Friday, May 22, 2015

Mazda Roadster ND

For over 25 years, the Mazda Roadster (MX-5 Miata in the world market) continues to provide exhilarating thrills in a lightweight package suitable for a Japanese sports car for the masses. Because it was influenced by British sports cars of the past century, it values aerodynamics over performance. With the lighter bodywork, smaller engine, and rear-wheel drive, the Roadster continues to impress numerous car enthusiasts worldwide and now, there's a new version.

2016 Mazda Roadster

Welcome to the all-new Mazda Roadster ND, the latest generation of the hit lightweight sportscar, and starting at just 2,494,800 Japanese Yen, it's still an affordable sports car you can buy. This is an all-new car because the new Roadster implements Mazda's revolutionary SKYACTIV Technology which balances fuel efficiency and performance at a same pace. This is an all-new car but even though it's all-new, the Roadster formula still remains; light body, small engine, rear-wheel drive, and its fun-to-drive character.

The new Roadster features an all-new body which is now 100kg lighter than the previous model and it's all because Mazda employed their "gram strategy", involving the extensive use of lightweight aluminum materials which makes it as light and rigid as the first-ever Eunos Roadster from the distant past.

2016 Mazda Roadster
In true Roadster tradition, the new model is powered by a small engine in the form of the new SKYACTIV-G 1.5L petrol engine developing a reasonable 131PS of power and 150Nm of torque while mated with either a 6-speed automatic (annoyingly sourced from the Toyota 86) or a newly-developed SKYACTIV-MT 6-speed gearbox developed specifically for the new Roadster. To further enhance the fuel consumption for the new Roadster, an available i-ELOOP regenerative braking system is offered, resulting to a fuel economy of up to 18.8km/L by JC08 mode standards.

Handling-wise, the new Roadster, thanks to its lightweight bodywork, is becoming more accessible and soon, more popular. The front suspension is double-wishbone, the weight distribution remains perfect, it's got electric power steering, and it's more enjoyable in the bends. The way it handles is becoming more generous than struggling with the more powerful sportscars and as long as there are blue skies and the long winding road ahead of you, the Roadster feels like it's completing an image of what motoring dreams are made of.

2016 Mazda Roadster interior

Even though this is a lightweight car, the new Roadster still comes with concessions of comfort despite being a driver-focused sportscar. You can have available leather seats, climate control, even the available MAZDA CONNECT, which allows the driver to stay connected with some apps, navigation, and entertainment. That's a great car to live in and it's not like you're sleeping in a storage room for numerous reasons.

2016 Mazda Roadster

If there's something I didn't like about the new Roadster, then probably it's the design that makes the case for itself. I know this car is good as well as the Kodo design language but I'm afraid that it wasn't as aggressive-looking as any other sports cars would be. It can be somewhat problematic on the city streets because even with the roof close, discretion is no longer a priority and people are starting to know you are driving this.

But it doesn't really matter though because despite its flaws, the new Roadster really has a lot to live up with. It's still one of the most enjoyable sportscars money can buy but there's a bit of an argument because most people will believe that the best lightweight sportscar you can enjoy is an Alfa Romeo 4C but you should remember that the new Roadster ND is more affordable than the 4C even if it has a Spider version coming up.

However, if you compare it to a much smaller roadster available in Japan in the case of the Honda S660, that's a different story because the S660's more cheaper than this and it's more enjoyable thanks to its MR layout but let's note that the S660's available only in Japan while the new Roadster will be available globally shortly after its Japan release. Fact.

Available colors: Ceramic Metallic, Soul Red Premium Metallic, Jet Black Mica, Meteor Grey Mica, Blue Reflex Mica,  Crystal White Pearl Mica, and Arctic White.

Photo: Mazda Motor Corporation

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