2024 Mazda MX-5 bound for NZ with cosmetic, mechanical updates

Jet Sanchez
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This is the new Japan-spec MX-5, but we'll get our own version next year.

This is the new Japan-spec MX-5, but we'll get our own version next year.

Mazda has unveiled the newest iteration of its beloved MX-5, presenting a sharp blend of aesthetic and mechanical upgrades that promise to elevate an already acclaimed driving experience. While this launch focuses on the Japanese market model, sources indicate the 2024 MX-5 will arrive in New Zealand showrooms sometime next year. So, what does the new MX-5 have in store for us?

Mechanical upgrades

2024 Mazda MX-5

Central to this new model are notable mechanical upgrades that aim to enhance performance on both track and road. A new DSC Track driving mode and an asymmetric limited slip differential (Asymmetric LSD) headline these upgrades. 

However, these features come exclusive to the six-speed manual models. The DSC Track mode, available on the flagship MX-5, allows for controlled sideways movement on a track without compromising safety and driver control. The asymmetric LSD helps maintain stability during cornering by adjusting the limiting force of slip based on driver input.

Mazda has also introduced a lightweight cam mechanism to harmonise the limitation of force during acceleration and deceleration, aiming to improve cornering stability. The Japanese carmaker took a holistic approach with these upgrades, considering the engine, suspension, and tyre behaviour to enable a more responsive drive, whether on city streets or cruising on back roads.

Cosmetic and tech enhancements

2024 Mazda MX-5 interior

Mazda has given the MX-5 some much-needed equipment updates. The nine-year-old ND generation has been going strong since 2014, so it deserves upgrades like standard full LED lighting, repositioned daytime running lights (DRLs have moved from bumper to headlights), new wheel choices, and an expanded colour palette that includes a new Aero Grey Metallic finish.

As for the inside, the iconic two-seater gets a new 8.8-inch touchscreen display paired with updated Mazda Connect software. The top-spec model for the Japanese market adds a touch of luxury with a new tan Nappa leather interior that extends to both seats and the dashboard, complemented by double stitching, but Mazda NZ has confirmed we won't be seeing that here.

Even better performance

2024 Mazda MX-5 aero grey

Mazda has fine-tuned the accelerator pedal, steering, and engine sound to improve throttle response in manual models. The updates aim to provide a more natural feel when modulating speed. An updated electric steering system (EPAS) claims to offer more agility and precision to punch above its weight (or price) class.

Under the bonnet, the MX-5 retains its lively 2.0-litre naturally aspirated engine, delivering 135kW and 205Nm of torque. Engine sounds now directly feed into the cabin, promising a more exciting soundscape for the driver.

2024 Mazda MX-5 New Zealand launch

Three 2024 Mazda MX-5 cars side by side

As mentioned earlier, this newly launched MX-5 is the JDM model for the Japanese market. But fans down under won't have to wait long to get behind the wheel, as the international model will reportedly arrive in Australia and New Zealand in 2024. Mazda New Zealand further went on to say it expects to see the new model arrive locally before the middle of next year.

Pricing information for the new MX-5 is yet unavailable, but a slight price bump might be in store for buyers. The current-spec MX-5 starts at $58,920, so the new model will likely breach the $60k mark if and when it hits our shores.

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