I’ve been to some pretty odd car reveals, in my time, in some pretty odd locations. Generally speaking, though, they’ve all been at civilised hours of the day.

So it was pretty unusual to be hanging around in Barcelona until 3am local time waiting for the covers to come off of the all-new Mazda MX-5.

The reason for a press conference at this ungodly hour was that the big cheeses at Mazda HQ wanted a simultaneous reveal in Japan, the west coast of America and here in Europe. And it was us Europeans who drew the time zone short straw.

In the end it was worth staying up late. The last MX-5 looked too fat and podgy to these eyes and this latest one looks a lot sharper and leaner; it's 10cms shorter too (and looks it).

It also looks a lot more minimalist and less swoopy than we’ve come to expect from Mazda’s recent  – albeit handsome – hatches and saloons.

According to Mazda's new European design boss, Kevin Rice, the MX-5 was never going to be too exuberant – "to keep the spirit of the original".

Thankfully it feels just as snug inside as you’d expect and, thankfully, still has a nice and simple soft-top roof arrangement that can be operated with one hand. But it’s all mixed with a modern infotainment screen and, what feels like, high-quality cabin materials.

My main hope though is that it will drive more like the 25-year-old original than the last one. Engineers are already talking about "recapturing its spirit, and making it really fun again".

As this one’s got more power and is 100kgs lighter than before, let’s hope that really is the case. Because the new MX-5 deserves to be a brilliant, affordable sports car that the Mark 3 never quite managed to be.

Read more about the new Mazda MX-5

Watch a recorded version of Mazda's official MX-5 launch event below