In the first of this years forthcoming awards shared with MotorMartin, the all-new Mazda MX-5 has been named the winner of the Roadsters and Spiders category in ‘The Sunday Times Top 100 Cars’. Judged by the editorial team of the Sunday Times Driving motoring supplement, this annual feature names the top 100 cars on sale.
Commenting on the MX-5’s win, The Sunday Times Driving said “in a market obsessed by huge power outputs, the MX-5 makes a refreshing change. It produces just 129bhp from its entry-level 1.5-litre engine, but Mazda’s engineers have obsessively pared weight back to a lean 1,050kg. On the road the MX-5 changes direction like a featherweight boxer, revs freely and allows you to use all the power without troubling the traction control.” For anyone that as driven one or more of the different versions of MX-5 over the years this will surely be a sentiment easily recognised. Indeed the very latest MX-5 was designed with a clear focus on returning the Mazda back to basics, light weight and great handling were a must have.
With rear-wheel drive, perfect 50:50 weight distribution, plus more comfort and technology than ever before, the all-new Mazda MX-5 is offered with a choice of two SKYACTIV-G petrol engines. Having gone on sale in the UK in the summer, the fourth-generation of Mazda’s iconic roadster has already won a place in the hearts of driving enthusiasts, thanks to its lightweight design, sleek cabin, beautifully engineered mechanicals and balanced handling.
The Sunday Times Driving go on to say that with nine models across five trim levels, the all-new Mazda MX-5 has reaffirmed Mazda’s dominance of the affordable sports car sector. Maintaining the driver-focused ethos that has made the Mazda MX-5 the best-selling two-seater sports car of all time, the engineering philosophy behind the all-new MX-5 has allowed Mazda to retain the agility, fun and engagement that has always defined the MX-5, while at the same time meeting ever-increasing safety and efficiency requirements, alongside improved refinement.
The lightest MX-5 since the iconic original, the all-new Mazda MX-5 is shorter, lower and wider than the outgoing car, with the smallest overhangs and lowest centre of gravity yet. These dynamic proportions combined with Mazda’s KODO: Soul of Motion design philosophy ensure that the all-new Mazda MX-5’s styling reflects its focus on driving pleasure in an unmistakably contemporary and dynamic way.
Featuring Mazda’s award-winning SKYACTIV technology, the all-new MX-5’s ultra-efficient lightweight petrol engines deliver new levels of performance and economy. Across the range the all-new Mazda MX-5 features alloy wheels, LED headlights, a leather steering wheel, plus a lightweight and sleek fabric hood. SE-L models add LED daytime running lights, climate control air-conditioning, DAB radio, Bluetooth®and cruise control, plus Mazda’s MZD-Connect connectivity and infotainment system with 7-inch Colour touch-screen display and Multimedia Commander.
SE-L models with the 2.0-litre 160ps engine are distinguished by 17-inch Gunmetal alloy wheels and piano black door mirrors, and benefit from a strut tower bar and limited slip differential. Step up to Sport trim and both the 1.5 and 2.0-litre cars feature rain sensing wipers, rear parking sensors, smart keyless entry, Premium Bose®Surround-Sound and heated leather seats.
With the 1.5-litre engine, Sport trim MX-5’s come with 16-inch Gunmetal alloy wheels and piano black door mirrors. Sport models with the 2.0-litre 160ps engine benefit from a dynamic set-up that includes Sports suspension featuring Bilstein dampers, a limited slip differential and strut tower bar, while visually, they are marked out by their 17-inch Bright alloy wheels and body coloured mirrors.
Whilst discussing the award, Jeremy Thomson, Mazda Motors UK Managing Director said, “When it was launched in 1990, the 115ps Mk1 MX-5 cost £14,249 (equal to £31,687 in today’s money), yet 25 years later with vastly more standard equipment, the all-new Mazda MX-5 costs from £18,495, meaning more than ever, the Mazda MX-5 sets the benchmark as the one of the world’s best and most affordable sports cars. We’re delighted that The Sunday Times has recognised that our engineers have created an all-new sports car that incorporates modern safety and superb efficiency with the value for money and driver focused enjoyment the original MX-5 was famed for.”
The latest Mazda MX-5 continues to give us the driving experience introduced to the general public way back in 1990 with the Mk1 and has established the Mazda as a ‘real life’ sports car for the masses. What else is there that offers a similar amount of practicality and fun at the same price point?
To highlight this, MotorMartin will be driving a Mk2 MX-5 in the next few weeks and sharing the experience with you all, whilst deciding if a decent, used Mk2 can offer the same thrills as the latest model, at a fraction of the price. With second hand MX-5s in good condition costing from £1000 with less than 70,000 miles on the clock it appears that prices have bottomed out and could now find themselves gradually rising. Magazines such as Practical Classics have long favoured the Mk1 as a reliable alternative to aging British two seater sports cars and in 2016 it’s about time that MotorMartin found out what all the fuss is about. Watch this space…
Where will you go?