Can I really call the Last-generation Miata pudgy? No, no I can’t, nobody can when cars that are around the same weight include the Mini and the Honda Fit. However, the last generation gave us the very CC-Friendly, the Mazda Miata Brougham. Well, it’s called Gran Touring instead of brougham, but the folding metal-roof, automatic transmission and leather wrapped everything must’ve caught someone’s attention, it was time to go back to the basics.
The maxim for the new MX-5 was that of the great Colin Chapman, if not in phrasing at least in spirit. For the first time since 1997 the MX-5 has a curb weight of under 2,200 lbs. and an engine option of less than 2.0-liters of displacement (Not in America though). It’s shorter in length and a tiny little bit lower than its predecessor, but it’s wider and lighter. Much lighter, 200+ lb.lighter.
Engine wise, outside of U.S shores you can get your Miata with a naturally aspirated 1.5-liter four cylinder with 129 Horsepower, which means all in all you’ll get essentially the same performance you got from the early nineties Mazda MX-5, but with an extra gear and all the benefits from nearly 30 years of evolution in the automotive field. It seems Mazda thought that such an engine would make little sense in the U.S and Canada so the only engine available is a 2.0-liter producing 155 Horsepower, the equivalent of the 1.8 in the original one. No turbochargers or other fancy gubbins. Unless you consider an automatic gearbox with paddles “fancy”.
Want a hardtop? Better get one of the last-gen models on clearance. The only option is a manual fabric roof. Having said that some pictures have surfaced that may indicate Prices in America start at $30,500, which sounds a bit dear considering that the original one was $26,073.25. Unlike that one however, on this one you actually do get power steering as standard, and air-con, and many other things that you wouldn’t even dream of finding in Miatas of yore.
There’s something I don’t like about the interior however, and it extends into other current vehicles, because infotainment systems have ever larger screens it doesn’t make any sense to bury them in the middle of the dash like you would a conventional stereo. It has to be put on the top of the dash and every manufacturer is trying to come up with aesthetically pleasing ways to integrate them onto the dash. Unfortunately Mazda has really half-assed it with a design that looks something akin to a Nexus 7 glued to the top of the dashboard, right in the place where any half-stoned guy will think he can rip it out of the dash. I can kinda forgive it in something like this mazda where some plastic to better integrate it to the dash would add precious grams to the weight, but on a Mazda 3 or a Mercedes it’s pretty much inexcusable. Clean instruments finish nicely, you also get a temperature gauge, which now is something to be glad about because every day more and more manufactures seem to decide that a little idiot light would do the same job. Hardly useful because by the time you notice it the biggest indicator of overheating will be the clouds of steam pouring out of the engine bay.
Regarding the exterior, I’m not so sure about the front of the car, if I’m honest. Mabe it’s the headlight-grill ratio that rubs me the wrong way. The rest of the car is brilliant, the rear seems to have taillights inspired by the Jaguar F-Type and the sides look muscular without being exaggerated.
Am I wrong in naming a car that hasn’t even been released a classic? I don’t think so, because really what it’s doing is merely expanding an already-classic model. This is not an MX-5 in name only, what Mazda have done is stick to the tried-and-true formula closer than they have done since the original. And we’re all the better for it.