Chassis Updates

The third generation was launched with a stiffer and lighter body shell than the second-generation Mazda MX-5 it replaced. The facelift version carries on this tradition: it has high flexural and torsional rigidity and is roughly the same light weight as the original model, with an ideal 50:50 weight distribution. It also retains the double-wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension systems, along with the Mazda MX-5's frontmidship engine, rear-wheel drive layout with a stiff power plant frame in the transmission tunnel. This forms a rigid connection between the transmission and the rear differential to brace the chassis and suppress chassis deformation during sporty driving. 2.0-litre versions with manual transmission are equipped with a limited slip differential (LSD) that ensures optimum traction under all driving conditions.

For the facelift, Mazda engineers revised the front suspension by altering the ball joints' vertical pivot position, which lowered the height of the front roll centre by 26 mm. This decreases fluctuations in vertical load on the outer wheel when cornering. As a consequence, roll movement caused by steering input is now more linear. Moreover, the R&D team fine-tuned the suspension settings to ensure that the Mazda MX-5 facelift reacts even more precisely to driver commands, and realised a higher quality ride by making yaw and roll feel more natural. Together these modifications translate into an enhanced 'Jinba Ittai' feeling of control, especially when cornering.

As with the original third-generation Mazda MX-5, the facelift's MZR 2.0- litre with six-speed manual transmission is equipped with a sports suspension that includes Bilstein front and rear dampers.

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