Mazda MX-5: the roadster with the super capacitor

Mazda MX-5: the roadster with the super capacitor

A solution that allows the petrol engine to focus only on performance

Given my two meters tall, I never thought I'd be able to get in and drive a little one like the Mazda MX-5. Yet, there are really many reasons to get carried away by this two places. For us at Wired, the reason for the test-drive of the fourth generation of the small Japanese roadster is its new 184-horsepower 2.0-liter Skyactiv-G mild hybrid engine. Euro 6d homologated, it is associated only with the 6-speed manual gearbox, as in real sports cars.

i-Eloop, Mazda's light hybrid

Mazda's mild hybrid engine is enriched . Following the 2019 132-horsepower 1.5-liter engine, Mazda MX-5 can now be fitted with the new 184-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder with intelligent i-Eloop technology. A solution that makes the little Miata (the middle name of the Mazda MX-5) even more fun. Basically, Mazda's i-Eloop light electrification system uses a super capacitor. This accumulates the energy recovered during braking and uses it to power the on-board electrical systems.

The advantage is threefold. First, it relieves the gasoline engine from producing electricity through the alternator. This allows it to direct all the power to the wheels for the benefit of driving pleasure and with a consequent reduction in consumption. Furthermore, instead of the now traditional lithium battery, the super capacitor recharges in just 7-10 seconds. A time less than a single deceleration cycle. Finally, the super capacitor is so light that it does not affect the handling of the fourth generation MX-5.

From an increasingly ecological perspective, the hybrid powertrain is enriched with the i-stop device. Much faster than normal stop / start systems, it stops the pistons at top dead center, allowing restarting through the action of combustion itself. This speeds up operation and reduces vibrations, making the use of the system pleasant and almost unnoticeable. Thanks to these solutions, the combined WLTP fuel consumption of the MX-5 is positioned at 6.9 liters per 100 kilometers.

The sporty performance of the 2.0-liter

The 17-inch wheels and the highly reflective aluminum flakes of the Soul Red Cristal color emphasize the sinuous lines and the footprint of the small roadster's three and ninety meters. But it's not just about aesthetics, because the Sport 2.0 version with the new 184 horsepower Skyactiv-G 2.0L engine is designed for those who love to experience driving pleasure combined with sportier performance. A pleasure that is enhanced by the Soft Top or RF (Retractable Fastback) bodywork with rigid roof.

The lightness, agility, the front engine in a longitudinal rear position and the rear wheel drive make the MX-5 truly a very interesting car to drive. With which you can afford to make some mistakes in driving thanks to the very low center of gravity and its trim. To keep it glued to the road, there are the Bilstein sports suspension, the front strut bar and the mechanical self-locking rear differential. While for highway driving, the MX-5 Sport 2.0 is equipped with cruise control with speed limiter. There is no shortage of different driving assistance systems to increase driving comfort and safety.

In the open even in winter

Those who think that Mazda MX-5 can be driven in winter should change their mind. hood uncovered only in summer. The aerodynamics of the lines, in fact, considerably reduce the external air flows in the passenger compartment so as to make driving in the open even in winter possible. Despite being at the edge of the seat back, on the motorway at 130 kilometers per hour, to my great joy, the Mazda MX-5 passed the cap test unscathed.

Of course, there is no shortage of solutions designed to warm the fearless of the cold. It's not just about the steering wheel and the heated Recaro seats. The entire car's heating system is oversized to recreate that comfortable temperature in the passenger compartment that makes traveling easier; including those of a few kilometers. Even with the car left lying in the open all night, the system comes into operation at maximum power in a matter of minutes after starting the engine.

The infotainment created for those who love to travel

The small Japanese roadster also makes a comeback in infotainment. Given the brilliance of the car, before leaving, it is always advisable to connect the smartphone to one of the two USB sockets or via bluetooth and store it in the appropriate compartment. Otherwise it will be tossed from one side of the car to the other. Mazda MX-5, in fact, covers 0-100 kilometers per hour in just 6.5 seconds and reaches 220 kilometers per hour. In the second socket, however, for the entire duration of the test drive, I left a pen drive with my playlist to test the sensitivity of the Bose audio system. A show. After pairing the smartphone to the car, there are several audio sources you can draw from. From DAB + Radio to the usb playlist, but also the apps on the device such as Spotify.

Everything can be managed from the multifunction steering wheel or at least from the large wheel positioned on the central tunnel behind the six-speed manual gearbox. Alternatively, there is always voice assistance; but the noisy passenger compartment does not make it very effective. To set the correct goal, you can do it faster, and without too many repetitions, with the Google assistant. But remember that you have to connect the phone first to have app mirroring active on the 7-inch TFT central display. Mazda MX-5 in the test version Sport 2.0L Skyactiv-G 6 MT from 184 horses with Soft Top starts at 36,100 euros.

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