All-New 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Unveiled With New Design And Lighter Body
Mazda lifts the veils off the fourth-generation MX-5 Miata roadster
Mazda has finally unveiled the fourth-generation MX-5 Miata and this debut comes 26 years and 950,000 sales after the original model launched at the 1989 Chicago Auto Show.
The parallel with the first-generation Miata really makes the new model look good. Besides the all-new design, what stands out is the 2016 model’s lightness - at 2,332 lbs (1,058 kg), is only 182 lbs (82.5 kg) heavier than the original 1990 Miata and around 150 lbs (68 kg) lighter than the previous generation model. It’s a remarkable feat considering the technology and safety features the new car has compared to the original.
Engineers adopted comprehensive weight-saving measures including the use of more high-tensile steel (from 58 percent to 71 percent) in the vehicle’s structure to improve safety, the addition of aluminum exterior panels as well as numerous small measures such as the lighter soft top, seats, air conditioner and so on. Weight reduction is intrinsically linked to fuel economy, and the 2016 Mazda MX-5 achieves an impressive 25-percent greater fuel-efficiency than the six-speed manual-equipped previous generation models.
In the United States, the 2016 Mazda MX-5 is powered by a Skyactiv-G 2.0-liter engine rated at 155 hp at 6,000 rpm and 148 lb-ft (201 Nm) of torque at 4,600 rpm. Mated to a standard Skyactiv-MT six-speed manual transmission driving the rear wheels, the engine returns an EPA-estimated 27 mpg city (8.7 l/100 km) - nearly the same as the previous generation’s highway figure.
The 2016 Mazda MX-5 is also offered with an optional six-speed automatic transmission, also EPA-rated at 27 mpg city (8.7 l/100 km), with a 36 mpg highway (6.5 l/100 km). Mazda says the engine sits lower and farther back in the engine bay, helping achieve a lower center of gravity. Combined with the 50:50 weight distribution and the double-wishbone front suspension and rear multilink setup, the 2016 MX-5 promises a sharp, responsive handling.
Design-wise, the new MX-5 is a further evolution of the brand’s KODO - Soul of Motion design language, featuring a lowered hood, short overhangs, more upright A-pillars pushed far back on the body, sleeker LED headlights and taillights, as well as body-colored door panels.
Mazda says the driving experience has been enhanced so that the driver feels more connected to the vehicle, thanks to driver-centric ergonomics and a redesigned cockpit layout.
The 2016 Mazda MX-5 will be offered in the U.S. in three grades (Sport, Club and Grand Touring), with prices starting from $24,915 for the base model, excluding $820 destination and handling ($865 in Alaska). Standard features for all models include air conditioning, push-button starter, a manual cloth convertible top, power door locks, USB input, Bluetooth, leather shift knob and CD player.