Mazda heralds style and safety
By Mike Torpey
MAZDA’S fresh-faced MX-5 sports car will cost from £18,495 when revamped versions hit the streets next week.
The iconic model introduces a new pedestrian-friendly bonnet, sat-nav system, side airbags and climate control air-con as well as the new-look face.
Mazda says the seven-strong range, which introduces the 2.0-litre Sport Tech Nav models, with integrated sat-nav as standard, will also offer a more rewarding driving experience.
It comes courtesy of the Japanese brand’s ‘Jinba Ittai’ handling finesse with a rear-wheel drive chassis for more balanced handling while the six manual transmission models feature a modified throttle to improve response, especially coming out of corners.
Keeping ahead of tougher EU regulations, the MX-5 is also the first Mazda to be equipped with the company’s active bonnet system.
If a collision with a pedestrian is detected, the trailing edge of the bonnet instantly pops-up to increase the crumple zone between bonnet and engine, reducing the severity of pedestrian injuries.
Enhanced equipment sees a glossy, dark grey dashboard panel and steering wheel inserts on every model and the Sport Tech and PowerShift models also gain an auto-dimming interior mirror.
Sport Tech models also boast an alloy pedal set and come with a TomTom sat-nav system with integrated 5.8-inch touch screen monitor, 4GB SD card based map taking in 45 countries, live services, iPod and Bluetooth.
A trio of available petrol engines comprises the 126PS 1.8i MZR with a five-speed gearbox and the 160PS 2.0i MZR with six-speed manual transmission or PowerShift sequential paddle-shift allowing manual control or fully automatic mode.
Mazda sales chief Peter Allibon said: “When developing the upgraded MX-5, Mazda’s designers were determined to make the revised roadster even better looking and more fun to drive.
“An aggressive new front grille and bumper design with a bold chin spoiler creates a deeper and wider look that also improves aerodynamics by reducing drag around the fog lamp and over the front tyres.”