Designed to personify everything a great roadster should be, the Mazda MX-5 represents the pinnacle of Mazda’s efforts to create a perfectly proportioned lightweight sports car. Shorter, lower and wider than the outgoing car, with the smallest overhangs and lowest centre of gravity yet, the Mazda MX-5 is guaranteed to turn heads.
Its dynamic proportions reflect the MX-5’s focus on driving pleasure in an unmistakably contemporary and vibrant way, yet at the same time the fourth-generation of the world’s bestselling two-seater sports car respects the design principles that have been a key part of the Mazda MX-5’s allure for the last 25 years.
Originally born of the desire to recreate the simple beauty of the classic British roadster, the Mk1 MX-5 is a design icon and the genesis point of an unmistakable lineage that has seen the MX-5 stay true to the classic roadster principles of a long bonnet, a rear-set cabin and a short tail. These values of compact dimensions and sporty proportions are embodied more than ever by the fourth-generation Mazda MX-5.
Blending traditional roadster styling cues with Mazda’s KODO: Soul of Motion design philosophy, the Mazda MX-5 strikes a perfect balance between tradition and progress, and in keeping with the principles of KODO, it conveys motion even at standstill. At the heart of the MX-5’s visual appeal are its taut proportions - shorter, lower and wider than the outgoing car, the piano-black A-Pillars are tilted backwards by 57mm with the cabin shifted rearwards to create a stunningly beautiful profile roof up or down.
Thanks to the shortest overhangs yet and a lower centre of gravity, the Mazda MX-5 has a planted stance on the road that is perfectly complemented by its powerful and assertive lines. Its sleek nose features ultra-compact LED headlamp units that allow for a low-slung bonnet with powerful character lines that flow towards the edges of the sweptback windscreen.
In profile the MX-5’s clean panels look as if they shrink wrap around the car with the body appearing to tuck in to the corners. The soft-top stows neatly into a compact space, further streamlining the MX-5’s silhouette, and to emphasise the driver focused cockpit-style cabin, the A-Pillars, windscreen header, door mirror trim, and seatback bars match the dark shades of the hood.
The MX-5’s prominent hip-line emphasises the rear-wheel drive layout and perfect 50:50 weight distribution by building a sense of energy from the rear, while the tail itself makes an equally bold statement. Hinting at power and stability, the integrated bumper dramatically tapers out to the wheels from the lights, while the higher positioning of the bumper allows for a taller deck, enhancing aerodynamics and downforce without the need for a spoiler. Sharing the circular forms of the original MX-5, the classically shaped taillights are another highlight, yet the modern LED lighting signature is unique to this generation and unmistakably new.
The most compact MX-5 ever produced, the Mazda MX-5’s stunningly balanced proportions and beautiful detailing is complimented by a choice of seven body colours and sporty eight-spoke design alloy wheels. In SE and SE-L Nav trim, the 1.5-litre 131ps car features 16” alloy wheels and body coloured mirrors, while Sport Nav trim 1.5 MX-5’s come with 16-inch Gunmetal alloy wheels and piano black door mirrors.
With the 2.0-litre 160ps engine, SE-L Nav models are distinguished by 17-inch Gunmetal alloy wheels and piano black door mirrors, while Sport trim cars are visually marked out by their 17-inch Bright alloy wheels and body coloured mirrors. Outside of the entry-level 1.5-litre SE, all models have slender LED daytime running lights at the outer edges of the front bumper, a feature that further highlights the MX-5’s broad stance on the road.
The Mazda MX-5 takes up the mantle of the previous three generations with a more aggressive look, yet it stays true to its proven focus on lightweight affordable roadster simplicity. In the words of Masashi Nakayama, Chief Designer of the Mazda MX-5 “the secret to designing the new MX-5 was to look deep inside, strip away trends and eccentricities, and uncover the form that resonates within the deepest layers of a person’s sense of beauty.”