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Refreshed Mazda MX-5 retains same look but ups the power, due September

Written by: Neil

The Mazda MX-5 is the best-selling two-seater car on the planet, but we can’t help feeling that a few more will be sold after the ridiculously popular roadster was given a mid-life refresh.

Looking at it, you won’t spot anything different between the revised model and the fourth-generation car that emerged in 2015. Not because the changes are so slight, but because – at least on the surface – there aren’t any changes at all!

Mazda has explained that when a car wins the title of World Car Design of the Year (as the mk4 MX-5 did at the 2016 World Car Awards) then it’s okay to let the design team enjoy a bit of downtime when refresh time rolls around.

What’s changed?

So if the refreshed MX-5 looks exactly the same as the three-year-old model, what IS new?

Well, all the most significant changes are beneath the surface, notably in the engine bay, where you’ll find a revised two-litre SKYACTIV-G petrol unit.

It’s the same engine that was already available in the MX-5 but it has been revised to produce an extra 24bhp (now 181bhp) while torque now maxes out at 7,500rpm (previously 6,800rpm).

This is down to the introduction of lighter pistons and key changes to the camshafts and exhaust valves, fuel injectors, throttle valve and air intake.

All of this means the soft-top convertible MX-5 now completes a 0-62mph dash in 6.5 seconds – almost a full second quicker than before – while the hardtop RF model has seen half a second snipped from its 0-62mph sprint.

The smaller 1.5-litre SKYACTIV-G petrol engine has been toyed with slightly too, with a reduction in friction resulting in a 130bhp power output and 152Nm of torque.

READ MORE: One millionth Mazda MX-5 completes year-long world tour

Prices for the revised 2019 Mazda MX-5 start from £18,995 (£200 more than before), reaching up to £29,195 for the range-topping model. You can have one when it goes on sale from September 1st.

Masashi Nakayama, chief designer of the MX-5, said that the company will never tire of improving the MX-5.  

“We intend to keep refining the car, seeking out new ways to make it even more thrilling and satisfying to drive, so it can continue to offer customers unique excitement and cement its position as a cultural icon. And that’s exactly what we’ve done with the 2019 MX-5,” he commented.

Stephen Hasley, brand manager at Petrol News, comments: “There’s a reason you see so many MX-5s out on the road; it is pure undiluted, affordable, fun. We look forward to the inevitable 30th anniversary model in 2019.”

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