Mazda MX-5 to pack more power, torque in 2019
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Updated version of Mazda's lively MX-5 Roadster, Roadster GT and RF models will pack more power, torque and tech in 2019.
As well as upgraded powertrains, the new models will be fitted with revised steering and safety features across the range.
But most notably, Mazda has wound up the wick for both 1.5 and 2.0-litre MX-5 engines, extracting maximum performance while maintaining a linear power delivery the sports car is famous for.
Read more: Mazda MX-5 RFS road test
Looking to replicate the free-revving feel of the 1.5-litre engine in the base Roadster, Mazda engineers have 'thoroughly revised' the SKYACTIV-G 2.0 engine with changes made to the air flow intake, exhaust systems, piston shape and weight, crankshaft and connecting rods - achieving increased air intake, improved combustion speed, reduced exhaust losses and mechanical friction.
The engine's red line has also been increased to 7,500rpm, boosting power from 118kW to 135kW and torque from 200Nm to 205Nm.
The SKYACTIV-G 1.5 engine was also revised with some of the same technologies applied to piston shape and combustion chambers, accounting for an increase in power from 96kW to 97kW and a boost in torque from 150Nm to 152Nm.
SKYACTIV-G 1.5 is available exclusively with the entry-level Roadster, while Roadster GT and all RF variants are equipped with the more powerful SKYACTIV-G 2.0 engine.
To match the extra power, manual and automatic transmissions were revised with shift timing at turn-in and torque control at turn-out for greater precision.
Drivers will also find it easier to find a comfortable driving position with the addition of a telescopic steering column to all new MX-5 models.
Mazda MX-5’s five star ANCAP safety rating has also been bolstered, with the addition of a rear camera to all grades, and more advanced safety technologies to the standard safety package, including Smart City Brake Support and Traffic Sign Recogniti
New-look 16-inch alloys with a black metallic finish are available for the 1.5L Roadster, while RF gets 17-inch wheels also finished in black metallic. Roadster GT and RF GT models sit on 17-inch wheels with a bright silver finish.
MX-5 Program Manager and Chief Designer Masashi Nakayama said the key phrase for the development of the car was “innovate in order to preserve.”
“I strongly believe this model’s ongoing appeal is the result of our unceasing commitment to refining the vehicle over its 29-year history,” Nakayama-san said.
“With this latest update the SKYACTIV-G 2.0 engine takes another leap forward, something made possible only by Mazda’s hunger for challenge and our wholehearted devotion to the MX-5.”
“We intend to keep refining the car so it can continue to offer customers unique excitement and cement its position as a cultural icon. This is our fixed and unchanging vision for the MX-5."
“It was how we felt when we first developed the vehicle nearly three decades ago and we still feel the same enthusiasm for the MX-5, the world’s favourite roadster.”
Mazda New Zealand is expected to announce pricing for the new MX-5 soon with first models likely to arrive in New Zealand before Christmas.