The Mazda MX-5 represents the pinnacle of Mazda’s efforts to create a perfectly proportioned lightweight sports car. Shorter, lower and wider than the third-generation car, with the smallest overhangs and lowest centre of gravity yet, the Mazda MX-5 is guaranteed to turn heads.

Its dynamic proportions reflect the MX-5’s focus on driving pleasure in an unmistakably contemporary and vibrant way, yet at the same time the fourth-generation of the world’s bestselling two-seater sports car respects the design principles that have been a key part of the Mazda MX-5’s allure for 35 years.

Originally born of the desire to recreate the simple beauty of the classic British roadster, the Mk1 MX-5 is a design icon and the genesis point of an unmistakable lineage that has seen the MX-5 stay true to the classic roadster principles of a long bonnet, a rear-set cabin and a short tail. These values of compact dimensions and sporty proportions continue to be embodied in the latest Mazda MX-5.

Blending traditional roadster styling cues with Mazda’s Kodo: Soul of Motion design philosophy, the Mazda MX-5 strikes a perfect balance between tradition and progress, and in keeping with the principles of Kodo, it conveys motion even at standstill. At the heart of the MX-5’s visual appeal are its taut proportions - shorter, lower and wider than the last generation car, the A-Pillars are tilted backwards by 57mm with the cabin shifted rearwards to create a stunningly beautiful profile roof up or down.

Thanks to the shortest overhangs yet and a lower centre of gravity, the Mazda MX-5 has a planted stance on the road that is perfectly complemented by its powerful and assertive lines. Its sleek nose features ultra-compact headlamp units that allow for a low-slung bonnet with powerful character lines that flow towards the edges of the sweptback windscreen. In profile the MX-5’s clean panels look as if they shrink wrap around the car with the body appearing to tuck into the corners. Both the soft-top of the Roadster and the RF’s retractable hard-top stow neatly ensuring both versions of the MX-5 have a stylish silhouette roof up or down.

For the first time since the launch of the fourth-generation model in 2015, the MX-5 has received an exterior styling update. The subtle but noticeable changes to the 2024 MX-5 focus on the lights front and rear. At the front the new headlight design now seamlessly combines the daytime running lights, which previously were housed vertically in the lower bumper. Retaining the same slender shape, the new LED headlight features a new lense signature to give a distinctive look lights on or off. At the rear, the 2024 car features a new internal lense design within the rear lamps, so at night the rear light signature is unique to the 2024 model year car.

Across both the Roadster and RF body style the current generation MX-5 has always won plaudits for its styling being named World Car Design of the Year in 2016. Designed with the objective of making the MX-5 attractive to an even wider audience and appeal to customers who want the best of both worlds: open-air motoring with the security and comfort of a fixed roof, the Retractable Fastback (RF) model’s beautifully engineered three-piece fully automated roof delivers a unique look roof up or down, while at the same time stays true to the purity of the Roadster’s exterior design. Accounting for 35 per cent of MX-5 sales in the UK, Prime-Line and Exclusive-Line MX-5 RF’s feature a body-coloured retractable hard top, while the range-topping Homura model has a stand-out Piano Black roof.

The 2024 MX-5 Roadster’s design is complemented by a choice of seven body colour options: Artic White, Deep Crystal Blue, Jet Black, Machine Grey, Soul Red Crystal, Zircon Sand and the new Aero Grey, which debuted on the Mazda2. The RF is offered with the same selection of colours with the exception of Homura grade RFs which don’t get Jet Black. Prime-Line cars feature 16” black alloy wheels, while 1.5-litre 132ps Exclusive-Line cars are marked out by 16” bright alloy wheels.

As before, all 2.0-litre 184ps cars have a larger 17” wheel, and for the 2024 model, the Exclusive-Line has a new design of two-tone black and metallic machined alloy wheel, while as before, Homura models have a black BBS wheel that’s matched to red Brembo front brake calipers. On both RF and Roadster models, the Homura also has piano black door mirrors, which are matched to the piano black roof on RF versions.

Taking up the mantle of the previous three generations with a more aggressive look, the fourth generation MX-5 stays true to its proven focus on lightweight affordable roadster simplicity. In the words of Masashi Nakayama, Chief Designer of the Mazda MX-5 “the secret to designing the new MX-5 was to look deep inside, strip away trends and eccentricities, and uncover the form that resonates within the deepest layers of a person’s sense of beauty.” Unsurprisingly, outside of the subtle but noticeable changes to the lights, new wheel designs and the introduction of Aero Grey paint, the 2024 Mazda MX-5 leaves this award-winning styling unchanged.