda MX-5. Mazda officially unveiled the car on September 3, 2014 in the United States and Spain, and on September 4, 2014 in Japan.[3][4] The new MX-5 was presented at the October 2014 Paris Motor Show, and at the November 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show. The car is manufactured in Mazda's Hiroshima plant.[5] The vehicle was released in the third quarter of 2015. In the US, the release price of the MX-5 was between $24,915 and $30,065.[6] On March 24, 2016 the MX-5 was awarded World Car of the Year (WCOTY) and the World Car Design of the Year at the New York Auto Show. It was the second Mazda to win WCOTY following the Demio/Mazda2 in 2008.[7]

Mazda MX-5 (ND)
2015 Mazda MX-5 (ND) Roadster GT convertible (2018-10-30) 01.jpg
Overview
ManufacturerMazda
Also calledMazda Roadster (Japan)
Mazda MX-5 Miata (U.S.)
Production4 March 2015–present
Model years2016–present
AssemblyJapan: Hiroshima (Hiroshima Plant)
DesignerMasashi Nakayama
Body and chassis
ClassRoadster, sports car (S)
Body style2-door convertible
2-door retractable fastback
LayoutFront mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive
PlatformMazda ND
RelatedFiat 124 Spider (2016)
Powertrain
Engine1.5 L SKYACTIV-G (P5-VPS) DOHC I4
2.0 L SKYACTIV-G (PE-VPS) DOHC I4
Transmission6-speed SKYACTIV-MT manual
6-speed SKYACTIV-Drive automatic
Dimensions
Wheelbase2,315 mm (91.1 in)[1]
Length3,915 mm (154.1 in)[1]
Width1,730 mm (68.1 in)[1]
Height1,235 mm (48.6 in)[1]
Curb weight
  • Manual: 1,058 kg (2,332 lb)
  • Automatic: 1,080 kg (2,381 lb)[2]
Chronology
PredecessorMazda MX-5 (NC)

Contents

OverviewEdit

 
Mazda MX-5 ND 2.0 L SKYACTIV-G engine

The fourth generation MX-5 is 105 mm (4 inches) shorter and 100 kg (220 lb) lighter than its predecessor, putting the vehicle's curb weight near 1,000 kg (2,200 lb). Incorporating Mazda's SKYACTIV technology, the Miata is offered with a choice of two direct injection, naturally aspirated petrol engines. The base model has a 1.5 L 96 kW (129 bhp) engine, while the 1,998 cc (2.0 L; 121.9 cu in) North American (United States and Canada) NB1 (pre-2019) cars are rated at 155 bhp (157 PS; 116 kW) at 6000 rpm and 148 lb⋅ft (201 N⋅m) at 4600 rpm of torque.[8] Mazda also replaced the hydraulic power steering system that the previous Miatas had with their new Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPAS) system.[9]

The car was launched with a six-speed manual shift transmission and a six-speed automatic transmission. The cockpit, steering wheel, and infotainment system are very similar to the 2014 Mazda3. The MX-5 is fitted as standard with a manually operated fabric roof that can be opened or closed within a few seconds.

In North America, the 2019 MX-5 has three variants: Sport, Club, and Grand Touring (GS, GS-P, GT in Canada, respectively) and all come standard with a 1,998 cc (2.0 L; 121.9 cu in) engine rated at 181 bhp (184 PS; 135 kW) at 7000 rpm and 151 lb⋅ft (205 N⋅m) at 4000 rpm of torque.[10] All variants can be had with a MT or AT, with the MT fuel efficiency of 9.0 L/100 km (31.4 mpg‑imp; 26.1 mpg‑US) City and 7.0 L/100 km (40.4 mpg‑imp; 33.6 mpg‑US) Highway. The AT performs slightly better, at 9.0 L/100 km (31.4 mpg‑imp; 26.1 mpg‑US) City and 6.6 L/100 km (42.8 mpg‑imp; 35.6 mpg‑US) Highway.

The MX-5 (ND) has been very popular with diecast manufacturers like Hot Wheels and Matchbox, both companies releasing their own versions of the car to the market.[11]

MX-5 RFEdit

 
The Mazda MX-5 RF retractable fastback can best be compared with a targa roof.

In late 2016, a new MX-5 RF (Retractable Fastback) model was announced. It features a rigid roof and buttresses that give the silhouette a more coupé-like appearance than the soft top convertible. The top panel of the roof folds back whilst the buttresses remain in place, similar to a Targa top. Antecedents for the flying buttresses design are found in the Chevrolet Corvette (C3) T-top coupé and the Ferrari Dino 206 GT and 246 GT. The interior of the MX-5 RF model is almost the same as the soft top, with the same media screen, seats, steering wheel and switchgear, and the trunk volume is the same as the soft top. Differences include a full circle colored digital gauge in place of the soft top's semi-rectangular, half-digital, mono-colored display. The storage cubby behind the drivers seat has been eliminated, and the cubby behind the passenger seat as well as the glove box behind the center console have been made shallower to make room for the roof mechanism. The MX-5 RF uses the same engines as the soft top model and offers similar performance. The MX-5 RF also introduced a new 'Machine Grey' paint.[12][13]

A limited edition run of 500 models was introduced with the launch of the Mazda MX-5 RF. Called the 'Launch Edition' these models were priced at £28,995 and were only available with the 160PS 2.0 litre engine. These models included BBS alloy wheels, a twin-tone roof, black door mirrors and rear spoiler as well as Recaro seats. This version was only available in two colours: 'Soul Red' or 'Machine Grey'.[14]

Cooperation with Fiat ChryslerEdit

A joint venture with Alfa Romeo on a joint rear-wheel drive platform was announced in 2012, but cancelled in 2014.[15] Fiat Chrysler announced the Fiat 124 Spider and Abarth 124 Spider, both based on the Mazda ND platform, in 2015.[16]

