Mazda Australia has announced updates to its MX-5 sportscar. The best news is that a new, enthusiast-focused variant, the Mazda MX-5 GT RS will headline the new range when it arrives in January.

Available in Roadster and RF forms, the MX-5 GT RS is an Australian market model that further sharpens the MX-5’s already-legendary handling response.

Mazda MX-5 GT RS Roadster and RF models are powered by the 135 kW SKYACTIV-G 2.0-litre, four-cylinder engine which drives the rear wheels though a six-speed manual gearbox.

It has a Brembo brake package with internal disc cooling fins in a ‘pillar’ arrangement to further assist brake cooling. Fade resistance is improved by 26 per cent and the front brake package reduces unsprung mass by 2 kg.

Mazda MX-5 GT RS models feature a specific BBS 17-inch forged alloy wheel design. These are fitted with Bridgestone Potenza S001 tyres, measuring 205/45/R17.

Bilstein gas-pressurised dampers are designed to deliver track-ready grip and feedback. We are told these are still smooth enough for in day-to-day driving. We’ve yet to road test a MX-5 GT RS and will comment on this when we do so.

A solid alloy strut tower brace, linking the front suspension struts for improved rigidity and steering response.

Enhanced technology and personalisation updates have also been made available as part of the refreshed Mazda MX-5 range.

Wireless Apple CarPlay is now standard on all models, connecting to the 7.0-inch touchscreen MZD Connect Display. This supports the existing wired access to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto systems.

A new Deep Crystal Blue paint joins Snowflake White Pearl, Jet Black, Machine Grey Metallic, Soul Red Crystal Metallic and Polymetal Grey Metallic on the external colour palette. There are black-finished external mirror caps.

Pure White Nappa leather upholstery is now available on the range topping Mazda MX-5 RF GT Black Roof model.

“The Mazda MX-5 is the embodiment of Mazda’s Zoom-Zoom philosophy,” said Mazda Australia’s chief, Vinesh Bhindi.

“Australia has a proud history of localised MX-5 variants, including the turbocharged NB-series MX-5 SP which produced astounding performance.

“These new MX-5 GT RS variants offer more focused dynamics with upgraded suspension and braking systems that provide greater feedback, control and performance.

“They are a perfect addition to our updated MX-5 range, which now offers advanced connectivity and fresh exterior and interior finishes,” he said.

MX-5 Roadster 1.5-litre: $36,090 (manual), $38,090 (automatic)
MX-5 Roadster GT 2.0-litre: $44,020 (manual), $46,020 (automatic)
MX-5 Roadster GT RS 2.0-litre: $47,020 (manual)
MX-5 RF 2.0-litre: $41,400 (manual), $43,400 (automatic)
MX-5 RF GT 2.0-litre: $48,100 (manual), $50,100 (automatic)
MX-5 RF GT RS 2.0-litre: $51,100 (manual)
MX-5 RF GT Black Roof 2.0-litre:  $49,120 (manual), $51,120 (automatic)
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Mazda dealer for drive-away prices.

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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