The most iconic Mazda in the model range is about to get even more enthralling with a host of upgrades for 2024, ranging from enhanced connectivity and significant dynamic tweaks to new track-focused technology that result in the most exhilarating MX-5 driving experience yet.
Chief among the latest Mazda MX-5 enhancements are DSC-TRACK, a new Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) mode optimised for circuit driving, and a newly developed Asymmetric Limited Slip Differential (Asymmetric LSD), both of which are exclusively fitted to manual transmission models.
DSC-TRACK is reserved for the flagship GT RS grade and affords maximum deference to the driver when operating the vehicle, interposing an over-steering restricting control only when in a hazardous spin that the driver is unable to control. Ultimately, it is the driver that takes the lead in DSC-TRACK, a control technology further amplifying ‘Jinba Ittai’ - the philosophy of ‘horse and rider as one’ - and assisting the driver in fully focusing on driving.
The Asymmetric Limited Slip Differential (Asymmetric LSD) stabilises vehicle turn-in behaviour by varying the limiting force of slip on the differential gear in response to vehicle acceleration and deceleration as the rear wheel vertical load changes. A cam mechanism has been added to the conical clutch LSD which is lightweight, compact and highly durable. The cam angle is set differently for the deceleration side and acceleration side, thereby achieving optimal limiting force of slip during both processes. Strengthening the slip limiting force during deceleration, in particular, enhances stability when decelerating into a turn, which is where reduced rear wheel ground load causes vehicle instability. Moreover, tuning the slip limiting force and preload optimised for the MX-5’s engine, suspension, and tyre characteristics realises smoother and more linear turning performance. Turning stability has been further improved to make the movement even lighter around town as well as over winding roads and racecourses.
Other subtle yet highly effective enhancements now span the accelerator pedal, steering and engine sound too for an even deeper connection to the car’s controls and touchpoints.
Response of the accelerator pedal has been improved for manual models, making distance control with the car in front now much easier to modulate thanks to a more natural feeling, and no sense of delay. The improvement is particularly noticeable in daily driving during the deceleration phase when backing off the accelerator after having sped up and reached the desired speed.
On the circuit and during other high-speed driving scenarios, this quicker response translates to more dynamic control and when the accelerator has been disengaged prior to deceleration.
All variants benefit from an electric steering system that has been modified for more nimble and precise operability. Steering rack friction is reduced, yet a more natural and fluid response achieved with refined electric power steering control logic.
The aim was to produce a sense of oneness so that, from the time the driver starts to turn the wheel until it returns to position, they feel more connected with the road surface, with the system directly conveying the driver’s intentions to the compact sportscar’s steering.
Power comes from the same advanced Skyactiv-G 2.0-litre naturally aspirated engine, a rev-hungry powerplant offering 135 kW and 205Nm, and for 2024, the sound is now drawn directly into the interior from the engine – without raising the acoustic pressure any more than necessary – resulting in a more stirring audible experience.
Enhancements for 2024 also extend to the interior, which gains a redesigned 8.8-inch centre display arrangement for better visibility and a more advanced Mazda Connect system.
The MX-5 becomes the first Mazda in the Australian range to support Connected Services functionality, which can connect the vehicle to the emergency services to dispatch an ambulance in case of an accident and allow vehicle status to be checked via a smartphone app.
CONNECTED SERVICES FUNCTIONALITY INCLUDING SOS BUTTON
BLACK CLOTH SEAT TRIM WITH SUEDE INSERT
The Mazda MX-5 is also equipped with newly designed 17-inch alloys that convey an expression of its lightweight and functionality.
The seven-strong colour palette consisting of Snowflake White Pearl Mica, Zircon Sand Metallic, Deep Crystal Blue Mica, Soul Red Crystal Metallic, Machine Grey Metallic and Jet Black Mica gains a new hue - Aero Grey Metallic. Balancing the vividness of a solid colour with the shadows unique to metallic, it complements the agility and athleticism of the Mazda MX-5’s timeless design.
Summing up the comprehensive changes, Vinesh Bhindi, Managing Director for Mazda Australia, commented: “The Mazda MX-5 is an unmistakable icon. For more than 34 years, it’s been the go-to option for keen enthusiasts who want to delight in a thrilling drive no matter the destination, and these new updates further expand its already extensive repertoire to make it even more fun on track and more responsive on the road.
“It may be our most analogue-feeling car when it comes to dynamics, but the 2024 MX-5 also brings with it the latest connectivity and safety updates, ensuring the overall package is also at the cutting edge technologically.”
The 2024 Mazda MX-5 Roadster and RF will go on sale locally in Q1 2024. Mazda Connected Services will be available from H1 2024.