The completely redesigned Mazda Miata is an automotive unicorn. Not only is it significantly lighter than the car it replaces by an astonishing 200lbs, it is also shorter in length than the first generation Miata.
How was Mazda able to pull off this feat? Reengineering the car from the ground up and cross-examining each part to ensure additional mass wasn’t added. If weight were the only goal, Mazda could have created the ultimate milk carton on wheels. Instead, resources were devoted to increase structural rigidity through the use of high strength steel and improved bracing.
The lighter and strong chassis led to a domino effect of downsizing that didn’t hinder performance. One of the primary gains was reducing unsprung mass that had crept up in the previous generation. 4 lugs are back, as well as smaller brakes, which slow this 1-ton roadster down with confidence. Furthermore, it led to a revised motor that sits behind the front axle, thus creating the first front mid-engine Miata ever. Couple this with a near 50/50 weight distribution, and this Miata is ready to take on your favorite windy road.
While the car’s dimensions have shrunk, interior volume has increased. With a lower seating position, the driver sits snugly behind a surprisingly refined dashboard that makes you wonder where Mazda cut corners (hint: the rear was tapered off to reduce the size of the rear bumper structure).
Tests have only occurred with the base 1.5L engine. For our shores, we’ll receive the more powerful 2.0L without compromising the curb weight significantly.
With prices rumored to start at $25000, this small roadster may revive the same fun drivers had with the first generation.
Source:: Top Gear