Mazda has released a spate of information on its 2013 Roadster, known domestically as the MX-5 Miata. As you may recall, images of the newest refresh made their way to the internet via a few snapped brochure photos. As it turns out, those shots were spot on. The 2013 Japanese domestic model (and presumably the North American one, too) will wear a heavily revised front fascia with a version of the five-point grille we first saw on the Spyder Concept. Engineers have also reworked the convertible's throttle and brake booster for improved control as well.

As we heard before, the JDM Roadster will also come with an active hood that will raise if sensors detect an impact at certain speeds to reduce the chances of pedestrian injury. New interior and exterior colors have also made their way to the option sheet for the first time as well. Take a look at the full press release below.
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Mazda to Launch Upgraded Mazda Roadster in Japan

- An aggressive new look and even more fun to drive -


HIROSHIMA, Japan-Mazda Motor Corporation has upgraded the Mazda Roadster (known overseas as the Mazda MX-5) for the Japanese market. The refreshed two-seater open-top sports car goes on sale today at all Mazda and Mazda Anfini dealerships throughout Japan.

The design of the upgraded Roadster distinguishes between the sporty character of the soft top and the refined character of the power retractable hard top (RHT) through the use of coordinated black and silver features respectively. The front face of both versions has been redesigned to present a more aggressive look. For the interior, a new luxury tan color is available for the genuine leather seats. In addition, revised characteristics of the throttle and brake booster (power braking device) have improved control of the accelerator in the manual transmission models and the brakes in all models. The enhancements add polish to the pure driving pleasure which has made the Roadster (MX-5) famous.

In addition, the updated Roadster features an Active Bonnet (pedestrian protection system) which raises the rear end of the bonnet in the event of an accident to reduce impact to the head.

Main features of the upgraded Mazda Roadster

A distinct character for the RHT and Soft-top version

The keywords guiding the design of the soft top were "tight sports". Coordinated black features express sportiness

The keywords guiding the design of the RHT were "premium sports." Coordinated silver features denote refined, high quality driving performance

Front face has a sense of depth with a larger front grille opening
Newly designed front fog lamp bezel
New front chin spoiler
New body color, Dolphin Gray Mica now available (Total seven body colors are available. Metropolitan Gray Mica is no longer available).

A lustrous and expressive new color, Glossy Dark Gray is used for the decoration panel and steering wheel bezel. (The color is an option for the Soft Top version of the S model grade.)
Addition of a new tan color for the genuine leather seat covers. Black on the seat sides creates a stylish two-tone design. Fabric (black), leather (tan and black) and a combination of Alcantara® and black leather seat cover materials are available.

Sports car driving pleasure taken to the next level

Enhanced acceleration control (manual transmission models)
Fine adjustments to the throttle management program make it more responsive when accelerating out of corners. This creates a linear and nimble feel.
Enhanced braking control
Changes to the characteristics of the brake booster (power braking device) make it easier to control the front and rear load distribution, increasing the feel of mastery over the vehicle.

Newly developed active bonnet for all model grades

Active bonnet
At certain vehicle speeds, when sensors detect an impact exceeding a defined level, the rear end of the bonnet is raised. This creates a space between the bonnet and the engine which acts to absorb the energy of impact and reduces the severity of head injuries in collisions involving pedestrians.

