Blog: Dave LeggettNew Mazda MX-5

Dave Leggett | 7 November 2005

Interesting news item we had today on the MX-5 being engineered for production just 17 months after design sign-off, which also includes some detail on how the model is produced at Mazda’s Ujina No 1 plant. It would seem that some of the processes that used to be sequential in nature can now happen simultaneously, or as near as you can get to that, courtesy of Mazda’s virtual engineering systems. Clever stuff.

And all that effort for a car that looks pretty similar to the old one. But that’s clever too when you come to think about it: why mess with a highly successful formula? Give the car a good update, but don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Would be nice to see the new one and the old side by side. Once again we have another new generation car getting quite a bit bigger than its immediate predecessor (I sometimes wonder where that will end on cars like the Volkswagen Golf - maybe one day Volkswagen will just realign all the model names so that Polo becomes Golf, Golf becomes Passat...)

What did the original MX-5 stylists have for inspiration? Triumph Spitfire, Lotus Elan and an MGB, apparently - all sitting in the studio as they went to work in clay. Good stock. Funny that the MX-5 has always had a bit of a ‘hairdresser’ image here though (yes, real English men of a sporty disposition drive throaty sounding and rather twitchy TVRs that are liable to breakdown, of course). I wonder if MX-5 perceptions will change with the new model (I see the entry model now comes with a 1.8-litre engine rather than 1.6)? I doubt it somehow.

EXCLUSIVE: SPAIN: Mazda MX-5 engineered for production in just 17 months


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