2013 Mazda MX-5 Miata officially unveiled in Japan

Article by Christian A., on July 7, 2012

Mazda’s 2013 MX-5 Miata sports car is now on sale in Japan. The refreshed Miata has a new front end that looks similar to the one on the CX-5. The MX-5 Miata won’t just receive tweaks to its looks. In addition, it has a new pedestrian safety feature and its performance has been improved quite a bit. The new MX-5 front end gets a more pointed black mesh grille, while the foglight housings and lip spoiler, resulting to a vehicle that is sleeker and sportier.

Customers who want the power-retractable hardtop will be getting new 17-inch wheels while Dolphin Gray Mica is the replacement of Metropolitan Gray Mica as a color option. Buyers can also choose a tan interior option. In addition, Mazda differentiated its hardtop models from the soft-top ones.

The soft top variant gets black-tinted headlights. Meanwhile, the wheels are dark gray, while the interior door handles get a black treatment, and the gauge surrounds have a dark gray finish. All of the accent pieces of the hardtop version are painted in silver rather than a darker shade. The powerplant didn’t get modifications. Instead, Mazda retuned the ECU on the manual transmission MX-5 to provide a more linear throttle response.

Changes could also be seen on the braking performance with the brake booster changed to offer a higher performance on the roadster. The MX-5 will be powered by the redesigned 17-inch wheels, new front bumper, and wiring harness. Most notable of all the new features on the 2013 MX-5 however is the Active Bonnet.

If the vehicle detects a frontal impact under certain conditions, the rear edge of the hood will prop up so that more space is created between the hood and engine compartment. The automaker is betting on this change to lessen the risk of injury if a pedestrian is hit by the car. The American Miata’s upcoming facelift will be similar to the tweaks seen on the Japanese model, but it’s doubtful that automaker would stray from what has been proven to be effective.

The latest version of the best-selling roadster, the Mazda MX-5, has improved not only its aesthetics but also in its overall driving experience. Featuring more responsive acceleration and braking, as well as aggressive front-end design and improved pedestrian safety measures, the new MX-5 is more fun and safer to drive.

The acceleration management program on manual shift models has been fine-tuned by none other than Mazda’s technology specialists resulting to an improvement in terms of acceleration control especially on its linear response throttle input at lower speeds. Brake return has also improved all thanks to the optimization of its vacuum brake booster. Better handling is also experienced thanks to the superior front-rear distribution. All these upgrades are better appreciated upon braking or accelerating out of curves. This roadster has already proven its excellence on winding roads, and continues to do so with these advancements.

Not only does it excel in terms of performance but also towards safety. In the event that a collision with a pedestrian is inevitable, the new Mazda MX-5 is fitted with a new active bonnet system that will automatically raise the hood upon impact with a pedestrian. This enlarges the crumple zone thus preventing (or lessen) head injuries, in particular. Moreover, in order to protect the legs, the lower section of the MX-5’s front bumper has been reinforced. All these upgrades prepare the Mazda MX-5 for stricter EU pedestrian safety standards.

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