Sharper handling for 2018 Mazda MX-5

A mild facelift gives MX-5 buyers more personalisation options and a sharper chassis

It doesn’t seem like the fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 has been with us long, but a facelift has already been unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show, for both the convertible and RF folding hard-top versions

Changes to its overall design are slight, but there’ll be some new colours for 2018, including new metallic shades of red and grey, along with the option of a red soft-top roof – although this hasn’t been confirmed for the UK yet. There’ll also be two-tone paint colours for the RF’s roof and both models gain the option of adaptive LED headlights.

The interior is pretty much business as usual, but the Tokyo show car boasted a new Auburn leather shade that could find its way onto the options list.

Driving enthusiasts will also be keen to learn more about adjustments under the metal, including changed settings for the suspension and a new calibration for the electric power steering, that will be hoped to make the handling even better.

The MX-5 is said to have perfect 50:50 front-to-rear weight distribution over its wheels and Mazda’s engineers have also improved refinement and ride quality. These should be welcome improvements, as the current MX-5 can be a little tiring on long motorway jaunts.

The engine line-up isn’t expected to change, so customers will still be able to choose from a 1.5-litre petrol with 129bhp or a larger 2.0-litre with 158bhp.

With the facelifted cars likely to arrive in spring 2018, we don't expect a significant change in price, but the added options will give buyers more ways to customise their MX-5 – and increase its cost. The current convertible starts from £20,495, while the RF costs upwards of £22,295.

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