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Mazda MX-5 Miata

Thu, 04 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0700

For only the fourth time since the first was introduced 25 years ago - when it reignited the small sports car market - there's a new Mazda MX-5 Miata.

Mazda's aim this time was to strip away much of the bulk that had accumulated over the years, recapturing the essence of a compact, light and affordable roadster. The subtext is that the MX-5 Miata has become a car more often bought by women in their 60s, rather than the young males it was originally intended for.

At 3,915mm in length, 1,730mm wide, 1,235mm high and with a wheelbase of 2,315mm, the new car is significantly shorter, lower and wider than its predecessor. It's even a full 35mm shorter than the 1989 original.

But it's the form language that has been given the most significant reboot. It's difficult to read in these pictures, but it's easy to imagine how dramatically low its nose will look, accentuating its compactness. Its graphics are a smart evolution of the MX-5's, while bringing it more in line with the current Mazda range, with far more expression than the lozenge-based themes of the outgoing car.

The same applies to the surfacing, which features a great deal of topographical cross-section, particularly across its hood. Its beltline has also become more curvaceous, accentuating its wheels, yet still allowing a refreshingly upright cabin as it dips across the door sections. The rear aspect is perhaps the biggest departure, with a hint of the first-generation BMW Z4 both through its lamp graphics and dropping feature lines towards the corners of the car.

There's only one image of its interior so far, which features a free-standing center screen (of course), a recurring circular theme and exterior color spilling into the interior via the upper door cards, which is reminiscent of the Fiat Barchetta.

This promises to be one of the more interesting cars of the Paris motor show next month.

Full Mazda MX-5 Miata gallery >