image_011

Mazda has announced that the fourth-generation of its iconic small roadster, the 2016 Mazda MX-5, will officially go on sale in its home market of Japan – where it’s badged as the Roadster – starting today.

The ND’s sole engine option in the Land of the Rising Sun is a 1.5 litre SkyActiv-G direct-injected four-cylinder engine, producing 129 hp at 7,000 rpm and 150 Nm at 4,800 rpm. Sending power to the rear wheels is a standard-fit six-speed SkyActiv-MT manual gearbox, with a six-speed SkyActiv-Drive auto available as an option on the higher-end S Special Package and S Leather Package models.

Under the skin, an increased use of aluminium and high-tensile steel (from 58% to 71%) has helped shave of over 100 kg compared to the previous NC. Mazda quotes a kerb weight of between 990 kg and 1,060 kg for the JDM models – meaning that the lightest base-model S is only 50 kg heavier than the original 940 kg NA – as well as a 50:50 weight distribution.

image_016

Standard equipment on the 2,494,800 yen (RM74,600) base model S includes LED head- and tail lights, 16-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, push-button start, leather-wrapped steering wheel, gear knob and handbrake handle, fabric seats, a simple radio unit and stability control.

Moving up to the 2,700,000 yen (RM80,800) Special Package nets you an MZD Connect system with a seven-inch touchscreen, auto lights and wipers, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, automatic climate control, a six-speaker sound system and side airbags (optional on the base S). The automatic version with standard i-ELOOP energy regeneration and i-stop (optional on the manual variants) costs 3,034,800 yen (RM90,800)

Specify the 3,034,800 yen (RM90,800) Leather Package and you’ll receive leather upholstery (obviously), a glass rear window, heated seats, a DVD player with digital TV tuner, adaptive headlights, High Beam Control (HBC), Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS) and a nine-speaker Bose sound system (with headrest speakers, just like the original).

interior_S_Special_Package

The last six items are optional on the Special Package; a CD player, an option on other variants, is also standard here. Ticking the auto ‘box option will set you back 3,142,800 yen (RM94,000).

Over here, local distributor Bermaz is looking to bring in the 2016 Mazda MX-5 sometime in September or October. Malaysian-spec cars will arrive with the larger 2.0 litre mill making 155 hp at 6,000 rpm and 200 Nm at 4,600 rpm; unfortunately for those of a three-pedal persuasion, it’s auto-only for us lot.