Even more jinba ittai for Mazda MX-5 in 2024

The most iconic Mazda in the Japanese carmaker’s range – the MX-5 – will go into the 2024 model year with a number of meaningful upgrades, with enhanced connectivity and significant dynamic new track-focused technology that elevate its driving experience further.

Mazda MX-5 [2024]

Not surprisingly, with jinba ittai (the unity between horse and rider) a key part of the MX-5’s DNA, Mazda’s engineers have given a lot of attention to the driving experience. Therefore, chief among the latest enhancements are DSC-TRACK, a new Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) mode optimised for circuit driving, and a newly developed Asymmetric Limited Slip Differential (Asymmetric LSD), both of which are exclusively fitted to manual transmission models.

DSC-TRACK is reserved for the flagship GT RS grade and gives maximum control to the driver when operating the car. It initiates an over-steering restricting control only when in a hazardous spin that the driver is unable to control. Ultimately, therefore, it is the driver that takes the lead in DSC-TRACK, a control technology further amplifying jinba ittai, and assisting the driver in fully focusing on driving.

The Asymmetric Limited Slip Differential (Asymmetric LSD) stabilises turn-in behaviour by varying the limiting force of slip on the differential gear in response to acceleration and deceleration as the rear wheel vertical load changes. A cam mechanism has been added to the conical clutch LSD which is lightweight, compact and highly durable. The cam angle is set differently for the deceleration side and acceleration side, thereby achieving optimal limiting force of slip during both processes.

Strengthening the slip limiting force during deceleration, in particular, enhances stability when decelerating into a turn, which is where reduced rear wheel ground load causes vehicle instability.

Mazda MX-5 [2024]

Moreover, tuning the slip limiting force and preload optimised for the MX-5’s engine, suspension, and tyre characteristics realises smoother and more linear turning performance. Turning stability has been further improved to make the movement even lighter around town as well as over winding roads and racecourses.

Other subtle yet highly effective enhancements now span the accelerator pedal, steering and engine sound too for an even deeper connection to the car’s controls and touchpoints.

Mazda MX-5 [2024]

For example, response of the accelerator pedal has been improved for manual models, making distance control with the car in front now much easier to modulate, thanks to a more natural feeling, and with no sense of delay.

The improvement is particularly noticeable in daily driving during the deceleration phase when backing off the accelerator after having sped up and reached the desired speed. On the circuit and during other high-speed driving scenarios, this quicker response translates to more dynamic control and when the accelerator has been disengaged prior to deceleration.

Mazda MX-5 [2024]

All variants will benefit from an electric steering system that has been modified for more nimble and precise operability. Steering rack friction is reduced, yet a more natural and fluid response achieved with refined electric power steering control logic.

Mazda MX-5 [2024]

Power comes from the same SKYACTIV-G 2-litre naturally aspirated engine, a free-revving powerplant generating 181 ps/205Nm. While the powertrain would have received small improvements here and there in the spirit of kaizen, one feature which Mazda highlights is that its sound is now drawn directly into the interior from the engine – without raising the acoustic pressure any more than necessary – resulting in a more emotive audible experience.

Mazda MX-5 [2024]

Enhancements for 2024 within the cabin include a redesigned 8.8-inch centre display arrangement for better visibility and a more advanced Mazda Connect system. A new tan Nappa leather interior can be specified on the RF GT in combination with a black convertible roof, creating a classic and refined appearance. Double stitched, the fine quality leather covers the centre console as well as the seats.

Mazda MX-5 [2024]

Bermaz Motor sells the current MX-5 from around RM278,000 in RF form. With the way the exchange rate for the ringgit has been going, it’s hard to predict how much (more) the new MX-5 will be in 2024.

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