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2015 Mazda MX-5 to match 1992 pricing

Joshua Dowling

22 May 2015 • 3 min read

The world's favourite sports car enters its fourth generation with a price that takes it back 23 years.

Mazda has wound back the price on its iconic MX-5 sports car by more than 20 years in an attempt to win back the top-selling sports car status from the Toyota 86.

As exclusively reported by us last year, the fourth-generation MX-5 will limbo close to $30,000, a cut of more than $15,000 on the outgoing model.

Mazda has confirmed the new model will start from $31,990 plus on-road costs when it goes on sale in August.

The last time the MX-5 price was this low was in 1992, although it's still not quite as cheap as the original MX-5 in 1989, which started from $29,990.

The first Australia-bound models started production in Hiroshima last week.

However, accounting for inflation, the price of the original MX-5 in today's money would be $59,433. So Mazda's still calling this the price of progress.

The first Australia-bound models started production in Hiroshima last week.

Mazda has confirmed it will initially sell only the 1.5-litre four-cylinder variants (96kW/150Nm) with six-speed manual or six-speed auto transmissions, before more powerful 2.0-litre versions arrive later this year.

The first completely new MX-5 since the original was launched 25 years ago will weigh just 1009kg in Australia, which is 91kg lighter than the outgoing model and only 59kg heavier than the original. Overseas models dip below 1000kg.

Mazda was so obsessed by weight it secures each MX-5 wheel by four nuts rather than five. The engine is about 17kg lighter, the manual transmission drops 7kg and the differential weighs 10kg less than the one used on the previous 2.0-litre MX-5.

Mazda says the suspension is up to 13kg lighter, while basic body weight is reduced by almost 20kg.

The new model also goes back to basics with a soft-top. Since 2012, the previous MX-5 had been fitted with a folding hardtop to help it weather storms and thwart thieves but this has added weight, complexity and cost.

Mazda has sold more than 939,000 MX-5s globally since 1989, making it the world's biggest-selling two-seater open-top sports car. More than 16,800 examples have been sold in Australia over the same period.

Mazda says it has received more than 31,000 expressions of interest in the new model via its website. It has yet to compile an order bank.


Meanwhile, the Italian version of the MX-5 is yet to be unveiled.

Alfa Romeo announced two years ago it would design its own body to slip over the MX-5's architecture to deliver a low-cost two-seater sports car as part of a joint venture with Mazda.

But the company has since indicated that the convertible will be sold as a Fiat, because of a decree that all Alfa Romeos will be made in Italy. The Fiat version of the MX-5 will be made on the same Mazda production line in Japan.

There are no details on the Fiat sports car other that it will have unique engines and a unique design. Only the architecture and suspension will be the same.