The fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 has finally arrived in Oz, and we’ve driven it. Read Stephen Corby’s engaging review of the 1.5-litre here. We also had a steer of the more powerful 2.0-litre model through the bonnie hills of Scotland, which you can read about here.
Now, here are 10 things you didn’t know about the new 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.
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.
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 will 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 this 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 new car’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.
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. Mazda would have gone ahead with the new MX-5 whether or not Fiat Chrysler Automobiles had come on board with the Fiat 124 Spider joint venture.