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A new classic

The Mazda MX-5 gets new styling and technology but stays true to its roadster roots.

IT was a compact, lightweight and affordable roadster that went on to become an icon. More than 25 years later, the latest version of the Mazda MX-5 embraces its original brief, except that it looks less cuddly and much sexier now.

The first Mazda MX-5 from 1989 was a breakthrough open-top two-seater with a classic front engine, rear-wheel-drive layout that made it fun to drive.

The fourth-generation MX-5 retains this recipe but incorporates the Japanese carmaker's sensuous Kodo "soul of motion" design for a sharper profile with exquisite details. Intriguingly, the new Mazda Roadster - as it is called in Japan - is even shorter than the original convertible and almost as light despite more stringent...

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