Mazda has announced the mid-life revisions for its current MX-5 sports car – including a new ‘PowerShift’ automatic gearbox.
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Changes have been made to both the regular soft-top and MX-5 Roadster Coupe, which features a folding metal hard-top in place of the traditional fabric convertible roof. There are chassis modifications to further enhance the sports cars’ agile handling. Both 1.8i and 2.0i petrol engines now offer improved fuel economy and emissions.
There’s no boost in power, but the 158bhp 2.0-litre engine benefits from a higher rev-limit. And while the 124bhp 1.8i Mazda MX-5 remains available with a five-speed manual gearbox only, the 2.0i comes with five-speed manual, six-speed manual, or new six-speed automatic, depending on specification.
Mazda PowerShift gearbox
Equipment upgrades for the new models mean every gets alloy wheels, leather steering wheel, gearknob and handbrake, and six-speaker stereo with aux-in socket.
Mazda MX-5s with 2.0-litre engines get electronic stability control and side airbags; enthusiastic drivers will also be pleased to note the standard Limited Slip Differential (LSD).
Mazda MX-5 Sport
Top spec Sport versions of the add better shock absorbers, 17-inch alloys, heated leather seats, climate control, Bluetooth, and seven-speaker Bose stereo with six-CD changer. PowerShift-equipped cars are based on Sport versions but do without the LSD and shock absorber upgrades.
Both soft-top and Roadster Coupe versions of the new Mazda MX-5 benefit from a mild exterior facelift. But to further distinguish the folding hardtop, Roadster Coupe models get a new mesh grill, chrome headlight bezels and door handles. The roof takes just 12 seconds to operate – whether going up or down. Climate control and leather seats are standard on the Roadster Coupe.
The refreshed Mazda MX-5 is on sale 1 April 2009. Prices start at £16,345 for the 1.8i; PowerShift from £20,195, Roadster Coupe from £18,345.
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