The eagerly-awaited all-new Mazda MX-5 – on sale in the UK from November – will be priced from £15,600 up to £18,900 on-the-road, Mazda Motors UK announced today (Friday 29 July 2005), and is available to pre-order from Monday (1 August 2005).

The third-generation Mazda MX-5 continues the tradition of affordable open-top motoring with the entry-level 1.8-litre 126ps model priced at just a £100 premium over the current second-generation 1.8i model. The 2.0-litre 160ps model starts at £16,600 on-the-road, while the 2.0-Sport is priced at £18,900 – just £900 more than the current Sport model which is powered by a 1.8-litre 146ps engine.

The 2.0-litre Special Edition Launch Model, in striking Velocity Red with red leather seats, premium BOSE audio system and chrome detailing and priced at £19,995 on-the-road, was available exclusively to Mazda MX-5 Owners Club members from 4 July on the pre-order website, while a limited number are still available for all MX-5 enthusiasts to order from Monday, (1 August 2005).

Meanwhile, the current second-generation Mazda MX-5 continues to fly out of the showrooms with sales in June exceeding expectations for the Zoom-Zoom manufacturer. A restricted number of the current model are still available – including the Mazda MX-5 Icon Limited Edition model priced from £16,600 featuring unique black and orange leather interior – although stocks are likely to run out by the end of August.

Strong residual values are set to maintain marketplace popularity of the ubiquitous Mazda MX-5 – the world’s best-selling roadster. Alan Cole, editorial consultant at Eurotax Glass’s Market Intelligence Service, which publishes used car value bible Glass’s Guide, said: “The MX-5 has been, and remains, the roadster that probably comes to mind first when anyone considers buying a car of this type.”

New three-year/60,000 mile residual value forecasts by Eurotax Glass’s for the outgoing model reveal that the 1.6i MX-5 with option pack will retain 40 per cent of its price, while the 1.8i derivative will retain 41 per cent – figures that are almost unprecedented on cars with such longevity.

By combining a host of new ideas and technologies with the finest aspects of the original MX-5, Mazda has given the classic lightweight sports car a fresh lease on life for the 21st century. As the purest expression of the Zoom-Zoom spirit, the MX-5 is Mazda’s latest and best gift to its growing worldwide constituency of driving enthusiasts.

The third-generation Mazda MX-5 has a body structure that uses new materials and technologies to trim weight, improve crashworthiness, and increase rigidity. In fact, the new model is only 10 kilos heavier than the current model despite the new technologies. Fresh, contemporary interior and exterior designs reflect the iconic status of the original Mazda MX-5 continuing the evolution of the world’s most popular roadster.

Slightly larger exterior dimensions are aimed at providing adequate room for taller occupants, improved comfort, and enhanced safety while fine craftsmanship yields a high quality appearance and new features available for the first time in an MX-5. All in all, the new Mazda MX-5 displays a more taught and muscular attitude with its flared wheel arches, twin exhaust and alloy wheels that grow to 17 inches.

Light, compact, highly responsive, powerful MZR engines with appropriately sporty intake and exhaust notes were developed to assure that the Mazda MX-5 is brisk, nimble, linear in response, and very fun to drive. Based on the acclaimed MZR engine series installed in other Mazda models, these engines are front-midship mounted on the MX-5 and adopt the latest technologies developed to boost power appropriately for a lightweight sports car.

Linear and lively 1.8-litre 126ps and 2.0-litre 160ps Euro IV engines power the all-new Mazda MX-5 delivering excellent fuel economy and lower carbon dioxide emissions compared to the outgoing model.

The five-speed manual transmission is carried over from the second-generation Mazda MX-5 with key changes. To handle the additional torque, the inner structure of the transmission, the counter shaft, and third gear are stronger. Triple-cone synchronisers for first and second gears, double-cone synchros for third, and a carbon-type synchro for fourth reduce shift effort.

Gear ratios in the newly engineered six-speed manual transmission are purposely close to enhance the joy of sporty driving. As a convenience, reverse is located adjacent to first gear. Accidental engagement is prevented by the need to press down on the shift lever in order to select reverse gear. Improvements have also been made to steering, suspension, and braking systems.

Thanks to a major emphasis on active, passive, and pedestrian protection, the new MX-5 is one of the most safety conscious sports cars on the market hosting new features such as side airbags (standard on all 2.0i derivatives) and driver and passenger seatbelt restraints that are equipped with locking retractors with automatic pretensioners.

Use of recyclable materials?such as aluminium and steel sheet metal?allows the Mazda MX-5 to comply with European standards that specify a recyclability potential of at least 85 per cent. The Mazda MX-5 intake and exhaust systems are also engineered to comply with the world’s drive-by noise standards.

Meanwhile, CO2 emission levels for the 2.0i derivative are nearly 15 per cent lower than the outgoing 1.8i engine at 183 g/km. This translates to real world tax savings for company car drivers and is further enhanced by fuel economy improvements of up to 11 per cent.

All-New Mazda MX-5 UK Pricing

Mazda MX-5 1.8i 125ps£15,600 OTR
Mazda MX-5 1.8i 125ps with Option Pack£16,400 OTR
Mazda MX-5 2.0i 160ps£16,600 OTR
Mazda MX-5 2.0i 160ps with Option Pack£17,400 OTR
Mazda MX-5 2.0i Sport£18,900 OTR
Mazda MX-5 2.0i Special Edition Launch Model£19,995 OTR