Mazda Motor Corporation will launch its third generation MX-5 (Miata; Eunos Roadster) convertible at the Geneva motor show next month.

The automaker, about one third owned by Ford, also plans to show "a significantly upgraded" 6 line. It's been on sale world-wide for about two years and, on Japan's usual four-year model cycle, that means it's mid-life update time.

Stephen Odell, head of marketing at Mazda Motors Europe, said: "With the upgrade, we have improved the product in vital areas such as NVH, performance and overall visual appeal."

The exterior design has been updated; body rigidity has been improved for better handling and stability; the engines (including the diesel) have been modified and combined with new transmissions to deliver stronger, more environmentally friendly performance; interior quality has been upgraded and better sound insulation added for a quieter ride; and the option list has been extended.

Production for most world markets will begin in Japan in the summer of 2005; expect a similar timetable for the North American market cars built in Michigan.