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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Mazda axes 1.5-litre MX-5, adds Kinematic Posture Control

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Mazda’s enduring MX-5 convertible looks set to become pricer at base level in 2022, with the slow-selling 1.5-litre engine option meeting the axe.

Or, in Mazda’s interesting terminology, the smaller-displacement 97kW and 152Nm engine has been “resigned”.

It means the rev-happy (135kW and 205Nm at present) 2.0-litre, mated to six-speed manual or automatic transmissions and rear-wheel drive, is now the sole engine option.

Of most interest beyond the smaller engine range, is the newly developed Kinematic Posture Control (KPC) built into the suspension.

This generates an anti-lift force at the rear by braking the inside back wheel while cornering at higher G-forces, thereby reducing roll and pushing the body down into a more stable position.

It seems to build on Mazda’s existing G-Vectoring system which minutely cuts engine torque to transfer vehicle weight and improve stability under rapid directional changes.

The KPC system can apparently determine “turning conditions” in real time from the speed differential between left and right rear wheels, and increases its actions in linear fashion “to produce an appropriate posture stabilisation effect”.

Mazda says there is no change to everyday driving situations, but the harder you drive, the more the MX-5 adjusts its own turning posture. It’s a cool idea that we’re eager to try out.

What else has been tweaked? The end of the base 1.5 grade means all MX-5s now come standard with driver attention alert, lane departure warning, rear parking sensors, rear autonomous emergency braking, and LED daytime running lights. 

A new colour named Platinum Quartz Metallic will be offered, as will a new Terracotta Nappa leather trim option.

Mazda is yet to announce pricing and full specs for the 2022 Mazda MX-5 range, but we will keep you posted.  Expect soft-top and RF body types to remain.

MORE: Everything Mazda MX-5

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