More than 6000 people have their hand up for a Mazda MX-5.
There is no official waiting list for the all-new Japanese sports car, but Mazda Australia reports the biggest build-up to a two-seater launch in its history.
It could mean a waiting list of more than two years for the fourth-generation MX-5, which is priced from $31,990 for 1.5-litre cars to be delivered from August.
Mazda will only build 30,000 cars a year in Japan and, with a sales record of less than 1500 for a single year in Australia, it's unlikely that the numbers will add up for everyone who wants a car.
The company's marketing chief, Alastair Doak, says the final order bank will not be as big as the number of people who have asked to be contacted by a Mazda dealer but he is still expecting record demand. "The interest is getting bigger and bigger. Obviously, it's great news for us," Doak tells Carsguide.
As Mazda confirms more details on the ahead of the first Australian journalist drives of the 2-litre MX-5, the man who developed the car says there will be a hardtop but rules out any RX-7 based on the MX-5 platform.
"Yes. We are developing hardtop. Many, many people lover our hardtop version," says project manager Nobuhiro Yamamoto.
I think new MX-5 is very important for Mazda and our customers. It is an iconic car.
Speaking at the Goodwood Festival in Britain, Yamamoto cannot disguise his pride in the car. "This is my life work. I love Mazda," he tells Carsguide.
"I think new MX-5 is very important for Mazda and our customers. It is an iconic car."
And he reveals the thinking behind the fourth-generation model. "The key point is to get back to the origin of MX-5. That means it is important to be fun to drive. MX5 is not only transportation car."
He reveals that the Global Financial Crisis meant a two-year delay on the car, but says that was a bonus as it meant extra time for tweaking. And it also allowed him to get Toshihiko Hirai, who developed the first MX-5 that went on sale in 1989, to see the work and talk to the team working on the latest ND version.
He is now forecasting an eight-year run for the new car, down slightly from the outgoing NC but without any plan to increase production.
"We don't want big volume. We need small volume. It is an iconic car," he says.
"I think small volume with consistent demand every year. And MX-5 will have a very long life. Maybe eight or 10 years now."