Cutting weight one gram at a time

In order to keep weight down, uncompromising attention was paid to weight reduction in the design of new parts including the re-designed front bumper, the active bonnet, the new 17-inch aluminum wheels and the internal wiring.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 73 Comments
      Keldon
      • 2 Years Ago
      Congrats Mazda...this is truly a great-looking update to the Miata. Can't wait to see it in person.
      turbomonkey2k
      • 2 Years Ago
      It's worth noting that we don't know what if any of the changes will even be coming on the US model or if there will even be more changes. Probably it will be just like this but until they announce it, who knows?
      Jessica
      • 2 Years Ago
      I remember when I was a kid and I played Gran Turismo, I'd always think, "Man. The Miata is such a boring-looking, outdated car." That was 10 years ago, and little has changed.
      over9000
      • 2 Years Ago
      Just get a BRZ or FR-S, it's faster and more fun than this chick car.
        PeterScott
        • 2 Years Ago
        @over9000
        Wow a moron repeating a bogus stereotype on the internet. Chances are Miatas have a larger Male skew than what you drive. Miatas are mostly purchased by greybeards if you want to more accurately stereoype them. But it really doesn't matter who buys them, they are nearly the only true embodiment of the inexpensive roadster sportscar that you can buy.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @over9000
        [blocked]
          Ron
          • 2 Years Ago
          actually... the MX5 is faster in every way... according to a recent motortrend test... The MX5 beat both the FRS, and the BRZ in all performance tests, the Genesis coupe 2.0T beat the MX5 in all performance tests (yes, including lap time), and the mustang V6 beat the Genesis Coupe 2.0T. http://motortrend.com/roadtests/coupes/1207_high_performance_two_door_comparison/index.html
          Ron
          • 2 Years Ago
          My bad... SVX. You were right, I miss-read that on my phone screen... The BRZ and the FRS both set slightly faster lap times than the MX5, the 2.0T genesis and V6 mustang were @2+ seconds a lap faster.
      Jason Sieben
      • 2 Years Ago
      I've just never been a big fan of the Miata. I've always felt it looked overly femine. The styling is too subtle for me and hasn't changed enough from the original design (although it looks way better now than when it first came out). This post isn't meant to knock it, or those who love them. Simply stating my opinion and nothing more.
      Cadillacftw
      • 2 Years Ago
      Can they just release the next generation already? Not that I really care about this car, but I am sick of seeing article after article on updates and concepts they have done on this model.
        turbomonkey2k
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Cadillacftw
        No, they can't. Now settle down and quit yer yapping. it's not like the current car has even been out that long... especially compared to the original.
      marshknute
      • 2 Years Ago
      Realistically, the new Miata is an unfeasible endeavor at the moment. With Mazda's current financial troubles, they need to focus on their bread-and-butter vehicles (Mazda3, Mazda6, CX5). Mazda sold fewer than 6000 Miata's in the US in 2011. While slow sales are to be expected of a model which is about to be replaced, Mazda sold nearly 10,000 2nd gen Miata's in 2005 (one year before the current Miata was introduced). The current car's slow sales can be attributed to it's cheap/dated interior. The current sea of plastics can't begin to compete with the two-tone (black and tan) full-leather interior of my 1995 Miata. To make matters worse, the Toyobaru twins have proven that you can have Miata levels of fun while having access to an emergency-only set of back seats, a (relatively) large trunk and a roof (for convertible-haters). Fortunately, it looks like there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Mazda's designers have set a target weight-savings at 400 lbs, which would drop the 4th gen to the same curb weight as the original Miata. While the powerplant is still unknown, it will likely be a tuned version of the SkyActiv-G 2.0 liter unit. With less weight, a less powerful (more efficient) engine can produce similar performance numbers. To complement the weight savings, Mazda will likely firm up the suspension to make it even more nimble. If done right, it will once again be the king of the driver's cars. While it may take a few years, It sounds like Mazda has their priorities straight.
        Jessica
        • 2 Years Ago
        @marshknute
        You should write for Autoblog. Lord knows this post was better than 90% of their "commentary."
        PeterScott
        • 2 Years Ago
        @marshknute
        Two more factors killing Miata sales: 1) Massive availability of awesome condition used models. Many never winter driven/low mileage. 2) The freaking stupid grin out front. I haven't seen anything CREDIBLE about Mazda aiming for 400lb less weight. That's a pipe dream IMO. The even 200lbs less would be great and is actually in the realm of the possible. FWIW, I formerly owned a 1991 SE and I would get another Miata some day. But I will most likely be looking at used. 99% of the fun for much less than 80% of the price.
      Burabus
      • 2 Years Ago
      Is there any reason now to buy this vs an FRS/BRZ? (Serious question)
        GasMan
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Burabus
        The top goes down and to my eyes, it looks better even if it is a bit stale. Performance-wise it looks to be a wash.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Burabus
        [blocked]
        roadrabbit
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Burabus
