TOKYO - Mazda Motor Corp. unveiled a new MX-5 roadster at the Tokyo auto show that mixes the future with its retro roots.
Among the styling changes are fixed headlamps, rather than the pop-up variety, and an upward-sweeping door line borrowed from the RX-7.
However, Mazda did not want to change too much of its successful original - which has sold 420,000 units worldwide since 1989 - so it kept such design cues as the front air intake, rear taillamp assembly and instrument panel.
The new MX-5 will arrive in Japan around 1 January. The rest of the world will receive it soon afterward.
Mazda President Henry Wallace said the MX-5 still differs from the crowd of other recent roadsters - such as the Porsche Boxster and BMW Z3 - because the MX-5 'represents real value.'
Mazda made some changes to the MX-5 as a result of customer requests. The trunk has been enlarged to accommodate a golf bag. A wind blocker will reduce cabin turbulence.
The roadster is powered by 1.6-liter and 1.8-liter, twin-cam engines.
The body is more taut, and has improved crashworthiness due to Mazda's new 'advanced impact distribution and absorption system,' which has extra support for the cross members bracing the passenger cage. That allows the front and rear compartments to crush without intruding into the passenger area.
That same idea will be used with future Mazda sedans, with three H-shaped cross members supporting the passenger area.