Mazda MX-5 Roadster Coupe

Mazda MX-5 Programme Manager Takao Kijima is convinced “that we will expand the worldwide fan base of the MX-5 with the new model.” Kijima knows that for hardcore MX-5 fans the only “true” roadster will always be the original version with a soft top. For these people, the MX-5 is a design object only with top open. “Even so, there are many potential customers who, while wanting the exhilaration of open-top driving, have hesitated to become owners because of concerns about security and comfort. We realized that with an easy to use hard top, a great design and the same agile chassis, we could bring these customers into the MX-5 fold.”

One overriding goal determined the entire development programme of the Mazda MX-5 Roadster Coupe: the concept of the lightweight roadster was in no way, shape or form to be diluted. Engineers worked hard to keep the weight of the coupe version as low as possible - it weighs only 37 kg more than the soft top model. At the same time, the design of the Mazda MX-5 Roadster Coupe should remain as close as possible to that of the soft top model. Its silhouette - with a low, flowing shoulder line and, unlike nearly all other coupes/convertibles, a short rear overhang - gives the MX-5 Roadster Coupe the same lightweight, sporty road presence as the soft top. “And the nice thing is,” added Kijima, “the car looks great with the top up.”

A Global First - a Power Retractable Hard Top that Needs no Boot Space

Another goal of development was achieved by the package team. The hard top doesn’t fold back into the boot, but into a space just behind the seats, leaving boot volume unchanged versus the soft top model. Mazda is the first carmaker in the world to achieve this amazing feat of spatial economy.

Another bonus for MX-5 Roadster Coupe customers will be its affordable price of purchase compared to many other coupe/convertible line ups. The increase in price compared to the soft top version is appropriate, considering that coupe target customers traditionally put more emphasis on build quality and seek a more premium image.

continues... | Part Three

Published : 06/09/06 Author : Melanie Carter

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