Mazda makes rain for MX-5 Roadster Coupe
18 July 2006

It’s one of the hottest days of the year so far, but Mazda managed to bring the rain for the debut of the new MX-5 Roadster Coupe.

To show off the speedy action of the new folding hard-top a burst of water showered the stand here at the British motor show. It was an impressive demonstration: the MX-5 raises or lowers its roof in just 12 seconds at the press of a button - pretty much as quickly as any soft-topped rival.

The new folding hard-top folds away behind the seats, meaning that boot space is unaltered whether the roof is up or down at 150 litres. To achieve this, Mazda has tweaked the MX-5’s rear deck, which is slightly higher on the Roadster Coupe than on the soft-top. It’s more noticeable in the metal than in photos, but overall barely alters the MX-5’s svelte lines. The hard-top also adds a mere 37kg to the car’s weight.

The small increase in weight means the Roadster Coupe should be as good to drive is its soft-topped sibling, while the extra insulation of the hard top should improve refinement.

The Roadster Coupe goes on sale at the end of the year for around £17,000 (prices are yet to be finalised).

Other British motor show newsChrysler Sebring makes debut in LondonLexus launches limited-edition GS300New Vauxhall Corsa is goFocus CC priced to beat TwinTopSeat unveils 237bhp Leon CupraFord's 'green scheme' marches onQ&A with Jaguar's Ian CallumMore Rs in Jaguar's rangeQ & A with M Division bossKia reveals new Focus rivalNo charge for electric carQ&A: Citroen designer Leighanne EarleyConnaught's V10-powered British coupeFord boss reveals vision of green futureCaddy Escalade heads for Blighty

Our Verdict

Here is the fourth-gen Mazda MX-5 - the definitive small sports car

Fourth-generation MX-5 heads back to Mazda's roadster's roots, surpassing its predecessor in every area

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