Wanna know about a best selling convertible sports car in history? yeah, we are talking about the Mazda MX-5. It was released by Mazda as MX-5 in North America and as roadster in Japan. It is a two seater convertible with a front engine, rear engine drive layout and are manufactured in Hiroshima, Japan.
The first vehicle was launched in 1989 and with over 9,00,000 units sold tells about its huge success in the automotive market. Since then Mazda MX-5 has seen its third generation version on the road and the fourth generation being recently launched. Here we will go through the third generation MX-5 MIATA and some aspects of the recently unveiled fourth generation model.
2015 MAZDA MX-5 MAITA:
Mazda made this vehicle aiming for a pure fun in driving a light weight sports car and has also maintained the same in the new fourth generation. It comes in three formats: Sport, Club and grand Touring. We will now got through each segment of the vehicle.
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION:
The vehicle has front mounted engine with rear wheel drive. It is powered by 1999 cc, four cylinders, 16 valve engine with variable valve train technology. It produces a beaming power of 167 hp @ 7000 rpm of the manual transmission and 157 hp @ 6700 rpm for automatic transmission. The maximum power comes at high rpm considering the sports race target in mind. It has an electronic controlled port fuel injection with tuned intake system. Tuning of intake in certain range of rpm helps in achieving high torque in that rpm range and can be commonly seen in race cars. Engine being one of the heavy parts in the vehicle has been manufactured mostly out of aluminum alloy to reduce the vehicle weight. The vehicle comes with a range of 5-speed or 6-speed manual transmission and 6- speed automatic transmission. In manual transmission, a differential with torque sensing limited slip is also installed.
SUSPENSION, STEERING AND BRAKES:
The ride and handling of sports cars relies on how your suspension, steering and brakes perform on different road conditions especially during high speed cornering. Front is equipped with double wishbone suspension and multi link bars are installed in rear of the vehicle. All the suspension components are made of aluminum. Shock absorbers are gas filled which help in better comfort and ride .Stabilizers are installed both in front and rear to reduce the rolling tendency and make vehicle stable in the cornering situations. Steering is of rack and pinion type with hydraulic power assisted system. In order to improve the braking efficiency at high speeds, all the wheels have vented disc brakes where vents help in coiling of the brakes.
Convertible type cars are known for their exterior styling and appearance. Vehicle has been designed to allow efficient air flow over the body. Under hood flow is guided to the rear by the rear diffusers. The exterior styling of the vehicle has been an important parameter in its success. Rear fender mounted antenna makes an important sign in the styling. Aluminum alloy wheels, xenon high intensity discharge headlights and chrome head light bezel all make this vehicle beautiful to watch. The Mazda logo in front makes a huge impact on styling.
The vehicle is equipped with two passenger seating covered with black cloths and red stitching. Carpet floor mats are available on the vehicle floor. Gear shift knob, parking brake handles and steering wheel are leather wrapped. Automatic climate control and cruise control on steering wheel mounted controls are some other features of the car interior. Dashboard also has monitoring displays for engine rpm, car speed, oil pressure, coolant temperature and fuel levels.
SAFETY AND SECURITY:
Racing cars are costly and made to run at high speeds, thus there is definitely a need for security and safety of the car. For safety, the car is equipped with two frontal air bags, traction control systems, Anti-lock brakes with Electronic brake distribution and dynamic stability control system which helps car in stabilizing. For security, anti-theft alarm system and engine immobilizer anti-theft system are installed.
Now, coming to the fourth generation of MX-5 MAITA which has achieved a weight reduction of 100 kg from the previous model. This is because of the implementation of SkyActiv technology (light weight chassis and highly efficient engine and transmissions). The engine is placed closer to the vehicle;s center and has center of gravity lower than any of its previous models. Lower center of gravity provides high stability during high speed cornering. Mazda has told that it is the most compact, high performance and crashworthy MX-5 ever made and is expected to be rolled out in the global automotive market in the start of 2015.