Upgraded for 2009, the 8-strong range of new Mazda MX-5 sportscars will go on sale in the UK during April. Both the soft-top and Roadster Coupe bodystyles have a fresh design that enhances dynamic appeal, is harmonised with Mazda’s next-generation Mazda6, Mazda3 and Mazda2 line-up and lowers aerodynamic drag to Cd 0.38 (soft-top) and 0.36 (Roadster Coupe). Chassis modifications ensure that all models deliver an evolution of Mazda’s unique Jinba Ittai – oneness between car and driver – by enhancing the Mazda MX-5’s legendary agility and controllability even further. Fine-tuning of both the 1.8i and 2.0i engines has achieved significant reductions in CO2 and fuel consumption.

  • 8-strong model range priced from £16,345 to £21,695 (on-the-road)
  • New ‘PowerShift‘ six-speed sequential paddle-shift transmission with full auto mode
  • World’s fastest powered retractable hard-top, only 12 seconds top-up or top-down
  • Fuel economy improvements of up to 8 percent
  • CO2 emissions reduced by up to 7 percent
  • Choice of Euro 4 compliant petrol engines with power outputs of 126ps and 160ps

“The latest exterior, interior and technical upgrades to the 2009 Mazda MX-5 range will ensure that the soft-top will continue to offer the purest, fun-to-drive thrills, while the Mazda MX-5 Roadster Coupe adds to those thrills with an even more coupe-like and premium experience,” commented Mark Cameron, Sales Director Mazda Motors UK.

“Both models carry over the key features which have made the Mazda MX-5 the world’s best-selling sportscar. Today, they are unrivalled as rewarding sportscars that can also be used for everyday motoring all year round, with excellent heating and ventilation, plus high-performance audio systems – and the whole sportscar ownership experience is supported by Mazda’s legendary reliability and durability.”

For 2009, Mazda MX-5 customers will now have a choice of four powertrains, all fine-tuned to use less fuel – the 126ps 1.8i or higher-revving 160ps 2.0i with five-speed gearbox, the 160ps 2.0i with a smoother-shifting six-speed manual gearbox and the new 160ps 2.0i ‘PowerShift’ six-speed sequential paddle-shift transmission with full-auto mode. The engine fine-tuning and aerodynamic drag reductions have resulted in significantly lower CO2 (from 167 g/km for the 1.8i, down from 174 g/km) and enhanced fuel consumption (from 40.4 mpg for the 1.8i, up from 38.7 mpg).

The new PowerShift transmission delivers an even more sporty drive for the Mazda MX-5, with gear changes achieved by operating the paddles behind the steering wheel – just like an F1 racecar – so the driver does not have to take his, or her, hand off the wheel. PowerShift makes B-road cross-country driving in the MX-5 even more thrilling and when road, traffic conditions or the driver’s mood demands, the full-auto mode gives the option of fully automatic operation for easy city driving and motorway cruising.

The sportscar thrills of driving the Mazda MX-5 2.0i with a manual transmission are further enhanced by raising its rev-limit by 500rpm to 7,500rpm and retuning the engine to develop peak power (160ps) at 7,000rpm (up 300rpm). For models with the six-speed gearbox, the engine is fitted with a new Induction Sound Enhancer (ISE) which gives the power unit an even more exciting sound.

Prices for the upgraded new Mazda MX-5 soft-top range will start from £16,345 for the 126ps, 1.8i with a five-speed manual gearbox, now equipped as standard with items that used to be part of the extra cost Option Pack. The 2009 upgrade means that every MX-5 comes with alloy wheels, a leather steering wheel, gear knob and hand-brake, plus an MP3-compatible audio system with six speakers and a new auxiliary (AUX) input jack for MP3 and iPod connection. All 2.0i models (from £17,345), delivering 160ps, feature DSC (dynamic stability control), TCS (traction control system), a Limited Slip Differential and side airbags. Climate control air conditioning is a £550 option on these models.

Sport models (priced from £19,695) are equipped with new 17-inch alloy wheels, uprated Bilstein dampers, a front suspension strut bracing bar, a six-speed manual transmission, front fog lamps and heated leather seats. New specification additions include climate control air conditioning, cruise control, a premium BOSE® audio system with 6-CD changer and seven speakers, and Bluetooth® technology with voice recognition for hands-free telephoning.

The two new PowerShift models (from £20,195) are similarly equipped to Sport models, but feature the new paddle-shift transmission – instead of the six-speed manual – and are not fitted with the uprated Bilstein dampers. With a price premium of just £500 (above the Sport), these two models are expected to account for approximately 10 percent of Mazda MX-5 sales during 2009.

The Mazda MX-5 Roadster Coupe range starts at £18,345 and carries a modest £2,000 premium over the soft-top models. Designed and engineered by Mazda, the powered retractable hard top is the world’s fastest – top-up or top-down in just 12 seconds. Although the Roadster Coupe is 10 mm taller than the soft-top, it weighs just 37kg more thanks to Mazda’s meticulous weight-reducing gram strategy. It still achieves an ideal 50:50 weight distribution and shares its sister car’s beautifully balanced driving dynamics. Because the roof retracts into a space behind the seats – just like the soft-top – boot capacity remains 150 litres whether the roof is up or down. Climate control air conditioning is standard on all Mazda MX-5 Roadster Coupe models and heated leather seats, with five-stage settings, are standard or available as an option – depending on model.

Appropriate to its premium positioning, the 2009 Mazda MX-5 Roadster Coupe now has several additional features to further differentiate it from its soft-top sibling. The new mesh-type front grille is surrounded by a chrome-look edge trim, the headlamps feature chrome bezels and the exterior door handles have a chrome finish. The front fog lamps have silver inner bezels and there is a clear lens for the high-mounted rear stop light. The cabin is also better insulated with interior noise reduced by a significant 2.7dB at 37 mph.

A choice of seven body colours will be available – including two new colours (Aluminium Silver Metallic and Metropolitan Grey Mica). Aluminium Silver Metallic contains aluminium particles that diffuse light and cause diverse kinds of reflections and shadow, depending on light conditions. Carried over colours are Copper Red Mica and Stormy Blue Mica and solid colours Brilliant Black and True Red.

Thanks to the excellent levels of security, including a Thatcham 1 alarm and immobiliser, together with the modest overall costs of crash repair, the insurance groups for the upgraded Mazda MX-5 range are likely to remain equally competitive. Excellent residual values are also anticipated, ensuring the Mazda MX-5 remains an unbeatable proposition for both retail customers, who will find their iconic roadster holds its value over many years, and for fleet operators wishing to offer user-choosers a broad and exciting model range.