Posted online by members of the MX-5 Owners’ Club Forum, the images reveal sharper front-end styling, mild interior tweaks, and a new pedestrian-friendly active bonnet for added safety for the refreshed model.
Unofficially dubbed ‘NC3’, the latest update comes just under four years after the outgoing ‘NC2’ debuted at the 2008 Paris motor show, and more than seven years after the original version of the current-generation NC MX-5 was unveiled at the 2005 Geneva motor show.
The NC launched in Australia in September 2005, with the NC2 update following a little over three years ago in March 2009.
Drawing inspiration from the Mazda MX-5 Spyder concept that debuted the 2011 SEMA show in Las Vegas in November, the facelift brings a redesigned five-point grille with an arched upper section, a more muscular front bumper with reshaped side intakes, shadowy headlight lenses and sporty black edges at the base of the bumper.
New alloy wheel designs and some fresh colour options round out the exterior updates, while cabin revisions appear to be limited to new trim colours and materials.
The Japanese brochure material makes no mention of powertrain upgrades, suggesting the current model’s 118kW/188Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine is likely to carry over into the NC3 unchanged.
International reports suggest the facelifted MX-5 is set to begin rolling out of Mazda’s Hiroshima factory in the coming months, with production of the previous model already wrapping up.
Mazda Australia is yet to announce when the updated MX-5 will arrive down under.
The NC3 revision is expected to be the last update to the current-generation MX-5 before Mazda launches the all-new model in 2015, which will be co-developed alongside a two-seat rear-wheel-drive Alfa Romeo roadster.
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