What is it?
Here it is, folks: the £30,000 Mazda MX-5. “That’s not what an MX-5 is about,” remarked our photographer.
The price is rather startling, but in Mazda’s defence, this is a top-spec 2.0-litre GT Sport Tech, and you can have a 1.5-litre car for ‘just’ £24,775. It’s a mark more of how bonkers car prices have got in general than of any particular greediness on Mazda’s part.
The MX-5 is still a unique offering in the new car market: a sensibly sized, two-seat sports car with a naturally aspirated engine, a manual gearbox, a limited-slip differential and rear-wheel drive that’s vaguely affordable. The Toyota GR86 should do the same when it arrives later this year, but you can’t take the roof off that one.
The reason we’re driving an MX-5 again, other than to remind ourselves that it’s brilliant (spoiler alert), is that Mazda tends to do model-year updates in addition to the occasional sweeping facelift. New for 2022 is Platinum Quartz Metallic paint, a sort of metallic champagne. Helpfully, Mazda sent us a Polymetal Grey one.
The MX-5 has also gained Kinematic Posture Control. This is essentially mild torque-vectoring by braking that supposedly also reduces body roll. Without driving this MX-5 back to back with an older one, it’s hard to tell if it actually does. Even this high-spec model on its sports suspension with Bilstein dampers rolls more than you might expect from a modern sports car.