The 2015 Mazda MX-5 will undercut the starting price of both the Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86 in the US, it has been announced.

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This week, Mazda’s US arm announced an opening gambit on the fourth-generation MX-5 of US$24,915, about $1000 more than the predecessor model.

This figure, nevertheless, still undercuts the Scion FR-S at $25,470 — the FR-S is what the Toyota 86 is called in the US — and the $25,695 Subaru BRZ.

We don’t read too much into US pricing generally, given there are a number of contextual issues that make direct US-Australia pricing comparisons inadvisable. However, comparing models within each market can be an interesting exercise. 

The outgoing MX5 costs $47,280 plus on-roads in Australia, a figure oft-criticised as over the odds against rivals. In comparison, the entry Toyota 86 GT costs $29,990 plus on-road costs here, and $36,490 in GTS trim, and the BRZ costs $37,150 drive-away.

Mazda has frequently expressed a desire to get this new MX-5 into Australia cheaper. If it can undercut both the Scion and Subaru in the US, it may envisage something similar in Australia. Maybe. 

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Unlike last time, two drivetrains will be offered in the new ND MX-5: A 96kW/150Nm 1.5-litre direct-injection four-cylinder model (that weighs about one-tonne), and a 116kW/200Nm 2.0-litre version.

The presence of this entry version is the key to getting the price down, a sentiment expressed in recent times by Mazda Australia managing director Martin Benders.

“I guess [Toyota] 86 and [Subaru] BRZ sort of showed that there’s still a market for younger people wanting to buy a sports car.” Benders told CarAdvice last year.

“The two engines that have been announced [for the MX-5] allow us an opportunity to go a bit harder [on price] at this bottom end again, the car is good enough in style to do that so we are going to have a go and see what we can do.”

The new MX-5 arrives in Australia deep in the second half of 2015.