To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the iconic Mazda MX-5 roadster, the company has given a sneak peek of the next-generation model – expected to be unveiled later this year – by showing its engine and chassis at the 2014 New York International Auto Show (NYIAS).
The new car will feature SkyActiv technology for the first time in a front-engined, rear-wheel drive layout. From the looks of things, purists can breathe a sigh of relief, as there is no forced induction anywhere in sight, and there is also what appears to be – joy of joys! – a manual gearbox. The outgoing model’s double wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension layout also looks set to be maintained.
It will be interesting to see what revisions have been done to make SkyActiv engines fit into their new home – the original ones could not be fitted longitudinally due to the long exhaust manifolds required to maintain a high compression ratio without knocking.
The company claims that the next MX-5 will feature “the most compact configuration yet”, adding that the engine has been located more centrally and that the centre of gravity is also now “lower than in any previous Mazda MX-5”. The company is aiming to trim weight by more than 100 kg despite the new model featuring “outstanding rigidity and crashworthiness”.
Mazda has also introduced a 25th Anniversary Edition of the current MX-5, based on the 2.0 litre power-retractable hardtop version and available solely in Soul Red Metallic with an option of a six-speed manual or automatic transmission.
The new variant features black-painted roof, windscreen surround and mirrors on the outside, while the interior receives off-white leather upholstery and a hand-finished decorative panel on the dashboard. Bilstein dampers are fitted as standard, along with 17-inch Dark Gunmetal alloy wheels.