Designed to personify everything a great roadster should be, 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 over 30 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 2023 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 piano-black 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 LED 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 in to the corners. The soft-top stows neatly into a compact space, further streamlining the MX-5’s silhouette, and to emphasise the driver focused cockpit-style cabin, the A-Pillars, windscreen header, door mirror trim, and seatback bars match the dark shades of the hood.
The MX-5’s prominent hip-line emphasises the rear-wheel drive layout and perfect 50:50 weight distribution by building a sense of energy from the rear, while the tail itself makes an equally bold statement. Hinting at power and stability, the integrated bumper dramatically tapers out to the wheels from the lights, while the higher positioning of the bumper allows for a taller deck, enhancing aerodynamics and downforce without the need for a spoiler. Sharing the circular forms of the original MX-5, the classically shaped taillights are another highlight, yet the modern LED lighting signature is unique to this generation and unmistakably new.
The most compact MX-5 ever produced, the 2023 MX-5 range is complemented by a choice of seven body colour options: Artic White, Deep Crystal Blue, Jet Black, Machine Grey, Platinum Quartz, Soul Red Crystal and the new Zircon Sand. The 1.5 Skyactiv-G 132ps models are marked out with 16” Black alloy wheels for Prime-Line models, while the 132ps Exclusive-Line trim is marked out with Silver alloy wheels. Moving up to the more powerful 2.0 Skyactiv-G 184ps versions, Exclusive-Line uses 17” Bright alloy wheels while the range-topping Homura flagship model is marked out by 17” BBS Gun Metallic alloy wheels and red front Brembo brake callipers.
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, the 2023 Mazda MX-5 leaves its award-winning styling unchanged.