BBC Top Gear magazine has named the new Mazda MX-5 Roadster Coupe its 'Roadster of the Year 2006', in the annual cars-of-the-year awards issue, published today.
For the second year in a row Mazda has scooped this prestigious crown, following last year's victory for the Mazda MX-5 soft-top, the world's most popular sports car, just one month after the all-new third generation model first hit Mazda showrooms in the UK.
Top Gear magazine praised the achievement of the new Mazda MX-5 Roadster Coupe in glowing terms: "It's a new car but it feels like a familiar friend. By a stroke of genius, Mazda has made the helmeted MX-5 look and feel just like the cloth-capped version we know and love. Its unique roof drops into the well left vacant by the soft-top, for which it's substituting. The hard roof folds in 12 seconds, which is record-breaking for a coupe-cabrio."
Assessing the MX-5 Roadster Coupe's ride and handling, Consultant Editor Paul Horrell commented: "The differences [compared to the soft-top] were so minute I couldn't be sure I wasn't just imagining them. Could I feel the extra 37kg? Hand-on-heart, no, probably because it's concentrated right in the middle of the car. The RC is still hyper-agile through corners and it's still got the same cheery poke."
In conclusion Horrell wrote: "The main differences? Price: plus £1,200. Noise: on motorways, roof up, the RC is usefully quieter. you can hear your music clearly . It's a real MX-5 with the bonus of security and quietness."
Rob Lindley, managing director of Mazda Motors UK, welcomed the latest award: "Since launching the new Mazda MX-5 soft-top last year we have sold more than 8,500 models in the UK. The introduction of the MX-5 Roadster Coupe broadens the immense appeal of our iconic sports car even further and Top Gear magazine's award and comments confirm that this new variant is a truly worthy member of the exciting Mazda MX-5 family."
There are 13 models in the Mazda MX-5 line-up, with prices starting at £15,650 (on-the-road) for the 1.8i soft-top and from £18,210 for the 1.8i Roadster Coupe which comes with the Option Pack as standard.Published 17 December 2006