Mazda took the wraps off the fourth generation of its iconic MX-5 roadster yesterday, and initial impressions are almost overwhelmingly positive. There are bits of inspiration from sources as disparate as the Honda S2000 and CRZ in the front, and the Jaguar F-Type in the taillights.
Perhaps the most impressive is the cabin, which adopts the design found in other new Mazda models, complete with hooded gauge cluster, simple HVAC dials and a display screen poking out of the dash.
The 2016 model now embraces Mazda’s whole SKYACTIV philosophy, which means the car is around 220 pounds lighter than before, and retains its 50/50 front/rear weight distribution. Compared with the current model, the new MX-5 has a slightly shorter wheelbase and is nearly four-inches shorter bumper-to-bumper, but it is fractionally wider than before.
Beyond knowing that the MX-5 will sport at least one of Mazda’s SKYACTIV-G gasoline direct-injection four-cylinder engines, and presumably six-speed manual and automatic transmissions, we’re unsure of details about potential displacement, power and fuel economy. The current MX-5 uses the old 2.0-liter MZR with 167 horsepower and 140 pounds-feet of torque, and is rated at 22 mpg city and 28 highway.