Those itching to know officially what engine lies beneath the shapely bonnet of the new 2015 Mazda MX-5 won’t have too long to wait, with the full suite of technical information to be revealed at the Paris motor show at the start of October.
Mazda this week tore the covers off the fourth-generation MX-5 to much fanfare in three locations simultaneously — Spain, the US and Japan. But much of the data about what lies under the skin remains under wraps.
Here’s what we know for sure. It will be the shortest MX-5 ever, it will weigh less than any version since the 1989 original at about 1030kg and it will launch as a soft-top only. It will also be the first properly new model with all new underpinnings since the NA original.
In time expect to see a hard top offering. Expect also to see another sportscar spun off this platform to amortise costs — a strategy that complements Mazda’s move to license the underpinnings to Fiat for the new ‘Barchetta’.
Whether this new coupe wears RX-7 badges is the big question, and it’s one Mazda refuses to discuss.
Under the polarising new MX-5 design sits a brand spanking new rear-drive platform, the first of this configuration to fall under Mazda’s lightweight SkyActiv program. The engines — yes, plural, in another first (multiple engine options, that is) — will be longitudinally mounted.
While Mazda staffers are sworn to secrecy, expect the base engine to be a derivation of the 1.5-litre unit from the new Mazda2, tuned (but not turbocharged) to somewhere close to the current 1.8’s 118kW and 188Nm atmo unit.
Above this will be a version of the CX-5’s and Mazda 3’s 2.0-litre naturally aspirated engine with somewhere nudging 130kW. As ever, Mazda says, less is more. So don’t expect big horsepower.
Six-speed manual and six-speed automatic gearboxes will be offered, as will Mazda’s MZD infotainment system with a dial mounted between the seats.
All will be revealed in Paris. Stay tuned for le big premiere.