The Mazda MX-5 was once a far more affordable car, but over recent years its price has crept higher and higher: the current model sets buyers back almost $50,000 on the road. However, the Japanese brand's local arm has indicated that the fourth-generation model, which will be revealed later this year and go on sale in 2015, will be more wallet-friendly.
“It’s certainly something we want to focus on to make it the right car,” said Mazda Australia managing director Martin Benders said at the recent New York auto show, where the brand revealed the 25th Anniversary Edition MX-5 (pictured above) and the new-generation MX-5 chassis (below).
The company's global sales and marketing boss, Masahiro Moro, told CarAdvice at the New York show that the brand will focus its efforts on making the new-generation model live up to its predecessors, suggesting the new model would be both smaller, lighter and cheaper than the current car, which starts from $47,280 in Australia.
"We could do better in terms of the price-value balance, and all those kinds of things," Moro said. "We need to win the heart of the consumer to provide a very stimulating car."
Moro said that the MX-5 carved its own niche in the market, and the new model is about getting back to the MX-5's roots.
"It's been 25 years we have kept the same concept on the pricing - it should be attainable" he said. "That's the secret why we've sold more than 900,000 units.
"Although I think the vehicle dynamics is much better [for the new-generation model], we will try and keep the attainable price as much as we can."
Part of what could help the new model come in at a more affordable price is that the costs of development have been shared this time around - for the new-generation MX-5, Mazda has teamed with the Italian maker Fiat with the aim of offering twin sports cars that offer unique styling and engines.
The Italian version was expected to wear an Alfa Romeo badge, but it now seems more likely that it will be a Fiat or Abarth model, and will likely be offered with a range of turbocharged four-cylinder engines.