Mazda MX-5 11

It’s been a long time coming – the car was unveiled this time last year – and after several months of teasing and leaked info and photos, the fourth-generation ND Mazda MX-5 has finally been launched in Malaysia.

First things first, let’s not beat around the bush, because this is one expensive little tyke. There’s only one variant, and one price; you’ll need a cool RM219,999 – on-the-road without insurance, inclusive of a three-year/100,000 km warranty and a three-year/60,000 km free service package – to drop the top on this one.

But hey, at least our MX-5 is loaded up to the teeth with kit. The lithe, if rather divisive styling is bolstered with adaptive LED headlights, LED daytime running lights and the larger 17-inch wheels, the latter shod with 205/45-section tyres. Keyless entry, an option in other markets, is also fitted here.

Step inside and you’ll find that the minimalist driver-oriented cockpit is equipped with push-button start, auto lights and wipers, cruise control, auto air-con, leather upholstery, the now-familiar MZD Connect infotainment system with a seven-inch touchscreen and Commander Control knob and a nine-speaker Bose sound system (with headrest speakers, just like the original!).

On the safety side, there are four airbags (front and side), ABS with EBD and Brake Assist, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), High Beam Control (HBC) and Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS).

Under the bonnet, we get the more powerful of the two engines available worldwide – a 2.0 litre high-compression, direct-injected SkyActiv-G four-pot that makes 158 hp at 6,000 rpm and 200 Nm of torque at 4,600 rpm.

A six-speed SkyActiv-Drive automatic transmission with paddle shifters is all we’ll be able to choose. You’ve probably heard us lament the lack of a manual gearbox option for long enough – so I’ll save it – but suffice to say, if you’re looking for a row-your-own ‘box for your Roadster, you’ll have to look elsewhere. Also equipped are an i-stop auto start stop system and i-ELOOP energy regeneration.