Mazda sets date for MX-5

AFTER teasing its next-generation roadster with a buck-naked chassis three months ago, Mazda has decided to show the completely new MX-5 clad in all its metal-skinned glory on September 4.

The Japanese car maker will reveal the highly anticipated two-seat sports car simultaneously in Japan, the US and Europe – but sadly not Australia.

Little is known about the form of the new MX-5, an important halo model in Mazda’s global showroom, despite the chassis reveal at the New York motor show in April that gave only a few vital pointers as to what we can expect.

The fourth-generation MX-5 will use the same double-wishbone front end and multi-link rear suspension as the current model, but includes more aluminium to cut weight, with the full car expected to tip the scales at slightly over the 1000kg mark – an important benchmark for the program.

The more rearward position of the gearbox suggests a BMW Z4-like layout for the sports car, with a longer bonnet leading back to a short rear overhang, and with wheels pushed closer to all four corners of the body.

Under the bonnet, Mazda is expected to use a 1.5-litre four-cylinder SkyActiv engine that draws on the car maker’s growing suite of fuel-efficient technologies, with a larger 2.0-litre four-cylinder expected to cater to the US market.

Australia is one of the star markets for Mazda globally, the brand having established a strong foothold among private buyers, where most of profit lies.

In June last year, the Japanese car maker selected Melbourne as one of four sites worldwide to host the reveal of the third-generation Mazda 3 hatchback.

Sign up here to receive the latest round-up of Wheels news, reviews and video highlights straight to your inbox each week.