The wait for the 2016 Mazda Miata is over. The fourth-generation roadster was revealed today at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, with popular ’80s band Duran Duran providing the soundtrack. These images give us our first glimpse at the iconic sports car. The 2016 MX-5 ditches the smiley front end of the outgoing generation for a decidedly less friendly-looking Kodofied face.
Overall, the car is wider and lower than the model it replaces, with a hood that’s “impossibly low,” according to Mazda design director Derek Jenkins, thanks to an engine that’s mounted as low as possible. Unlike the current car’s relatively flat hood, the 2016 model’s bonnet features more curves, which flow into the fenders and across the doors until finally angling up over the rear fenders.
The front fenders were pulled back to give the car a more cab-rearward look. The rear end features a dramatic taper, which helps accentuate the wide fenders and redesigned taillights. The 2016 MX-5 gets full LED headlights, LED fog lights, and LED daytime running lights. Unlike other vehicles in Mazda’s range, the Miata won’t sport any chrome exterior trim.
The new 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata brings the roadster back to its roots, with an even more driver-focused experience. Now paired with a Skyactiv drivetrain, the new Miata offers a balance of performance and efficiency. A new chassis is said to be 14 percent lighter than before, yet stronger and more rigid. In total, the 2016 MX-5 Miata is 220.5 pounds lighter than its predecessor.
Mazda tells us curb weight is well under 3000 pounds, and we’ve heard it could be as low as 2250 pounds. The last soft-top MX-5 Club we tested tipped the scales at 2482 pounds, so that number might not be too far off given Mazda’s weight loss estimate. The added stiffness of the chassis combined with a revised suspension improves handling, though we’ll have to wait until we can get behind the wheel of a new Miata to find out how much.
The fourth-gen Miata will go on sale in 2015 as a 2016 model. We’re hearing the car will arrive nearly a year from its debut. Pricing has yet to be announced, but hopefully won’t increase much over the outgoing 2015 Mazda MX-5’s $24,765 starting price.
Read more: MotorTrend