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Car reviews - Mazda - MX-5 - convertible

The Car

14 Feb 2001

THERE was no concept revision with the new MX-5 - the car remains faithful to its simple, compact, curvaceous styling of years past. Of course the purists were outraged when the pop-up headlights were replaced by fixed surface lamp clusters, each of which saves 5.6kg. But this is a lighter, tauter and, some might argue, purer MX-5 than ever. The fundamental principle guiding the design and engineering team was value and assert the car's inherent "soul" and strengthen and refine the "body". As before, a heavily sculpted front bumper flows neatly onto the bonnet and lower flanks, and a striking ridge is formed underneath the headlights. The gaping mouth grille has been retained, as have the circular brake lights, although the light cluster has been modernised. The chrome Alfa-style doorhandles were replaced by more practical, flush-mounted and body-coloured flaps. The rear deck rises onto a central hump, integrating a high-mounted stoplight. Aerodynamics improved from 0.39 to 0.36Cd.

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True to the original concept, the MX-5 remains a lightweight. Kerb weight for the manual has risen from 980kg to 1026kg

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