Mazda MX-5’s Iconic Evolution
Fresh from the wheels up, Mazda MX5 -- the world’s favorite roadster remains true to the lightweight, fun to drive formula that sold more than 700,000 MX-5s worldwide since its introduction in 1989. The third generation Mazda MX-5 will be presented in October 2005 at the Geneva and Melbourne motor shows. Intensity of spirit possessed by very few sports cars – this was what Program Manager Takao Kijima has in mind when creating the all-new Mazda MX-5.
The all-new Mazda MX5 epitomizes the Japanese word Jinba Ittai (rider and horse as one).Jinba Ittai is akin to the bond between a single-seat formula-car pilot and his racer which is the essence of Zoom-Zoom. The rider-and-horse idiom and the effort to create a car universally seen as “lots of fun” served as the focal point around the new Mazda MX5.
Mazda engineers to realise the Jinba Ittai concept defined the five basic requirements: the car would be as compact and as light as possible while meeting global safety requirements; the cockpit would comfortably accommodate two full-stature occupants with no wasted space; the basic layout would continue with the original’s front-midship rear-drive configuration with the engine positioned ahead of the driver but behind the front axle for 50:50 weight distribution; all four wheels would be attached by wishbone or multi-link suspension systems to maximize tire performance, road grip and dynamic stability and that a power-plant frame would again provide a solid connection between the engine and rear-mounted differential to sharpen throttle response.
Mazda engineers made every gram count when they very well knew that extra weight would have a dramatically negative influence on driving, cornering, and braking performance. Their “gram strategy” assessed weight in the smallest possible increments and carefully scrutinized weight-trimming opportunities. Other weight-saving tactics were employed as well. Advanced technology was applied where practical to achieve a light and rigid unibody design using materials that offered higher strength and lighter weight.
The MX5 iconic roadster has indeed evolved as evident on its bold new look. The classic “Coke bottle” shape of the contours was removed. The nose and tail are smoothly tapered but now the surfaces wrap smoothly between the wheels without narrowing. The fender arches of the new Mazda MX-5 are notably more pronounced for a substantially wider wheel track dimensions and a more athletic stance. Seventeen-inch wheels help define the corners of the car while there are modest increases in wheelbase (+65 mm), length (+20 mm), width (+40 mm), and height (+20 mm),
With Mazda’s new generation sport car architecture the car boasts 22 per cent more flexural stiffness and a 47 per cent increase in torsion rigidity compared with the former Mazda MX-5’s.
Moving the engine rearward by 135 mm was a major step towards balancing front-to-rear weight distribution and reducing the yaw moment of inertia. The new car also benefits from ideal 50:50 weight distribution.
Indeed, The MX-5 is another testament to Mazda’s enduring legacy of excellence in automotive design and innovation. Meanwhile, maintaining in excellent condition may take more than the regular tune-ups or visits to the mechanic. Replacing a worn out part due to regular wear and tear is one the ways an owner can keep his Mazda as good as brand new. Shopping for Mazda parts is easier nowadays with the proliferation of online auto parts stores. One of the leading online auto parts store is Auto Parts Train. Visit their site and have a good look at their wide selection of top quality Mazda Parts, available at very reasonable prices. Just visit their Mazda parts page at: http://www.partstrain.com/ShopByVehicle/Mazda.
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