The third-generation Mazda MX-5 is now seven years old. That’s very nearly a lifetime in the automotive industry. It went through a facelift four years ago, and is due for replacement in the near future. But while we wait for that replacement, Mazda has seen fit to facelift it one more time for 2013.
While the pictures you see here are of the MX-5’s JDM counterpart, the Roadster, all of the changes are very likely to make their way around the world shortly.
First you’ll notice the updated front fascia, which seems to have toned down the car’s massive smile ever so slightly, as well as changed the design of the front vents, giving the car a slightly more aggressive look. The updated car also features black accents on softtop models, and silver accents on the hardtop models.
On the inside, Mazda will now offer a new tan colour for anyone who orders leather seats. And as far as the driving experience goes, which is what the MX-5 is really all about, Mazda claims to have improved the throttle and brake boosters for better control.
Lastly, the car will now come standard with what Mazda calls an Active Bonnet, raising the rear end of the bonnet/hood during a front-end impact to soften the impact if a pedestrian is hit. This, hopefully, is the one change no one will ever have to notice.
You can have a look at the facelifted car in the gallery below.
Mazda to Launch Upgraded Mazda Roadster in Japan
– An aggressive new look and even more fun to drive –
HIROSHIMA, Japan—Mazda Motor Corporation has upgraded the Mazda Roadster (known overseas as the Mazda MX-5) for the Japanese market. The refreshed two-seater open-top sports car goes on sale today at all Mazda and Mazda Anfini dealerships throughout Japan.
The design of the upgraded Roadster distinguishes between the sporty character of the soft top and the refined character of the power retractable hard top (RHT) through the use of coordinated black and silver features respectively. The front face of both versions has been redesigned to present a more aggressive look. For the interior, a new luxury tan color is available for the genuine leather seats. In addition, revised characteristics of the throttle and brake booster (power braking device) have improved control of the accelerator in the manual transmission models and the brakes in all models. The enhancements add polish to the pure driving pleasure which has made the Roadster (MX-5) famous.
In addition, the updated Roadster features an Active Bonnet (pedestrian protection system) which raises the rear end of the bonnet in the event of an accident to reduce impact to the head.
Main features of the upgraded Mazda Roadster
A distinct character for the RHT and Soft-top version
- The keywords guiding the design of the soft top were “tight sports”. Coordinated black features express sportiness
- The keywords guiding the design of the RHT were “premium sports.” Coordinated silver features denote refined, high quality driving performance
Soft Top Power Retractable Hard Top
Front combination light bezel Black Chrome Aluminum
Design No change New design for 17-inch wheels Color Dark gray metallic Silver Soft top New “saddle tan” colored cloth top
(Available as an option for the RS)
– Decoration panel Glossy dark gray (new) Glossy dark gray (new) Steering wheel bezel Glossy dark gray (new)
(Available only with RS)
Glossy dark gray (new) Inner door handle Black Aluminum color Meter hood Compact type (new design) Standard type Meter ring Glossy dark gray (new) Aluminum color Seatback bar garnish Glossy dark gray
(new to the RS model grade)
Black (S, NR-A)
(RS RH and, VS RHT)
Black (S RHT)
- <Aggressive front view>
- Front face has a sense of depth with a larger front grille opening
- Newly designed front fog lamp bezel
- New front chin spoiler
- New body color, Dolphin Gray Mica now available (Total seven body colors are available. Metropolitan Gray Mica is no longer available).
- <Enhanced interior quality>
- A lustrous and expressive new color, Glossy Dark Gray is used for the decoration panel and steering wheel bezel. (The color is an option for the Soft Top version of the S model grade.)
- Addition of a new tan color for the genuine leather seat covers. Black on the seat sides creates a stylish two-tone design. Fabric (black), leather (tan and black) and a combination of Alcantara® and black leather seat cover materials are available.
Sports car driving pleasure taken to the next level
- Enhanced acceleration control (manual transmission models)
Fine adjustments to the throttle management program make it more responsive when accelerating out of corners. This creates a linear and nimble feel.
- Enhanced braking control
Changes to the characteristics of the brake booster (power braking device) make it easier to control the front and rear load distribution, increasing the feel of mastery over the vehicle.
Newly developed active bonnet for all model grades
- Active bonnet
At certain vehicle speeds, when sensors detect an impact exceeding a defined level, the rear end of the bonnet is raised. This creates a space between the bonnet and the engine which acts to absorb the energy of impact and reduces the severity of head injuries in collisions involving pedestrians.
Cutting weight one gram at a time
- In order to keep weight down, uncompromising attention was paid to weight reduction in the design of new parts including the re-designed front bumper, the active bonnet, the new 17-inch aluminum wheels and the internal wiring.
Manufacturer’s suggested retail prices for the Mazda Roadster
Roof type Grade Drive Engine Transmission Price (yen)
Soft Top S RWD MZR2.0L
5-speed MT 2,330,000 NR-A 5-speed MT 2,450,000 RS* 6-speed MT 2,600,000 Power
S RHT 6-speed EC-AT
2,680,000 RS RHT* 6-speed MT 2,860,000 VS RHT 6-speed EC-AT
- – A separate recycling fee of 11,070 yen (models with side airbags) or 10,810 yen (models without side airbags) is necessary in addition to the prices listed above.
- * Price of the model in the photo