Fan-favourite sports car updated for the new year with new variants, revised colour palette and more technology.
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  • 2021 Mazda MX-5 receives mild updates
  • New GT RS variant adds BBS wheels, Brembo brakes, Bilstein dampers
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay, new colours added to core range

The 2021 Mazda MX-5 has received a raft of minor updates for the new year, with the first examples reaching showrooms in January 2021.

Headlining the updates is the addition of a new, flagship GT RS variant (pictured above and below), offering an array of mechanical tweaks to sharpen the two-seater's driving experience, for a $3000 premium over their standard, manual-equipped MX-5 Roadster GT and RF GT equivalents.

Available in both Roadster and RF (retractable fastback, pictured) body styles, the GT RS adds 17-inch forged BBS wheels wrapped in 205/45R17 Bridgestone Potenza S001 tyres, plus Bilstein gas-pressurised dampers, a solid-alloy strut tower brace connecting the front strut towers, and black mirror caps.

There's also a pair of four-piston Brembo brakes on the front axle, which clamp 280mm ventilated discs. Mazda claims the branded system sheds 2kg of unsprung mass, while improving brake fade resistance by up to 26 per cent, thanks to high-performance brake pads.

Under the bonnet of the GT RS is the larger of the MX-5's two engine options, a 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated petrol four-cylinder developing 135kW of power and 205Nm of torque. A six-speed manual is the sole transmission option on the track-oriented model.

Alongside the addition of the pair of GT RS variants, the wider Mazda MX-5 range has gained a selection of updates.

The 7.0-inch infotainment display now features wireless Apple CarPlay, replacing the existing wired CarPlay system, and joining carry-over support for wired Android Auto.

Deep Crystal Blue joins the exterior colour roster – which previously consisted of Snowflake White Pearl, Jet Black, Machine Grey Metallic, Polymetal Grey Metallic and the hero Soul Red Crystal Metallic – while Pure White nappa leather can now be optioned on the flagship MX-5 RF GT Black Roof retractable-hardtop variant.

1.5-litre Roadster and 2.0-litre RF models – the entry-level versions of each body style – also score black exterior mirror caps.

Above: 2019 Mazda MX-5 Roadster pictured, powered by the smaller 1.5-litre engine. Bottom of story: 2019 Mazda MX-5 RF GT interior

The fourth generation of Mazda's best-selling open-top sports car received its last major update in late 2018, with the roster of standard equipment and available powertrain choices continuing on largely unchanged since then, aside from the addition of new interior leather and exterior paint colours in early 2020.

The entry-level Roadster derives power from a 97kW/152Nm 1.5-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder, while all other models feature the aforementioned 135kW/205Nm 2.0-litre four-pot.

All variants bar the aforementioned GT RS offer a choice of six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmissions, powering the rear wheels.

The updated 2021 Mazda MX-5 will arrive in showrooms in January 2021.

2021 Mazda MX-5 pricing

  • MX-5 Roadster manual – $36,060
  • MX-5 Roadster auto – $38,090
  • MX-5 Roadster GT manual – $44,020
  • MX-5 Roadster GT auto – $46,020
  • MX-5 Roadster GT RS manual – $47,020 (new)
  • MX-5 RF manual – $41,400
  • MX-5 RF auto – $43,400
  • MX-5 RF GT manual – $48,100
  • MX-5 RF GT auto – $50,100
  • MX-5 RF GT RS manual – $51,100 (new)
  • MX-5 RF GT Black Roof manual – $49,120
  • MX-5 RF GT Black Roof auto – $51,120

Note: all prices exclude on-road costs.