(Richmond Hill, ON): The 2015 MX-5 is as uncomplicated and pure as a sports car can get. Since the two-seater entered the marketplace 25 years ago, the MX-5 has defied the convention that sports cars, particularly convertibles, were pricey, unattainable flights of fancy reserved for those with deep pockets. But enthusiasts come in all shapes, all ages, and with a variety of pocket sizes so it’s no wonder that with more than 900,000 units sold, the MX-5 is by far still the best-selling two-seat roadster in the world, and with the Guinness World Records to prove it.
At the heart of the 2015 MX-5 remains the highly-responsive MZR 2.0-liter DOHC four-cylinder engine with an output of 167 horsepower at 7,000 rpm (158 horsepower at 6,700 rpm for automatic-equipped models) with 140 lb-ft of torque at 5,000 rpm. The sophisticated, sturdy engine is light and compact, offers strong performance and unmatched responsiveness for its nearly 50:50 weight distribution of the already compact roadster. With a 7,200-rpm redline (6,700 rpm in automatics), the flexible engine delivers driving exhilaration throughout the rev range. Reacting to driving commands with lightning-quick reflexes and progressive power delivery are linear keys to MX-5’s stellar driving controls.
A thrilling engine growl adds to the already intoxicating joy of the MX-5’s handling capabilities. The original 1.6-liter engine-equipped 1990 model was tuned to mimic the sound of dual-carbureted sports cars of the 1960s, and thus the classic sound has been a hallmark of the Mazda roadster. Key to a fuel-injected engine sounding identical was the careful tuning of intake resonance, and directing the engine’s air intake toward the driver so that the pleasing audio reverberates with full effect. However, while the first-generation MX-5 did just that, it also drew in hot under-hood air from behind the radiator. Introduced in 2006, the third (and current) generation MX-5’s engine draws in cool air from the nose of the vehicle for better efficiency, but creating that classic induction sound now requires the assistance of new technologies.
The lightweight plastic composite intake manifold itself has been designed to transmit certain frequencies to match the original sports car tone while suppressing less ideal sounds. 2015 MX-5 models with six-speed manual transmissions are equipped with an Induction Sound Enhancer (ISE). Consisting of a series of tuned pipes and a passive resonance membrane, the ISE delivers the engine’s natural induction sound to the cowl, just ahead of the windshield, so more attractive engine sounds can be heard at a satisfying volume without resorting to simply being loud, obtrusive noise.
The MZR 2.0-liter engine is mounted front mid-ship for precise handling and balance. Utilizing an aluminum block and head for decreased weight and increased structural rigidity ultimately enhanced performance and refinement. Chain-driven double-headed camshafts and 16 valves are used for improved revving and flexibility. Variable intake valve timing betters low-end torque and high-end power. Additional engine features include a forged steel crankshaft, forged steel connecting rods with floating wrist pins, revised pistons with stronger wrist pin bosses, stiffer valve springs and an engine oil cooler.
Standard equipment is a five-speed manual transmission with short-throw shifter (GX models only). An available six-speed manual gearbox (GS and GT models) offers gear ratios close-stacked to enhance driving enjoyment. A six-speed automatic transmission adds yet another dimension to the MX-5 to fit a variety of consumer preferences. On GS and GT trims, automatic transmission-equipped models feature steering-wheel mounted dual-paddle shifters. The upper paddle commands downshifts while the lower paddle controls upshifts, similar to race car operation. For all transmissions, engine torque is coordinated with the shift sequence, resulting in smooth, seamless and faster gear changes for inspired driving.
Fuel economy for the five-speed manual-equipped GX models is rated at 9.2 city/7.1 highway litres per 100 kilometres (L/100km). For all models outfitted with a six-speed manual transmission, fuel economy is rated at 9.7 city/7.1 highway L/100km. When paired with the six-speed automatic transmission, the MX-5 can achieve an estimated L/100km rating of 10.0 city/7.1 highway.
Available with two distinctive and easy-to-operate removable tops, the 2015 MX-5 comes standard with a Z-fold design soft-top or the industry-leading Power Retractable Hard Top (PRHT).
The soft top, available only on GX trim, continues to set the industry standard with its simplicity and ease of use. With a central latch handle, the top requires only an effortless hand motion to fold and stow behind the seats. The top itself descends into a cleverly designed storage well, thus leaving the 150 litres of cargo space completely untouched.