        Ah, maybe you want a convertible?
        David S.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Burabus
        I own a Miata, so I'm biased, but this 'official' comparison video of the GT-86 to an MX-5, BMW 120i, and VW Scirocco shows how well the Miata almost keeps up with the GT-86 even though it is years older, and a convertible - http://skyontech.com/videos/cars.php?video=YOU-L8mF9vRsv7 Body roll slows down the Miata, for sure.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @David S.
          [blocked]
        superchan7
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Burabus
        Convertible.
      GasMan
      • 2 Years Ago
      I guess their idea of "heavily revised" and "upgraded" is different than mine. Instead of "Enhanced acceleration control" and "Enhanced braking control" how about ENHANCED ACCELERATION and ENHANCED BRAKING! Those new deck chair placements look great Capt. Titanic.
      Avinash Machado
      • 2 Years Ago
      Kudos Mazda.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Avinash Machado
        [blocked]
      lpattis
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm waiting for Mazda to make a 3-door hatch version...something like the old MGB-GT. That would be something.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @lpattis
        [blocked]
          Tom
          • 2 Years Ago
          "M Coupe." And, yes.
          lpattis
          • 2 Years Ago
          I'll go with that...and apparently I'm not the only one.
        Evan Hayden
        • 2 Years Ago
        @lpattis
        Great minds think alike. I would love a Miata hatch. You might enjoy this little Photoshop creation I put together a couple years ago: http://www.flickr.com/photos/electrofreeze/3800254611/
          lpattis
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Evan Hayden
          Yeah... http://www.flickr.com/photos/electrofreeze/3800254611/ ...I'd be good-to-go with that.
        GasMan
        • 2 Years Ago
        @lpattis
        Yeah, that would be something... that no one but you would buy.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @GasMan
          [blocked]
      brgtlm
      • 2 Years Ago
      Sad sad sad that they seem to be holding onto this aging car. Like the RX-8, a solid car is still a solid car as it ages - but the competition doesn't stand still, especially if no meaningful changes are done to the car. The Miata has really had no major updates to the powertrain or styling, inside and out, since it came out. I hope Mazda is not waiting for this joint Fiat platform to come to fruition before changing it out. Fortunately, Mazda has the $20K range starting roadster niche to itself.
        turbomonkey2k
        • 2 Years Ago
        @brgtlm
        Where is this competition of which you speak? Are you kidding me? Mazda has killed every competitor or sent it upscale. Alfa Spider - DEAD, BMW Z3- DEAD, Porsche Boxster- moved upscale to twice the price, Toyota MR Spyder- DEAD, Honda S2000- DEAD, Saturn Sky- DEAD, Pontiac Solstice- DEAD. So I ask you, What rear wheel drive 2 seat roadster is out there within $10,000 of the Miata? There isn't one. They have no competition and remember the original car ran in production for nearly 10 years before the NB model hit the market.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @turbomonkey2k
          [blocked]
          carguy1701
          • 2 Years Ago
          @turbomonkey2k
          SVX: I've been under the assumption that a droptop BRZ would be aimed more and top-down cruising than corner carving.
          carguy1701
          • 2 Years Ago
          @turbomonkey2k
          Z3 was replaced by the Z4, which moved upscale, like the Boxster.
          carguy1701
          • 2 Years Ago
          @turbomonkey2k
          The Del Slo doesn't count.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @turbomonkey2k
          [blocked]
          purplewonagain
          • 2 Years Ago
          @turbomonkey2k
          How can you forget the fantastic Honda Del Sol!!?? (also dead) I actually did see a pretty clean one a few weeks ago (for the first time in years), not as terrible a looking car as I remember.
          turbomonkey2k
          • 2 Years Ago
          @turbomonkey2k
          @purplewonagain, I didn't forget the del sol. The del sol died of feebleness, not in competition with the Miata. Furthermore, @SVX pearlie, the Miata killed the Solstice and Sky so badly that it bankrupted GM and buried their respective Pontiac and Saturn brands. For that, the entire world should be thankful.
          turbomonkey2k
          • 2 Years Ago
          @turbomonkey2k
          The BRZ is already 300 pounds heavier. I'm betting it gets at least another 250 to 300 pounds as a convertible. And the Z4 may have replaced Z3 in the line up but it's decidedly upscale compared to its predecessor. Like I said, the Miata killed all its competition or sent it upscale so it wouldn't have to compete. At the end of the day there won't be a BRZ/FRS/GT86 cabrio within $8k to $10K of the price of entry for a Miata. They know they can't compete with the Miata and they won't even try. Hell, even Fiat was smart enough to just have Mazda build the Alfa roadster. Might as well start with the best platform available.
          Gorgenapper
          • 2 Years Ago
          @turbomonkey2k
          @brgtlm I would like to point out that the MS3.....is still made by Mazda. But I get what you mean.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @brgtlm
        [blocked]
          brgtlm
          • 2 Years Ago
          I really considered it more of a refresh, since all they really did was change the front end and tweaked the interior and the engine and suspension slightly.
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