Iconic facelifted roadster unveiled in its home market
9 December 2008

The facelifted Mazda MX-5 has just launched in Japan, where it costs the equivalent of £16,192-£20,500.

The mid-life changes give the Mazda MX-5 a deeper corporate grille, new taillights, different alloy wheels and a new range of body colours, including this vivid yellow.

The retractable hard top model gets its own mesh grille with chrome surround. Mazda is keen to make a bigger differentiation between the open and hard top MX-5s.

Inside there are newly designed, more supportive, seats and a redesigned five-dial instrument pack. Mazda continues to make its once spartan roadster ever more classy inside.

The car’s 2.0-litre engine has now been altered with a newly forged crankshaft, pistons and revised valve springs. Power stays the same at 168bhp for the Japanese market, but the rev limit for manual models now lifts 500rpm to 7500rpm.

Mazda has reworked the MX-5’s six-speed manual gearbox to give it a more precise throw and the electrically controlled six-speed Activematic auto transmission now gets RX-8-style steering wheel buttons for up/down shifts.

Our Verdict

Mazda MX-5

The Mazda MX-5 is still great fun, and more grown up in its third (NC) generation. For pure driving fun, little else gets close

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Driven this week

The front roll centre is 26mm, helping to reduce the vertical load on the outer wheels in cornering. Mazda claims this reduces body roll and allows a more linear response to steering inputs.

It goes on sale in the UK early next year, with prices and specification here yet to be announced.

Peter Nunn

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Comments
4

9 December 2008

is that all we get??

how much lighter? do you know. Are we going to get a version of this "lighter" MX-5

9 December 2008

[quote davidv11]

is that all we get??

how much lighter? do you know. Are we going to get a version of this "lighter" MX-5

[/quote]

my apologies. i clicked on it twice and nothing came up, and it wont let me delete the comment. teahc me to be so quick!

9 December 2008

[quote Autocar]The retractable hard top model gets its own mesh grille with chrome surround. Mazda is keen to make a bigger differentiation between the open and hard top MX-5s. [/quote]

A mesh grille with chrome surround was already offered (as standard feature) in the pre-facelift MX-5 RHT, at least in Israel. So this is nothing new in terms of differentiation between soft and hard top models.

9 December 2008

Checkout the 6th picture, the grey MX5 with the chrome grille surround. What a strange looking face that car has, very scary.

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Our Verdict

Mazda MX-5

The Mazda MX-5 is still great fun, and more grown up in its third (NC) generation. For pure driving fun, little else gets close

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week