In 2016, the Detroit News stated "in partnering with Mazda’s MX-5 Miata to resurrect the classic Fiat 124 Spider, Fiat Chrysler not only gained a halo sports car for its struggling Italian brand, but likely saved the most celebrated small sports car of the past 25 years (the MX-5)" — citing the markedly increased cost of developing a new car at the time[17] and "the costliest wave of government regulation since the 1970s."[17]

2018 update (ND2)Edit

In late 2018, for the 2019 model year, the MX-5 series was designated as ND2. Primarily because its 2.0 L engine was revised to generate 135 kW (181 bhp) and 151 lb⋅ft (205 N⋅m) of torque, with the redline increased to 7,500 rpm. Externally, the car received a brown soft top and black 17" wheels. Interior upgrades include a telescoping steering column, a standard reverse camera, a reworked door opening mechanism, revised seat controls, and redesigned cupholders.[18]

Special editionsEdit

Mazda MX-5 Levanto (2016)

Inspired by the 1966 film The Endless Summer, this one-off collaboration with Garage Italia Customs features a unique indigo blue fading to bright orange paint job. In addition, the interior is re-trimmed in Japanese blue denim with blue Alcantara and orange stitching.[19]

Mazda MX-5 Yamamoto Signature (2018)

This Italy-exclusive model is a tribute to Mazda MX-5 Ambassador Nobuhiro Yamamoto and is available only with the 1.5 L engine. It comes only in Jet Black with red highlights, a Mazdaspeed aero kit, a red engine bay brace and oil cap, and a special badge on the driver's side door behind the side mirror. The interior features black and red Alcantara trim with an embroidered reproduction of Yamamoto's signature. Optional upgrades include an Öhlins suspension, 16" Enkei RPF1 wheels in Toyo R888R 205/50ZR16 semi-slick tires, 280 mm brake discs with Brembo 4-piston front calipers, Nissin rear calipers, and stainless steel braided hoses. Only four examples of this model were released.[20]

MX-5 30th Anniversary Edition (2019)
 
Mazda MX-5 30th Anniversary Edition

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the MX-5, Mazda released a limited edition variant of the ND. The MX-5 Miata 30th Anniversary Edition debuted at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show on 7 February.[21] The car comes in an exclusive Racing Orange color with a special numbering badge. Each U.S. market owner was able to configure their 30th Anniversary Edition MX-5 before placing a $500 deposit. Of the 3000 worldwide units, only 500 examples were allocated to make their way to the U.S. but after feedback from buyers, Mazda announced that an additional 143 units will be allocated for the U.S. market.[22] 30 examples will make their way to Australia.[23]

GalleryEdit

SpecificationsEdit

Petrol engines[24]
Model Calendar
years
Trim Transmission Displacement Power Torque 0–100 km/h
(0–62 mph)
CO
2

Emissions
1.5 L 2015– Convertible Manual 1,496 cc (91.3 cu in) 131 PS (96 kW; 129 hp) 150 N⋅m (111 lbf⋅ft) 8.3 s[25] 139 g/km
1.5 L 2017– RF Manual 1,496 cc (91.3 cu in) 131 PS (96 kW; 129 hp) 150 N⋅m (111 lbf⋅ft) 8.6 s 142 g/km
2.0 L 2015–2018 Convertible Manual 1,998 cc (121.9 cu in) 160 PS (118 kW; 158 hp) 200 N⋅m (148 lbf⋅ft) 7.3 s 154 g/km[26]
2.0 L 2016–2018 RF Manual 1,998 cc (121.9 cu in) 160 PS (118 kW; 158 hp) 200 N⋅m (148 lbf⋅ft) 7.5 s 154 g/km
2.0 L 2016–2018 RF/Convertible Automatic 1,998 cc (121.9 cu in) 160 PS (118 kW; 158 hp) 200 N⋅m (148 lbf⋅ft) 8.5 s 149 g/km
2.0 L 2019– RF/Convertible Automatic/Manual 1,998 cc (121.9 cu in) 184 PS (135 kW; 181 hp) 205 N⋅m (151 lbf⋅ft) 6.5–7.9 s 156 g/km

SafetyEdit

Euro NCAP test results
Mazda MX-5 (2015)
Test Points %
Overall:      
Adult occupant: 31.9 84%
Child occupant: 17 80%
Pedestrian: 33.7 93%
Safety assist: 8.3 64%

Four airbags are fitted as standard, including torso airbags, pelvis airbags and head airbags for driver and passenger. Headrests provide protection from whiplash. A Vehicle Stability Control+ (VSC+), an 'active' hood for pedestrian protection and a Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS) are available. Since the MX-5 is a two-seater, the front passenger airbag can be disabled for safe transportation of children and the installation of a suitable rear-facing child seat restraint to be used in that position. In the Euro NCAP safety test, the MX suffered from a malfunctioning driver's airbag, which was unable to prevent the dummy from hitting the steering wheel. Its rating was 4 out of 5 stars.[27]

ReceptionEdit

The fourth generation MX-5 received praise from automotive journalists. Jeremy Clarkson, in his "Driving" column of The Sunday Times, gave the car five out of five stars, calling it an "engineering gem." He also commented that "It’s a cure for depression, this car, it really is. You just can’t be in a bad mood when you’re driving it."[28]

Top Gear magazine gave the car a score of nine out of 10, calling it "A complete sweetie of a roadster, this is the best the MX-5 has been perhaps ever."[29] The car also received perfect five star review ratings from Car and Driver[30] and What Car? magazines.[31]

AccoladesEdit

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit