Next Generation MX-5 Laid Bare

While at first glance this may appear to be some ultra-hardcore competitor for the Ariel Atom, it is in fact the underpinnings and powertrain of the next generation of Mazda MX-5.

As the world's best selling, 2 seater, convertible sportscar, this next model has an awful lot to live up to and, at the moment, the signs are good. Mazda is invoking the "SkyActiv" ethos for the chassis at least, as it has done for every new model since the CX-5 in 2012. This should help the MX-5 reach a targeted weight at or below the sub-ton Mk1 MX-5, which in turn will enable Mazda to use smaller, lower output engines as per the original car.

We can also clearly see simple, four stud wheel hubs with solid discs at the rear and vented discs at the front, both grabbed by single-piston brake calipers, just like the original recipe - though it seems to have retained the front wishbone/rear multilink suspension of the Mk3 rather than the four wheel double wishbones of the Mk1/Mk2. It still uses a straight four engine and, from the gear lever position, the driver should be very close to the centre of the car's length.

Life's not quite over for the current car though. At the same time Mazda revealed the next generation chassis, it also showed off the 25th Anniversary Edition model.

Based on the 2.0, 158hp Roadster Coupe, the 25AE will only be available in "Soul Red Metallic" and comes with either a 6-speed manual or automatic gearbox. Black painted roof, windscreen surround and door mirrors help distinguish the car from the outside while the interior is treated to off-white leather upholstery and door cards. 17-inch gunmetal alloys and Blistein dampers set the ride and handling apart from the 'ordinary' Mk3 models.

For more information on the Mk3 check out our full summary of the Mazda MX-5 alongside reviews, stats, photos and videos.

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