Mazda MX-5
Mazda MX-5

The third generation Mazda MX-5 went on sale in the UK on the 1st November 2005, sixteen years after the original MX-5 was unveiled at the Chicago Motor Show. Mazda has consistently refined the classic two-seater, rear-wheel drive roadster which entered the Guinness Book of World Records as the most successful open two-seater sports car of all time.

Mazda has evolved the roadster's unique Jinba Ittai 'one-with-the-car' feel by enhancing its legendary nimbleness and controllability even further.

Prices for the new Mazda MX-5 soft-top range start from £16,870 (on-the-road) for the 126ps, 1.8i SE and rise to £18,769 for the Mazda MX-5 1.8i Miyako special edition.

This will be the fourth Mazda MX-5 that we have tested and our test car this week is the Mazda MX-5 2.0i Sport Tech 6-speed manual with an on the road price of £21,120.

How It Drove - Performance

For 2010, Mazda MX-5 customers have a choice of four powertrains, all fine-tuned to use less fuel - the 126ps 1.8i or higher-revving 160ps 2.0i with five-speed gearbox, the 160ps 2.0i with a smooth-shifting six-speed manual transmission and the new 160ps 2.0i 'PowerShift' six-speed sequential paddle-shift transmission with a full-auto mode for easy city driving. CO2 emissions are significantly lower (from 167g/km) and fuel consumption is enhanced (up to 40.4mpg).

The Mazda MX-5 upgrade inherits the third-generation's line-up of lively MZR petrol engines and precise-shifting manual transmissions. Some major updates enhance the roadster experience even further: engineers modified the 2.0-litre engine to give it a stronger performance feel, retuned all engines to use less fuel and produce less CO2. And a new six-speed automatic transmission is introduced for the first time in Europe.

The MZR 2.0-litre engine, with either five or six-speed manual transmission, still produces 118 kW/160 PS and maximum torque of 188 Nm. While maximum torque is still produced at 5,000 rpm, maximum power is now reached at 7,000 rpm (300 rpm higher than before), and the rev-limit is now at 7,500 rpm (500 rpm higher than before) making sporty driving even more exciting.

The improved 'performance feel' is particularly evident when this engine is combined with the revised six-speed manual transmission. Its optimised synchronisation enables gears to be shifted even more quickly and smoothly than before. The six-speed manual transmission's 3rd - 4th gear synchromesh diameter is increased by 6 mm, all synchronizer cone specifications are revised and carbon is used on some of the meshing surfaces of the 1st through 4th gear synchronizer cones.

Performance with the six-speed manual transmission is slightly improved, with acceleration from 0 - 62 mph in 7.6 seconds (soft-top) and continues to a top speed of 132 mph.

All Mazda MX-5 upgrade versions offer a sportier engine sound. Mazda engineers restructured the sound-creating elements of the upgrade model - like the surge tank, the intake ducts and the exhaust system - to give an even sportier and more distinct engine sound that varies noticeably according to driving situations, the revs-in-use and the throttle pedal input.

For the MZR 2.0-litre with six-speed manual transmission, a newly-developed induction sound enhancer (ISE) is added for an even sportier driving feel. This component delivers a stronger sound response and a more varied tone by amplifying the pulse sounds created when the throttle valve opens and air is ingested.

Published : 10/06/10 Author : Melanie Carter

MX-5 News

This is a 11-year+ news article, from our Mazda archive, which dates back to the year 2000.

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