Mazda Motor Corporation today announced the launch of the freshened Mazda Roadster (known as the MX-5 overseas) into the Japanese market. Mazda’s updated iconic lightweight, open-top sports car goes on sale today (December 9, 2008) at all Mazda and Mazda Anfini dealers throughout Japan. Manufacturer’s suggested retail prices (including consumption tax) range from 2,330,000 to 2,600,000 yen for the soft top models, and from 2,680,000 to 2,950,000 yen for the Power Retractable Hard Top (RHT) models that feature Mazda’s groundbreaking electric roof system.
The latest version of Mazda’s two-seat sports car carries forward the Roadster’s traditional “Jinba Ittai” (“rider and horse as one”) concept, and features detailed improvements in the exterior and interior design, quality, functionality and dynamic performance. As a result, the Roadster is now more fun-to-drive and more desirable than ever. The RHT models, which provide both the enjoyment of open-top driving and the comfort of a coupe, are now even quieter and feature new, exclusive exterior parts, offering customers even higher levels of comfort and quality.
The design of the front fascia has been updated with Mazda’s hallmark five-point grille. A stronger character line that stretches along the lower edge of the vehicle’s sides has been visually extended to the rear bumper, further enhancing the Roadster’s sporty dynamism. Newly designed alloy wheels (two sizes) now come as standard on all model grades. Three new exterior body colors have been added, including the high quality Aluminum Metallic and vivid Sunflower Yellow.
On the inside, the five gauges on the instrument panel have been newly designed and are highlighted by a dark silver decorative panel. The interior quality is enhanced by a choice of tactile brown leather seats or Recaro bucket seats upholstered in a combination of leather and Alcantara®*1. Comfort levels are also improved through the addition of heated seats with a temperature control with five temperature settings (for grades with leather seats only).
The rev limit on grades with a manual transmission has been increased to 7,500 rpm for improved driving performance. The height of the front roll center has been optimized, and the retuned suspension makes the vehicle’s handling even more natural. Additionally, automatic grades now offer Direct Mode*2 and Active Adaptive Shift (AAS)*3 functions for an even sportier ride. Improvements have also been made to the engine and body to enhance noise reduction levels and provide a more satisfying engine sound.
The Mazda Roadster was certified by Guinness World Records as the world’s highest production two-seat open-top sports car when production passed 500,000 units in 2000. Guinness has updated the Roadster’s record since then, which now stands at over 800,000 units built.
- *1 ALCANTARA® is a registered trademark of Alcantara S.p.A.
- *2 Steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters can be used to change gear even when the gear shift is in the Drive position.
- *3 AAS automatically selects the optimal gear depending on driving style and road surface conditions.