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Mazda MX-5 to arrive with 2.0-litre engine

More zoom zoom: Mazda has confirmed a more powerful 2.0-litre engine will join the smaller 1.5-litre four-cylinder in the next-generation MX-5 line-up when it comes to Australia later this year.

Sub-$40K kick-off and 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine for Aussie Mazda MX-5 range

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Mazda logo5 Feb 2015

MAZDA has revealed more details of its new-generation MX-5, confirming a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine and a sub-$40,000 starting price when it arrives in Australian showrooms this year.

At the Paris motor show in October last year the Japanese car-maker announced the roadster would launch with a 1.5-litre four-cylinder powerplant, but at the time there was no confirmation of the 2.0-litre units destined for other markets.

Speaking with GoAuto at the launch of the updated Mazda6 in Albury this week, Mazda Australia marketing director Alastair Doak said the more powerful engine would join the 1.5-litre engine already confirmed for the line-up.

“We’ll definitely have a 1.5- and 2.0-litre with a manual gearbox and automatic transmission,” he said.

While the 1.5-litre engine output has been confirmed as 96kW/150Nm, the larger capacity engine is expected to produce 125kW and 200Nm.

Four specifications will be available here with a choice of six-speed manual gearbox or six-speed automatic transmission.

Mr Doak said the challenge for Mazda would be reminding people that the MX-5 is still around and attracting a more youthful buyer.

“I think our challenge for MX-5 will be to get younger customers interested in that car again.

“We haven’t done much in the way of marketing and promotion of MX-5 for quite a few years now – which is a normal part of the sportscar model cycle – but our research shows that people have to be reminded that it exists, particularly young people I think.

“So that will be our challenge for the new car, to try and get them excited about it.” While local pricing and specifications are yet to be confirmed, Mr Doak said the entry model would be less than $40,000, plus on road costs. This represents a saving of at least $17,000 when compared with the starting price of the current model.

Mr Doak confirmed that the MX-5 will arrive with manually retractable soft-top roof only, and a removable hard-roof would not be available.

“It’s a manual opening roof, but it’s been totally redesigned,” he said.

“Sometimes the old one was quite stiff to pull up and a lot of people had to get out of the car to do it, but this new one is much lighter. While it’s a soft top it’s a lot easier to use and functionality has been improved.” The MX-5 is celebrating its 25th anniversary and this fourth-generation is new from the ground up.

The complete redesign saw the engine relocated closer to the middle of the vehicle for a lower centre of mass, the A-pillar moved further towards the rear for better visibility and the shedding of 100kg thanks to the use of aluminium in the bonnet, front fenders, bumpers and boot-lid.

With a front-midship engine and rear-wheel drive Mazda says it has achieved the ideal 50:50 front-to-rear weight distribution.

It features new lightweight and rigid suspension with double wishbones in the front and a multi-link set-up in the rear.

The interior, too, has been given a design overhaul with new materials and a lower seating position in a refined cabin that Mazda says “wraps around” its occupants.

The fourth-generation MX-5 is expected to go on sale in Australia in spring this year.

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