All-New Mazda MX-5, Lighter, Stronger, Safer

20 August 2015

The all new Mazda MX-5 delivers on so many different levels from design through to performance and perhaps most importantly on safety via Mazda Proactive Safety.

The Mazda Proactive Safety philosophy uses state-of-the art technology to significantly reduce the potential for accidents and thus take pressure off the driver.

Andrew Clearwater, Managing Director of Mazda New Zealand, says while we know New Zealand motorists will really enjoy driving the all new MX-5 we want them to do so with the peace of mind that they are driving one of the best equipped sports cars on the market when it comes to safety.

“We are not only focused on the safety of the driver and the passenger, other motorists are equally important and the introduction of a number of new passive safety features along with i-ACTIVSENSE safety technologies will ensure drivers are more at ease without diminishing from the driving experience.”      

The all new MX-5 is stronger and lighter than earlier models and this is achieved through Mazda’s SKYACTIV-Body. It employs a unique structure with lightweight high-strength materials featuring a continuous framework and straight beams wherever possible to deliver exceptional collision protection, particularly for an open-top sports car.

Unlike other Mazda vehicles the MX-5 lacks the uninterrupted ring structure that joins the roof and B-pillars to the underbody to bolster side impact protection. Instead, Mazda designers have added a seatback cross-member connecting the right and left sides of the body at the rear edge of the side sills, and together with other enhancements the all-new MX-5 effectively disperses side impact energy throughout the body.

“It was very important that if we were reducing the car’s weight, we still maintained the strength and rigidity, to enable the car to respond without any lag or sluggishness and once again the Mazda designers and engineers have delivered,” said Clearwater.

Other methods Mazda developers used to shed every possible gram from the vehicle included the adoption of aluminium parts for the bonnet, boot lid, front fenders, and the links and header panels for the soft top, as well as introducing holes into certain materials in the body and chassis where it would not impact on strength.

Inside the cabin passenger safety has been enhanced through the introduction front and side airbags as standard equipment. The side airbags use a special bracket on the outside shoulder of the seat to protect occupants’ heads, even with the top down. A crushable steering shaft, absorbs impact energy and secures space for the driver.

Around the city a number of accidents involve pedestrians, and once again the MX-5 has a feature to mitigate the chance of head injury for the pedestrian. The evolved active bonnet automatically raises during an impact to protect a person’s head by expanding the space between the bonnet and engine components. New sensor technology more than compensates for the all-new MX-5’s lower bonnet by raising it higher during a collision. To protect the knees, energy-absorbing foam is in the front bumper beam, while a lower bumper stiffener prevents the legs from sliding under the car.

Similar to the latest incarnations of the Mazda3 and Mazda2, the all-new MX-5 includes  

 i-ACTIVSENSE safety technologies.  They are designed to help identify potential risks early on and reduce the chance of damage or injury.

The 1.5L GSX and 2.0L Limited models comes with Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RTCA) and the Limited model also comes with High Beam Control (HBC) and Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS).   

The key to the MX-5’s success over the 26 years has been the amazing driving and handling capabilities and the all new Mazda MX-5 has certainly built on this heritage.

Refinements include adopting SKYACTIV Technology for the newly developed suspension system, body and powertrain; the brake system is designed to maximise controllability and deliver reassuring effectiveness; and for the first time on a Mazda, the MX-5 steering system features a Double-Pinion Electric Power Assist Steering system (DP-EPAS) with a 4.3% lower steering gear ratio providing accurate feedback from the road surface. 

One of the key attributes of previous MX-5s has been the spirited performance and lively engine sound. The all-new MX-5 builds on these even further with the specially tuned SKYACTIV-G 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre direct-injection petrol engines which feature a high 13.0:1 compression ratio with a range of innovations such as dual sequential valve timing, multi-hole injectors and special piston cavities.  The 1.5L SKYACTIV-G engine produces 96kW @ 7,000rpm and 150Nm @ 4,800rpm.

Again the engineers have focused on weight reduction resulting in the 2.0L engine block being 22% lighter than its MZR (previous model) equivalent while the 1.5L version has one of the lightest engine blocks in its class. 

Lighter and more compact intake and exhaust systems heighten the driving experience by squeezing the most from these engines.   The MX-5 uses an extra compact 4-2-1 exhaust to enhance torque and for the optimum engine sound. 

The MX-5 will initially be launched with a six-speed manual transmission. The 2.0-litre model, available in New Zealand early 2016 will have a choice of six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.    

mazdacare features as standard with every new Mazda MX-5 – a commitment Mazda makes to ensure each new vehicle continues to perform in optimum condition. mazdacare comprises a Mazda Genuine Factory Warranty and Mazda On Call Roadside Assistance for a 5 year, unlimited kilometre period and Genuine Mazda Servicing for 3 years/100,000 km (whichever occurs first) at no extra cost.

The all-new Mazda MX-5 - the sixth model in Mazda’s line-up of new-generation vehicles is available from Mazda dealerships nationwide from $40,995 plus on road costs.  For more information, please visit

BT-50 commercialcare disclaimer

** is also available to new BT-50 owners where every scheduled service completed by Mazda specialist technicians for a 3 year/100,000km term (whichever wherever occurs first) will cost no more than $200 (incl. GST) per service for models built after 1 November 2012. *** 3,350kg applies to earlier models.

* whichever occurs first