Cracker of a car

What more can be said about the Mazda MX-5 that hasn’t been said already? Since 1989, the MX-5 has been a momentous success, one which rewrote the sports car rule book and created legions of fans along the way. By Ben Selby.

Now well into its fourth generation, the MX-5 has been tweaked, both outside and underneath, but is it possible for Mazda to make the MX-5 even better? Let’s see.

While still available as a retractable hard-top RF, the new MX-5 Roadster has added the GT emblem to its namesake and it will set you back $58,490 plus ORC. Aside from a new body colour, Platinum Quartz Metallic, the MX-5 GT gets a new sports performance package. This means a set of 17-inch Gunmetal BBS forged alloy wheels, Bilstein sports suspension dampers, Brembo front brakes, front suspension tower brace bar, gloss black door mirrors, and a twin exhaust.

The power still says the same in the form of the 2.0L Skyactiv-G four-cylinder petrol engine with 135kW/205Nm mated to a slick six-speed manual transmission. However, the biggest mechanical change comes from the MX-5’s newly developed Kinematic Posture Control technology. Basically, KPC gives the suspension more stability at high speed and allows the drive to turn more sharply the faster you go.

Inside, the driving position is still perfect.

I think the clichéd expression “fits like a glove” is tailor made for the MX-5 GT. Everything is within easy reach and analogue instrument cluster, including that dominant central mounted rev counter, staring at you like a spyglass. On board tech includes Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, heated seats, sat nav, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning and an audibly blissful 9-speaker BOSE stereo system.
Time to get in the zone. Drop the roof via the single clip, fold it away until it goes click and fire up that four pot. It still sounds throaty and mechanical, a calling card of MX-5s of old. As is the joyous bolt-action rifle-esque
manual box.

The Bilstein shocks mean the bumps are slightly felt on the morning commute, but it is by no means unbearable. You may only have 150mm of ground clearance but you need not worry about scuffing that front lip on speed bumps and driveways.

It isn’t long before the temptation to push the MX-5 hard becomes too much to resist. It’s almost-psychic ability to change direction at the merest tug at the wheel left or right is stunning. The lack of weight coupled with that ample power package results in some serious fun being had every time you tackle a twisty section of tarmac.
The tweaks underneath courtesy of KPC do make a difference too. It does feel just that little bit more stable at speed in the corners and it never once feels underdamped or wayward. It’s just fab.

The Mazda MX-5 is still a cracker, and these extra tweaks have only made it more desirable.

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