If you're a true believer in the theory that weight is the enemy of performance, one of the guiding principles of the Mazda MX-5, then this $41,960 variant is the one for you. It's got the old, cloth-style roof rather than the fancy, and far heavier, folding hard top, and you really can feel the difference. 

But with the GT - unlike the base model 1.5-litre roadster - you get the properly fizzing new version of the 2.0-litre engine, making 135kW/205Nm, pushed to the rear wheels through either a fantastic six-speed manual gearbox or a six-speed auto that's nowhere near as much fun.

Explore the 2019 Mazda MX-5 Range

Standard kit from the base car includes a new reversing camera, 16-inch alloy wheels, now black metallic for extra visual menace,  LED headlamps, power mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, climate-control air, black cloth seats, a 7.0-inch touchscreen with 'MZD Connect', an audio system with six speakers and DAB+ (but no CD player), Bluetooth streaming, internet radio integration, satellite navigation, 'Smart City Brake Support', or AEB, 'Traffic Sign Recognition', and blind-spot monitoring.

Stepping up to this GT throws in 17-inch alloys, adaptive LED headlights and DRLs, black or tan leather seats, a Bose premium stereo with nine speakers, keyless entry, 'Driver Attention Alert', lane-departure warning and reverse parking sensors, and Smart City Brake Support in reverse. 

The new car also gets a telescopically adjustable steering wheel, which makes the perfect driving position even more perfect.