Mazda's upgraded MX-5 is now being rolled out in its most important European market, the UK.

The two seat sports car, these days available as a convertible or a hardtop, has proved immensely popular in Britain since its launch here in 1991. It is now second only to the US in sales and the UK accounts for 12% of the global market where some 2m copies have been sold since original launch.

Both convertible and RF versions of the MX-5 have reworked suspension to improve dynamic performance, increased safety equipment and cabin refinements. 

However, the most notable upgrade is under the hood where there is a more powerful and higher-revving version of the 2.0-litre SKYACTIV-G engine. 
This has been substantially redesigned with lighter piston and con-rod along with revisions to the camshafts and exhaust valves, fuel injectors, throttle valve and air intake. The result is an increase from 160ps to 184ps and a heightened redline, which rises from 6,800 to 7,500rpm. In addition with higher fuel pressure and more efficient combustion, there's an increase in torque across the rev range, while peak torque rises by 5Nm.

As a result, convertible 0-62mph performance improves by 0.8 of a second to 6.5sec while manual and automatic RF models see a 0.6 and 0.5sec increase, respectively, while tuning of the main silencer delivers a cleaner more powerful engine note.

The improved performance hasn't come at the cost of efficiency, as fully homologated to the WLTP/RDE test cycle, both the 2019 MX-5s engines achieve Euro 6d Temp emission regulation compliance, while the introduction of Mazda's i-ELOOP and i-stop kinetic recovery and stop-start technology on 2.0-litre models means all 184ps cars have a lower C02 output than the outgoing 160ps car.

The 1.5-litre SKYACTIV-G engine benefits from improved combustion and reduced internal friction to see a slight power increase to 132ps and a moderate torque improvement to 152Nm while at the same time retaining its superb fuel economy. 

Prices now starting from GBP18,995 (USD24,700).

Mazda UK managing director Jeremy Thomson, said: "For more than 25 years the MX-5 has been a big favourite in the UK and the remarkable thing is it now costs just GBP4,700 (USD6,100) more than it did in 1991.

"That has been key to the improvements in the latest model. We have been able to provide more performance while keeping the car affordable. Our engineers have created a sports car that incorporates our SKYACTIV technology, modern safety and superb efficiency with the driver focused enjoyment. The MX-5 is Mazda's brand icon and it embodies all that is great about our products."