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Sweet Dream: Mazda MX-5 Coupe

By Aiden Taylor | Illustration Brendon Wise, 02 Mar 2016 Features

Sweet Dream: Mazda MX-5 Coupe

MX-5 gets the Cayman treatment

History lesson: back in 2003, Mazda made a coupe version of the NB MX-5 for the Japanese market.

A limited number were built and offered with the a 1.6-litre or 1.8-litre engine and both a manual or automatic transmission. The fixed metal roof added around 10kg to the car’s weight, but increased the drop top’s structural rigidity and improved the handling.

This month, MOTOR is dreaming up an ND MX-5 coupe. The new MX-5 is the most aggressively styled incarnation to date with sharp lines, bulging shoulders and piercing headlights. Add a fixed double-bubble roof for extra torsional rigidity, a set of slick alloys and a power bump and you’ve got one hell of a Toyota 86 competitor.

C’mon Mazda, you know it makes sense.

The MX-5 coupe can be optioned with a half cage, bucket seats with race harnesses, fire extinguisher and radio and air-con deletes for track-day heroes hell-bent on shaving tenths. Think of it as a Cayman GT4 for a quarter of the price.

You lose the wind-in-your-hair roadster experience but gain extra chassis rigidity, better handling and improved refinement. Its driving focus will garner the MX-5 even more cred amongst purists.

The coupe comes with two engine options: a 1.5-litre turbo four banger tuned to 150kW and a 129kW/420Nm 2.2-litre turbodiesel torque monster fed by the black pump. A six-speed manual is the only transmission option.

A front lip, side skirts and mirrors made from faux carbon are subtle bodykit enhancements that help keep weight gain to a minimum and bolster the coupe’s reputation as the sportiest of the already able MX-5 range.

The coupe swaps the standard car’s 16-inch alloys for fatter 17s to give a meaner look and extra tyre width. Wider rubber will give the chassis the grip required to handle the extra power from the force-fed engines.

Bigger brakes from the Mazda 3 range will be fitted to the powered-up MX-5 coupe. The stoppers aren’t pretty but they’ll get the job done, and will help keep costs down.