Have Fun in Your Five

Ridings 3

Every weekend, all year round, members of the MX5 Owner’s Club get together for a drive or a party so why not join in the fun? Just click on the logo below to see whats on in your area!

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Last Flight of the Vulcan

I spent over 30 years as a Royal Air Force air traffic controller, starting at RAF Kemble with the Red Arrows and then moving on to Area Radar centres, where I spent many hours looking after the huge fleet of Vulcans which were the mainstay of our nuclear deterrent. I have never forgotten the thrill of seeing these incredibly powerful aircraft hurtling down the runway and I feel very sad that XH558 has finally reached the end of her life.

Slick Stick!

Short Stick

As with previous MX5s, the gear change is one of the sweetest things about the MK 4. It’s not just precise and well-weighted, it also offers one of the shortest throws out there as far as new cars go, with a 40mm stroke. It’s the slickest change we’ve experienced in a modern car and compares favourably with the new Honda Civic Type R, which offers the same stroke length. The MX5 provides a more satisfying change though, as it is meatier and more positive .

The gearbox starts out life as the ‘SkyActiv-MT’ six-speed transmission previously only used in transverse applications. It’s been adapted for use in the MX5’s longitudinally-mounted, rear-wheel drive layout, with the linkage simplified to reduce sliding resistance.

Can I Borrow Your Lighter?

2016 Chassis

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The new MX5 is 100kg lighter than the old one thanks to clever weight savings! Yes, a whole 100kg lighter, about the same as a short overweight person. And don’t forget, the NC this car replaces is hardly a fatty. Sure, the ND may be smaller, but that’s not the only way Mazda kept the bulk down.

Like its predecessor, the new car has been subjected to Mazda’s “gram strategy” – a thought process that sees every component examined and made lighter if possible. A shorter screw here and there, something made out of steel forged from aluminium instead, a piece of plastic trim made smaller – all modest reductions, but they add up. Including the driver, the 1.5-litre ND has a kerb weight of 1050kg.

Some of the bigger weight reductions on the new MX5 include an 8kg drop for the 2.0-litre engine, 14kg for the 1.5-litre compared to the old 1.8, a gearbox which is 7kg lighter, 12kg shed from the suspension thanks to the front knuckle plus upper and lower arms made from aluminium, and a folding roof that’s 3kg less bulky than before.

Sounds Great to Me!

Those good old boys at Car Throttle have been driving the new ‘ND’ Mazda  in Scotland, and have found the engine noise to be impressively growly for a modern four-pot. Take a look this video of the 2.0-litre version and see what you think!


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