The fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 has landed in the Philippines and embodies the latest of the brand’s philosophies and technologies, as well as the old-school orientation of the first generation roadster that is also known as the Miata.
Hosted by Berjaya Auto Philippines (BAP), the launching of the latest-generation MX-5 last week at the Green Sun Hotel in Makati City also marked its debut in Southeast Asia.
The fourth generation MX-5 (Roadster in Japanese market) sports the Kodo design philosophy with its Soul of Motion design language that is expressed by its continuously flowing curves that is found in almost every Mazda vehicle. As with current Mazda models, it also utilizes Mazda’s SkyActiv Technology.
“The all-new MX-5 is the epitome of Mazda’s core ethos of providing pure driving pleasure on the road,” BAP president Steven Tan said during the launch. “The amount of design and engineering effort that was put in by Mazda engineers into this latest generation MX-5 is intended to bring back the first MX-5s calling to deliver joy in driving. We are confident that the all-new MX-5 will not only achieve its goals of providing unique top-down driving experience but will set a new benchmark in providing more smiles not only to its owners but to everyone who sees the car.”
Powering the fourth generation MX-5 for the Philippine market is a 2.0-liter DOHC inline-4 with SkyActiv-G technology that produces 157 horsepower (160 PS) at 6,000 revolutions per minute and 200 Newton-meter of torque at 4,600 rpm. A six-speed manual transmission or six-speed automatic will be available along with the i-Stop stop-start fuel saving function. Limited-slip differential is only available in the manual transmission variant as standard.
Also standard in both models are Anti-lock brakes (ABS), stability control, rear parking sensors, dual front airbags, seatbelt warning lights, high mount stop lamp, immobilizer, burglar alarm, keyless entry and child-lock protection.
Following Mazda’s long-standing MX-5 mantra of Jinba-Ittai (horse and rider are one) principle, the car sports double-wishbone suspension at the front and independent multi-link ones at the rear. The engine position and occupant position are redesigned to lower the centre of gravity, and provide a 50:50 weight distribution. Also adding to the overall performance is the extensive use of aluminum for its body and mechanical parts, making the car as light as possible.
Design and heritage
The MX-5’s designer, Masashi Nakayama, was at the Philippine launch to explain the changes made to the exterior and the roadster’s design purity.
“We switched to LED lights so that we can make the headlights smaller and more compact,” Nakayama said in an interview. “We also chopped some corners of the body, especially the rear, to make it as compact as the last generation models.”
The changes made, according to Nakayama, made the fourth-generation MX-5 smaller, less chunky and more compact than the first generation.
The softtop roof can be manually detached with a push of a button and can be folded up with the swing of a hand.
Tom Matano, the designer of the first generation and second generation models, said that the future of the MX-5 will still depend on the resources that Mazda has, business-wise.
“When we designed the first generation, we still had to consider the resources that Mazda has at that time. Maybe time will tell with Nakayama-san,” Matano said in an interview.
Pricing starts at P1.68 million for the manual and P1.86 million for the automatic, with an added P16,800 for the Soul Red color.
The Mazda MX-5 has been in the market for 25 years, spanning four generations, and has won 200 awards in its lifespan, including the world’s best-selling roadster from the Guinness Book of World Records.