The new Mazda MX-5 roadster: nestles, supersonic and classy drive

This rear-wheel drive vehicle for handling and ability to obey in extreme situations has surpassed many, much more expensive, sports cars. However, for the sake of drive and pleasure of the driver, Japanese engineers cold-bloodedly sacrificed some elements of comfort.

– Try to imagine yourself in the place of a wife who is trying to find a “stash” in the car of the dodgy husband – with such a strange proposal of the project manager MX-5 Nobuhiro Yamamoto began my acquaintance with one of the most affordable sports cars in the world car market. – I hid in the car a hundred euros. You find – they are yours. You have three minutes to find.

Open the usual glove box or a tiny trunk is pointless. There’s definitely nothing to hide. Under the seat? No, there it would be too stupid to do a cache there. Pockets of doors? Yes, they are all in sight. Time is up and we have to admit defeat. Yamamoto-san pauses and throws the seat backs with pleasure. Who will think of this in a two-seater? Behind them opens a warehouse – two small niches on a vertical shelf.

The Japanese removes a crispy note in his wallet. By the way, in places for “zanachek” not only wallet will fit, but, for example, small bottles of water. Or other small things. The purpose of this whole circus is to demonstrate how skillfully the authors of the MX-5 project have ordered each centimeter of the interior space.

The car in fact decently lost weight compared to the last generation – by 100 kilograms. And now the roadster weighs exactly a ton. To achieve this, the length of the body was reduced. An unusual step. Especially in our days, when with each new generation of cars are becoming larger. And how did all this downsideing affect comfort? After all, in order to save it with reduced dimensions, it is necessary to reduce the dimensions of some parts and assemblies. Here the radiator has become 21 mm shorter. But this is unlikely to have any effect. Now we’ll check.

More seats are set lower than before. A traditional move when you want to create an effect of increasing space. First I sit down not for a wheel, and on a passenger armchair. With it, the flaws of ergonomics are often noticeable even better. So this time. The left leg rests against a strange mound on the floor. What is it? I silently look at the engineers. They understand the question without words.

It turns out that by reducing the dimensions of the car, Mazda left almost no extra space for the transmission. As a result, she “drove” into the salon. As explained by Yamamoto-san, the exit under the left foot of the passenger is closed by the neutralizer. And it has become larger than before – it is a payment for new environmental standards in Europe. It turns out that there was no other place. Otherwise, it would be necessary to significantly increase the size. And all downside down …

But do not worry about such nuances. Do not forget: this is a car for the driver. And the passenger can and suffer.

When $ 50,000 is not superfluous

But enough niggling! After all, the MX-5 implanted a fresh heart – an absolutely new two-liter engine, which is eight kilograms lighter than the old one. It is atmospheric, without turbines, as is now customary. So, the acceleration will be as flat as possible, without annoying failures. By the way, the motor was moved deep into the cabin. Add here a reduced center of gravity and increased rigidity of the body. This roadster should not just ride worthy. And to be an example for competitors. Although, to be honest, I do not see any special rivals MX-5.

Having drowned the gas pedal, from the relaxed Nice immediately go to the mountain serpentine. Now I will provoke the car to its fullest. The two-liter motor and six-speed mechanics are almost an ideal pair: the gears are short and clear. On the previous generation of the roadster engine had to constantly twist – he issued a decent thrust only at five thousand revolutions. Now the pressure of power is felt already in the region of three and a half thousand. At the same time, the second gear is stretched and allows you to confidently accelerate from 10 km / h to almost a hundred.

And here the hairpins began. It’s good that I’m alone on a serpentine. Immediately several provocations. That’s a gross excess of speed. That sharp movements of the wheel, imitating classical mistakes, which often lead to sad consequences. But not in the MX-5. Due to the ideal weight distribution in the proportion of 50:50 the roadster does not stop listening even with very extreme driving. Resisting that slip, then a hint of a skid, it’s like biting tires in the asphalt. To improve controllability, the engineers did their best: they increased the front wheel caster, added a cross beam for reinforcement of the suspension from the rear, and also changed the levers’ fastenings to enhance the stability in bends.

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Due to its phenomenal stability in corners, this roadster on serpentine will not give way to many prestigious sports cars. It is in this car that the favorite expression of the fanatical engineers of Mazda “Jinba Ittai” – the sense of unity of the driver and the car – acquires a special meaning. In addition to the ideal weighting, this feeling is created by the pilot’s layout – you sit in an almost real cockpit. The most important controls – and a compact steering wheel, and a dashboard, and the pedals are located on one conditional line. And the electromechanical amplifier transfers the force directly to the rail. Accuracy of reactions – as in sports cars for fifty thousand dollars more.

It’s a pity that the windscreen in the roadster still performs a decorative function – at 50 km / h air flows unceremoniously walk through the saloon. And the noise from the road begins to annoy. Until you add the volume of the new audio system. The built-in head restraints of the Bose speakers create a surround sound around the head. And you already seem to be in the conservatory, and not in an open car rushing along the mountain serpentine. Perhaps, the best solution today for cars with an open top.

Technical specifications

Mazda MX-5 Skyactiv-G 2.0

Overall dimensions, cm 391,5х173,5х122,5

Wheelbase, cm 231,0

The equipped weight, kg 1.000

Engine 4-cylinder., 1.998 cu. cm

Power 160 hp At 6.000 rpm

The torque is 200 Nm at 4.600 rpm

Gearbox 6-p., Mechanical.

Drive type rear

Maximum speed, km / h 214

Acceleration from 0-100 km / h, from 7.3

Average fuel consumption, l / 100 km 6.9

Fuel capacity, l 45