The upcoming fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 doesn’t launch here until August, but that hasn’t stopped more than 21,000 prospective buyers registering their expressions of interest in the new roadster.
Interest in the new MX-5 also appears thoroughly genuine, with over 6000 would-be buyers providing permission to Mazda dealers to contact them once the cars arrive in Australia.
In a third marketing ploy designed to create hype around the all-new model, Mazda Australia has received more than 52,000 entries to win a new MX-5.
Australia will join the UK as the only two countries in a global market that will offer its MX-5 customers the choice between two petrol engines – a 96kW/150Nm 1.5-litre and 118kW/200Nm 2.0-litre unit.
The US is taking only the 2.0-litre variant, while Japan will offer just the 1.5-litre car.
Mazda Australia’s marketing director, Alastair Doak, feels it’s important to offer both engines in this market given the MX-5’s history in this country.
“It’s like anything, we always try and maximise our range and let the customers decide what car they want to buy," he said.
"Obviously, we’ve only had a 2.0-litre engine in the MX-5 for years and years, so it would be a bold move to ignore that.
“We have a very loyal customer base who are 2.0-litre owners, so we thought it was important to give them a like-for-like opportunity with the new generation car.
"That said, I’d be hopeful that even they, would at least give the 1.5-litre a go, because it’s a fantastic combination for any driver to experience,” he added.
Australia will launch the MX-5 locally in August with just the 1.5-litre version, with the more powerful version joining the line-up several months after.
According to Doak, the sales split between the two powertrains is difficult to predict, but says it should lean towards the smaller engine.
“It’s a bit of a leap of faith, but we’re saying 60/40 in favour of the 1.5-litre powered car. We’ll certainly order to that mix to begin, but that’s just for the first month or two,” he told CarAdvice.
The all-new Mazda MX-5 mated to a standard six-speed manual (a six-speed auto will also be offered that will likely add $2000), will cost from $31,990 plus on-roads, making it more than $15,000 cheaper than its predecessor, which was priced from $47,280.
It also makes the new 1.5-litre model just $2000 more than the original NA-generation that launched here 26 years ago.
The cost for the MX-5 2.0-litre version, along with full pricing and specifications, will be announced closer to the local launch.