Convertible, News, Sports Car

Limited Edition Mazda MX-5 Sport Recaro unveiled

Mazda has teamed up with German sports seat company Recaro for a limited edition MX-5.

The new Mazda MX-5 Sport Recaro has joined the company's sports car line up and is based on the 2.0-litre 160PS Sport Nav model. Limited to just 600 cars it benefits from 'added exclusivity and sporty styling enhancements' inside and out.

Created with the 'discerning sports car fan in mind' says Mazda, the Sport Recaro adds a Brilliant Black Sports Aero kit that includes a rear spoiler, plus front, side and rear skirts. Piano Black door mirrors and 17-inch Diamond Cut alloy wheels with an engraved MX-5 logo complete the stand out exterior appearance.

Inside, the MX-5 cabin naturally gets standard Recaro seats finished in Alcantara on the seat cushion and seat back, while red seat piping compliments the red stitching found on the dash, handbrake and gear lever. An Alcantara dashboard panel, alloy pedals and unique floor mats can also be found. Designed to deliver 'outstanding lumbar and lateral support' the heated Recaro seats complement the MX-5's driver-focused cabin and communicative controls.

Features on the Sport Recaro model include LED headlights, a leather steering wheel, climate control air-conditioning, rain sensing wipers, rear parking sensors, smart keyless entry, a premium Bose sound system and cruise control, plus Mazda's MZD-Connect connectivity and infotainment system with 7-inch Colour touch-screen display and Multimedia Commander.

With a dynamic set-up that includes Sports suspension featuring Bilstein dampers, a limited slip differential and strut tower bar, the Sport Recaro MX-5 is the first Limited Edition version of the new model offered in the UK. Its exclusivity is marked out by an individually numbered badge located on the centre storage box lid.

Available to order now, the Mazda MX-5 Sport Recaro costs £24,295 OTR.

Convertible, Sports Car, News

Mazda MX-5 concepts revealed at SEMA

Mazda has pulled the covers off two MX-5 concepts at the The Specialty Equipment Market Association show (SEMA).

The two concepts, the MX-5 Spyder and MX-5 Speedster have shaved off more weight while accentuating open-air driving.

The MX-5 Spyder features a 'bikini top', Mercury Silver exterior, carbon fibre aero kit, grille intake, lightweight 17-inch Yokohama ADVAN Racing RS II wheels and a Spinneybeck PRIMA natural full-grain leather interior. The MX-5 Speedster, meanwhile, pares the roadster back to the bare essentials - it even has a deflector in place of the windscreen. With carbon fibre doors and seats as well as custom 16-inch RAYS 57 Extreme Gram Lights wheels resultsin the Speedster tipping the scales at 943kg. It is also 30mm lower than the production MX-5 thanks to an adjustable coilover suspension. Both are powered by Mazda's SKYACTIV-G 2.0 DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder with VVT.

"Both MX-5 Spyder and MX-5 Speedster are uncompromising designs that highlight the core strengths of MX-5," said Ken Saward, design manager at Mazda North American Operations. He and his colleagues at Mazda collaborated with various aftermarket parts suppliers and performance shops to create the two concepts. "With the all-new 2016 MX-5, we have a clean sheet to show how the aftermarket can go wild on our flagship sports car while staying true to its mission."

The SEMA Show in Las Vegas runs until the 6th November.

Sports Car, News

Two Mazda MX-5 Concepts set for SEMA show

Mazda has confirmed two vastly different takes on the fourth-generation MX-5 will be revealed at the 2015 SEMA Show.

The Specialty Equipment Market Association show takes place at the Las Vegas Convention Centre, for which the Mazda designers wanted to see what they could do if the MX-5 was 'taken to the extreme'. The result was an MX-5 Spyder Concept and a MX-5 Speedster Concept.

The MX-5 Spyder captures the character of a vintage roadster and translates it into a modern-day design, including bespoke leather interior details and is finished in a new Mercury Silver concept paint colour.

The MX-5 Speedster is described as a 'study in the extremes of lightweight, purpose-built performance', paying homage to minimalist roadsters of the 1950s. The Blue Ether-painted MX-5 Speedster is uncompromised in its approach to wind-in-the-hair driving, deliberately avoiding the use of a traditional windshield for a lighter deflector.

Both cars are significantly lighter than the 1057kg MX-5 roadster.

The SEMA Show takes place from 3-6 of November.

SUV, News

Hyundai Tucson scores 5-star safety rating

Euro NCAP has revealed the all-new Hyundai Tucson scored a maximum safety rating in recent tests.

The European car safety performance assessment programme also tested the Vauxhall Viva supermini and Mazda's MX-5 roadster, revealing that while the Tucson topped the latest results, the Viva and and MX-5 fail to reach the 5 stars.

The new generation compact SUV achieved high scores in all areas of assessment, and when compared to its predecessor tested in 2006, the new model showed a 'worthy evolution' in terms of safety all-round, and more specifically in safety assist. Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) technology is offered as option on the Tucson but it was not included in the rating as the uptake is not estimated by Euro NCAP to be high enough.

The Vauxhall Viva was awarded four stars, resulting in a 'commendable' score for a car in this popular segment, yet the crash tests revealed the car's lesser-seen side. In the frontal offset test, the head bottomed out the airbag and in the side pole impact the chest was protected poorly. Chest protection offered to the rear small female passenger dummy in the latest full-width rigid barrier test was also weak while the driver slipped under the seatbelt, resulting in elevated risk at knee and femur injuries. Euro NCAP concluded that perhaps with better optimised restraint systems the Viva would have made a bigger impression.

The Mazda MX-5 also achieved a four star rating, as did the Audi TT tested earlier this year. The Mazda combined good all-round performance in crash tests with exceptional pedestrian protection thanks to the deployable bonnet fitted as standard. However, like for the TT, the fitment of the latest crash avoidance technology was felt to be unnecessary by Mazda for the fourth generation roadster. In particular the absence of AEB 'disappoints' says Euro NCAP as many similarly-priced cars in other segments offer this safety equipment at least as option.

Crossover, Concept Car, SUV, News

Mazda to unveil new crossover concept in Frankfurt

The Mazda Koeru crossover SUV concept is set to make its debut at the 2015 Frankfurt International Motor Show.

Koeru - Japanese for 'exceed' or 'go beyond' - was the name chosen for Mazda's latest entry into the growing crossover SUV market, which features the company's trademark KODO - Soul of Motion design - expressing "the power and vitality of a predator along with a unique level of refined dignity", according to Mazda.

Mazda will also display its new-generation model line-up in Frankfurt with highlights including an all-new MX-5 complete with accessories as well as several SKYACTIV powertrains. 

Mazda's Frankfurt Motor Show press conference takes place on 15 September and the doors open to the public from 17-27 September.