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Mazda MX-5 comes in under the tonne

Light and all right: Expected in the third quarter, the new Mazda MX-5 promises to be lighter and cheaper than the outgoing car.

Base weight of all-new MX-5 is only 50kg more than Mazda’s 1989 original roadster


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23 Mar 2015

PRODUCTION of the fifth-generation Mazda MX-5 has kicked off at the company’s Ujina No. 1 plant in Hiroshima, with Japanese domestic customers the first to receive the completely new roadster.

Mazda Japan claims that the kerb weight of the base grade car comes in at 990kg – just 50kg more than the original MX-5 that debuted in 1989 – and about 100kg lighter than the folding hardtop-equipped outgoing model.

The JDM car will debut in its home market in three grades – S, S Special Package and S Leather Package – and will be sold initially with a 1.5-litre SkyActiv petrol engine that makes 96kW in Japanese tune. It returns 5.8 litres per 100 kilometres under the Japanese testing standard in manual form, and 5.3L/100km in auto trim.

A six-speed automatic transmission is available as an option on both the Special Package and Leather Package cars, while the base S is only offered with a six-speed manual gearbox.

Mazda Australia is set to offer the diminutive roadster in 1.5-litre form for less than $40,000 when it goes on sale here in the third quarter, which represents a reduction of more than $17,000 on the current model.

A more powerful 2.0-litre version has also been confirmed as a starter by local officials, and will produce up to 116kW/201Nm. United States figures have this version weighing approximately 1060kg.

Power and fuel figures have not yet been released for Australian-specification cars. Japanese domestic cars have access to higher-RON fuels as standard the same 2.0-litre SkyActiv-G engine makes just 109kW in the recently released CX-3, but it has the ability to use lower-grade 91RON fuel.

Mazda Australia would not be drawn on local specs, but a spokesperson indicated that final product details for the local range of cars are no more than a month away.

Unlike models such as the Mazda3, Mazda Australia has not had the same level of input into the MX-5. No pre-production cars were sent to Australia, and only a handful of top-line staff have even seen the vehicle up close.

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