Mazda MX-5: A Successful Diet Programme

Mazda MX-5

Mazda MX-5

  • Larger, stiffer and better equipped - but only 10 kg heavier
  • Painstaking “gram strategy” applied to all components of the cult roadster
  • Extensive use of high-strength steels, aluminium and composite materials

Almost all new automobiles today are in danger of being heavier than their predecessors, due to ever-stricter safety standards and higher customer demands for comfort features. Mazda wanted to reverse this trend - and was successful.

Delivering a lightweight roadster had highest priority during the development of the new Mazda MX-5. As a result, the third-generation version of the cult roadster is only 10 kg heavier than its predecessor (depending on version).

This modest weight gain is achieved despite the third-generation MX-5 being the first to have side airbags, despite having larger wheels, more powerful engines, an extended standard equipment package and a strengthened body shell.

Thanks to the gram strategy diet, the latest two-seater retains the true aura of Mazda’s original nimble, responsive handling roadster, a sports car whose rear-wheel drive transmission and powerful, frugal four-cylinder engines are still sufficient to deliver truly exhilarating performance.

continues... | Part Two
Published 14 October 2005 Melanie Carter

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