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New Mazda MX-5 gets more of everything we love for 2024

The quintessential Japanese roadster is back with new tech and tweaked styling

Mazda has revealed the first details of an updated Mazda MX-5 Roadster and hard-top RF due in the first quarter of next year. Preceding a total overhaul of the iconic model due in a few years time, this 2024 update still includes lots of exciting changes, including updated tech, overhauled engines and some subtle styling tweaks. 

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The high-specification 178bhp 2.0-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine doesn’t have any more power than the existing model, but does feature improved throttle response and a more emotional soundtrack driven directly from the engine, rather than a modified exhaust. 

On the manual transmission versions Mazda’s also fitted a new ‘asymmetrical’ limited-slip differential, with top-spec models also picking up a new track mode for the ESP system. The electric power steering has been tweaked to improve responsiveness, and will be fitted to all powertrain variants including the smaller 1.5-litre engined cars and the 2-litre models with the optional automatic transmission. 

The interior features a new 8.8-inch infotainment screen running Mazda’s latest MZD-Connect user interface. This is still controlled via a click-wheel mounted on the centre console and will better integrate the latest versions of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. As well as updated tech, the interior will also be available in a new tan-coloured trim, with lower-spec models featuring new fabric trim, too. 

Japanese market ‘RS’ models feature the Recaro seats previously seen on the 35th Anniversary edition, but it’s unknown whether these will be available on UK models. 

Styling updates are subtle, with new lighting front and rear, plus some fresh wheel designs for both 15- and 17-inch wheel options. There’s also a few changes to the standard colour palette, plus the new cream-coloured fabric roof – this has yet to be confirmed for the UK market. 

Expect a subtle price increase compared to the existing models, which currently kick off at £25,825 for the base 1.5-litre Prime Line Roadster, topping out at £32,410 for the Homura. RF models cost £2,100 more model-for-model.

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Senior staff writer

Senior staff writer at Auto Express, Jordan joined the team after six years at evo magazine where he specialised in news and reviews of cars at the high performance end of the car market. 

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