Standard on GS and GT trims, the PRHT is stored in the same manner as the soft top, again not affecting storage space. Designed to perform in any climate, PRHT models outsell soft-top models by a 4:1 ratio worldwide. Using a single-button operation, the PRHT offers one of the fastest power-operated opening-and-closing cycles for a hard top in North America at a highly efficient 12 seconds.
In terms of packaging, the GX model represents the easiest entry for any sports car enthusiast, regardless of budget. Whether the driver has an instinctive lead foot or is just looking to let more sun shine in, the lightweight MX-5 GX is a joy to drive in any situation. Weighing in at a trim 1,115 kg (without A/C), GX models are equipped with a short-throw shifter five-speed manual transmission, 16-inch aluminum alloy wheels outfitted with 205/50R16 high-performance Yokohama ADVAN A11A tires, dual exhausts, bright silver headlamp bezels, power-adjustable mirrors, power windows with a driver’s one-touch up/down feature, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, an AM/FM/CD/MP3-compatible audio system with six speakers, an auxiliary audio jack and speed-sensing automatic volume control. The black-cloth upholstered bucket seats feature manual reclining, forward/back sliding functions as well as seat height adjustment.
Options available for the GX trim are a six-speed automatic transmission and air conditioning.
Only available with a Brilliant Black Power Retractable Hard Top (PRHT), distinctive exterior characteristics abound on the mid-level GS trim. Dark gunmetal 17-inch alloy wheels are standard as are black-coloured details such as outside mirrors, head lamp bezels and rooftop. A front air dam and rear diffuser are included as well as the seat back bar garnish which is displayed in a glossy dark gray motif. For GS models equipped with a manual transmission, Bilstein shock absorbers and limited slip differential are also included, with specialized exterior graphics rounding out the finishing touches to fashion an attractively bold MX-5 look.
Continuing through into the interior is the specialized theme with an eye-catching body-color decoration panel featuring distinguishing MX-5 graphics. Red contrast stitching is featured on the black cloth seats.
For a more luxurious feel, the top-of-the-line GT sits on 17-inch silver aluminum alloy wheels packaged with 205/45R17 Bridgestone Potenza RE050A tires. A body-coloured power-retractable hard top is standard, as is Xenon headlights and Smart Keyless entry system. The interior features heated leather-trimmed seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror with Homelink, Bluetooth hands-free phone system, Sirius satellite radio, a Bose seven-speaker premium surround sound audio system, silver seat back bar trim and a leather-wrapped parking brake handle.
The only available option for GS and GT trim levels is a 6-speed automatic transmission with Sport mode and paddle shifters. Choosing this option deletes the Bilstein shock absorbers and limited slip differential.
All 2015 MX-5’s include a long list of safety features, including: Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD), Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) with Traction Control System (TCS), side-impact door beams, advanced dual front air bags, side impact airbags, seatbelt pretensioners, and engine immobilizer anti-theft system.
The 2015 MX-5 is also equipped with Mazda’s Brake Override system. This system always prioritizes the brake pedal over the accelerator pedal, should both be engaged simultaneously, allowing the vehicle to be brought to a safe stop every time. Activation of this system is recorded in the electronic Powertrain Control Module (PCM).
Beginning in 2015, Mazda’s new Unlimited Mileage Warranty becomes the new standard factory warranty on all Mazda vehicles. The basic warranty for Mazda vehicles covers all parts found to be factory defective for 3 years, regardless of the number of kilometers driven. Additional warranties cover Powertrain components for a period of 5 years, unlimited mileage; body sheet metal perforation for 7 years, unlimited mileage; and roadside assistance for 3 years, unlimited mileage.
With the 3-year roadside assistance program, customers can feel secure knowing that wherever they travel throughout North America they can obtain towing, winching, battery boosting, emergency fuel delivery, and tire changing services if needed. They will even get help if locked out of the vehicle. Travel planning services and emergency travel expense reimbursement are included in the roadside assistance program.
About Mazda Canada Inc.
Mazda Canada Inc. is responsible for the sales and marketing, customer service and parts support of Mazda vehicles in Canada. Headquartered in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Mazda Canada has a nationwide network of 165 dealerships. For additional information visit Mazda Canada’s media website at www.media.mazda.ca