2016 Mazda MX-5 world reveal
MONTEREY, CA: The 2016 Mazda MX-5 was revealed Sept 3 during simultaneous events in Tokyo, Barcelona and Monterey, CA, and seen globally on Mazda’s YouTube channel.
While the highlight of the show was Mazda’s fourth generation two-seat roadster, star power was added by the internationally acclaimed rock group, Duran Duran.
“Duran Duran and the MX-5 Miata both made their world debuts in the 1980s and captured the hearts and imagination of an entire generation,” said Russell Wager, vice-president of Marketing, Mazda North America.
“In 25 years, both the car and the band have evolved while staying true to their roots. It is this combination of authenticity and endurance that makes the pairing of the MX-5 and Duran Duran so appropriate for this reveal.”
While Duran Duran has sold more than 100 million records over that time, the MX-5, also known to millions as the Miata, had sold more than 940,000 units and holds the Guinness World Record for the best-selling two-seater sports car of all time.
At the gala media launch, details were sparse but it will remain front-engined with rear-drive as the Miata has been since it was launched in 1989 at the Chicago Auto Show.
We do know the car is more than 100 kg lighter than the current version which is expected to dramatically improve performance.
The new MX-5 adopts the brand’s KODO design language but it is also the most compact MX-5 yet.
Power will come from Mazda’s new breed of Skyactiv engines that are very fuel frugal but not with any sacrifice in performance.
Mazda officials I talked to said the company has clamped down on specs and details to the point they don’t know when the press will be able to drive it.
We do know the car retains the same double front and rear wishbone suspension as the original car.
Visually, the new MX-5 is much tidier with a hint of Maserati at the nose and a hint of Jaguar F-Type at the rear.
Slightly wider, it was described as having a front end “impossibly low” in relation to the overall design.
Tom Matano, who penned the original Miata 25 years ago, told me “they nailed it” in relation to the spirit of the design philosophy behind the MC-5.
Interestingly, the MX-5 is being built in concert with Fiat which may surface next month at the Paris Motor Show.