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Ten things you didn’t know about the Mazda MX-5

By Wheels Staff, 12 Jul 2019 Features

Ten things you didn’t know about the Mazda MX-5

Why did the boot release for the Mazda MX-5 get hidden down by the number plate? Here is some insight into the iconic roadster’s quirks

This year signifies the 30th anniversary of Mazda's iconic sports car, and what better way to celebrate that milestone than to highlight all the things that make it unique. 

Now, here are 10 things you didn’t know about the ND Mazda MX-5 roadster:

1. The front wings have been designed to replicate the look of the original pop-up headlight design, at least from the driver’s seat, so that you can see the front of the car.

Read next: 2019 Mazda MX-5 review

2. From an “ant’s eye” view, the front of the car smiles at you.

3. The original Mazda MX-5 concept used a 1.6-litre engine from the compact Mazda 323, a gearbox from the mid-sized 626 and the diff from an RX-7 sports coupe.

4. The side indicator is the one part shared on the first three MX-5 generations: all NA, NB and NC models used it. The new ND shares nothing with its forebears other than “maybe a few bolts”.

5. The MX-5 is the only Skyactiv car in the Mazda range not to feature stop-start technology, and you sure don’t miss it when it’s gone.

Read next: Lighter, more powerful Mazda MX-5 sets stage for Aussie arrival

6. MX-5 guru Nobuhiro Yamamoto actually helped out Toyota 86 chief engineer Tetsuya Tada, because he thought it was a good thing for competing sports car makers to push each other to greater heights.

7. Our MX-5s use the European steering rather than the sludgy US set-up, because American roads are boring, straight and soulless. Mainly.

8. We should have had the current MX-5 in 2012, because Mazda was working on it from 2007, but the whole project was put on hold for three years because of the GFC. It was assumed people would be too poor and depressed to buy sports cars.

9. The ND MX-5’s boot release is cleverly hidden just above the top of the number plate recess, instead of between the seats where it’s been for 25 years. The change was made to save weight - that’s some gram theory - and for aesthetic reasons.

Read next: Hot hatch bargains at Yaris prices

10. The glovebox has vanished in the ND to provide more knee room for passengers, with a dinky storage cubby now behind and between the seats instead.

And, because we like to under-promise and over-deliver, here’s one more:

11. While it helps to share costs, Mazda would have gone ahead with the ND MX-5 whether or not Fiat Chrysler Automobiles had come on board with the Fiat 124 Spider joint venture.

For Mazda MX-5 goodness, click through the gallery above