The embodiment of Mazda Motor Corporation's "Zoom-Zoom" brand message, the lightweight, two-seat, open-top Roadster sports car, went on sale today at Mazda and Mazda Anfini dealers throughout Japan. The Roadster--known as the MX-5 in overseas markets--was last significantly upgraded seven years ago. To commemorate the launch of this much-anticipated new model, Mazda will also begin sales of 500 premium "Third Generation Limited" model roadsters today.
The lifetime average sales target for the Japanese market is set at 360 units per month.
The all-new Roadster is truly the son of its father, inheriting the original model's "Jinba Ittai" development concept, boasting reduced curb weight and equipped with a newly developed compact 2.0 liter MZR engine. As a lightweight, open-top sports car, driving performance is further enhanced through carefully scrutinized savings in body weight, optimal weight distribution, and the latest features to meet safety and environmental requirements. A completely redesigned exterior passes on the unique heritage of earlier Mazda roadsters with contemporary, accessible styling. The interior's simple-yet-progressive appearance is conveyed through clean-feeling surfaces and the use of new materials.
Takao Kijima, the MX-5 development program manager, said, "Jinba Ittai-or 'rider and horse as one' is the essence of the all-new Roadster, the expression of the emotional connection between a horse and rider. Like a dialogue between a car and its driver, they are integrated while in motion. The Roadster provides this unified sense of driving exuberance and lots of fun in many ways. This car appeals to your emotions, and I would like as many people as possible to share the pleasure offered by the Roadster's ultimate driving experience."
Since the inception of the original Mazda roadster in 1989, over 720,000 units have been manufactured. The Guinness World Records organization continues to recognize the Mazda roadster as the world's best-selling two-seater sports car. In its 16-year history, from 1989 to the end of May 2005, Mazda has produced 721,624 roadsters. The last full upgrade, done for the second-generation model launch, was in January 1998.
Three types of fun may be experienced with the all-new Mazda Roadster:
- Fun to Drive: the exhilarating pleasure of driving a roadster.
- Fun to Own: the pure fun of owning a roadster.
- Fun to Use: the excitement of driving a roadster even in everyday use.
1."Fun to Drive"
- The use of lightweight materials such as aluminum in the trunk lid and the pursuit of the "gram strategy" to find the greatest possible reduction in weight of every single part of the vehicle, resulted in a compact, lightweight body comparable to that of the current second-generation model. Concurrently, the effective use of high tensile steel realized a greater improvement in body rigidity.
- The all-new Roadster also attains an optimal distribution in weight to prevent pitch and roll, providing a firm drive feel that is true to the driver's intent.
- In pursuing an exquisite operating feel in any type of driving environment, the development team thoroughly investigated driver position ergonomics, improvements in operability, and the linear feel of the powertrain.
- The all-new Roadster has a newly developed lightweight 2.0L MZR engine, providing an appropriate balance of nimbleness, liveliness, "extensibility" (meaning consistent acceleration throughout the rev range), linear engine response and a pleasing engine sound-all critical attributes for lightweight sports cars.
- A smooth, precise shift feel is achieved with the newly developed six-speed manual transmission, and operability of the five-speed manual transmission is also enhanced. A new six-speed Activematic automatic transmission also adds a new dimension of driving delight to the all-new Roadster lineup.
2."Fun to Own"
- While paying homage to the original and second-generation model's 'simple', 'friendly' and 'fun' designs, the all-new Roadster features a modern and refined exterior. Designers focused on light refractions and shadows in the body shape to achieve an appearance that varies with viewing angle and ultimately forms an eye-pleasing design. In addition, there is a range of eight body colors, including four new colors.
- With a superb balance between a snug fit and a feeling of openness, clean surfaces and new materials are combined in the interior that features the latest in design trends. Simple and functional to look at, the interior design has been meticulously crafted down to the finest detail. The Roadster and RS models have interior parts with a silver finish, which create a high-quality texture in combination with the black fabric seats. The VS model comes with stylish saddle-tan leather seats as standard equipment.
3"Fun to Use"
- A new mesh aero board has been adopted to minimize reverse-flowing air in the cabin, and with seven different climate-control settings, drivers can fully enjoy the open-top driving experience in any situation or climate.
- All models can be equipped with a factory-installed BOSE sound system that enables occupants to enjoy exceptional audio quality with highly realistic sound sensations even when riding with the top down. This is due to precise tuning which modifies the sound equalization, whether the top is open or closed.
- The boot capacity has been increased to 150 liters, ample space for ten ingenious ways to stow items.
Safety and environmental compatibility that satisfies the latest requirements
- Though in the convertible class, the all-new Roadster offers top-level safety features. It has a high-rigidity body structure based on the Mazda Advanced Impact Distribution and Absorption System (MAIDAS), A-pillar strength the equal of more costly competitors, and a Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) with side airbags (as a factory-installed option) that provides head protection.
- While engine performance and emissions are greatly improved, the all-new Roadster attains the same level of fuel economy as the second-generation model.
- Immobilizers are installed as standard equipment in all models to help prevent theft.