FIRST OFF THE LINE: The first of the fourth generation of Mazda's iconic small two-seater, the MX-5 'Miata', has rolled off the lines. Image: Mazda
• Mazda MX-5 lines rolling
• Expected in SA later in 2015
• Now in its fourth generation
HIROSHIMA, Japan - Mazda has begun production in Japan of its all-new Mazda MX-5 sports car.
The units rolling off the assembly line here are initially destined for the Japanese market where sales are scheduled to start in June 2015. The iconic budget two-seat sports cars will then be rolled out progressively to other regions.
MOTTO: 'JINBA ITTAI'
This the fourth generation of the MX-5 will arrive in South Africa later in 2015.
Mazda, recently extracted from is corporate embrace with Ford and resuscitated in South Africa, says the car "perfectly embodies Mazda's vehicle engineering philosophy: the pursuit of driving pleasure".
“Innovate in order to preserve” was the development motto, the company says, as Mazda aimed to maintain the Jinba Ittai (“rider and horse as one”) fun element that it says has always defined the MX-5 while meeting ever-increasing safety and efficiency requirements.
This will be the lightest MX-5 since the first generation and the first with SkyActiv technology, including a choice in Europe of two ultra-efficient lightweight petrol engines with outputs ranging from 91kW to 120kW.
Read what Dave Fall has to say about the ’Miata’
The car also has the lowest centre of gravity yet on the car and "a people-orientated interior that’s optimised for open-top driving". It is also, Mazda, says, available with an MZD Connect infotainment system and a range of i-ActivSense and pre-crash protection technology.
The MX-5 was first seen in 1989 when, Mazda says, it "instantly revived the market for affordable and light sports cars.
The automaker said: "Some 26 years and almost 200 awards later, the legend is still going strong. With production having exceeded 950 000 in January 2015 Mazda continues to hold the Guinness World Record for the best-selling two-seater sports car in history.