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Decade of Refinement: Uncovering the Unusual Minor Changes in Mazda’s ‘Roadster’

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TEXT: 西川 淳(NISHIKAWA Jun)  PHOTO: 柳田由人(YANAGIDA Yoshito)

The weight increase is also at a level that cannot be felt on the streets

However, there are some painful choices in sight. One point where buyers’ reactions are likely to be concerned is, above all, the increase in vehicle price. It has risen by 6-8%, depending on the model. Those of us who have been debating whether or not to buy a Roadster for a long time, such as the author, have involuntarily searched Carsensor to double-check the used car market. Of course, it feels cheaper than ever.

More unfortunately, the special ‘990S’ model, which was the talk of the town when it was cut from the 1-tonne range, has dropped out of the line-up. The new increased equipment made it difficult to cut the 1-tonne figure. The interior (e.g. near the center tunnel) has been improved in terms of appearance and quality. I’m happy, but I also feel a little bit relaxed. I even feel like a child who, in front of a mountain of sweets, thought he had just a little bit, but found himself picking a lot of them.

Although the 990S is no longer available, it is still a lightweight sports car weighing just over a tonne. 1010 kg for the basic model ‘S’ without LSD, and to be honest, a difference of 20 kg is not something that an overweight driver would feel on the road. The difference of 20 kg is not something that a metabolic driver would be able to feel on the road. The important thing is that the car is still a convertible full of driving fun, and can be driven at will by making full use of the three pedals and gearshift lever. This is already a model of a sports car. I think of it as a modern-day version of the Lotus Elan.

The open diff still has plenty of charm. But I’m also interested in the new ‘S Leather Package V Selection’. It still weighs 1030kg, has a new LSD, and is well worth the 650,000 yen more than the base model.

The intake sound also stimulates the driver’s brain pleasantly

Thanks to the new LSD, cornering was stable on winding roads. A sense of unease in corners comes from the feeling that the vehicle body is moving out of alignment with one’s senses. This is due to the inability to control load transfer and other factors, which is a matter of technique and also has a lot to do with the weight balance of the car body.

This is somehow controlled by the car. This is without the use of heavy and expensive electronic control systems. The driver’s line of sight is more stable and there is more room to maneuver the steering wheel. In addition, the feel of the electric power steering is even more straightforward and smooth. Open differential spinning cornering is good, but thinly veiled cornering is also excellent.

We’re impressed by the lightweight yet stable ride on long drives, and it handles long distances without a hitch in the RF as well as in the soft top. Yet it doesn’t have the big-boat feel of driving a big car. It’s a car with all-around muscle for everything from short-distance running to marathons. It’s the ideal sports car, with a sense of togetherness that won’t tire you out over long distances.

The intake sound was also a pleasant stimulant to the driver’s brain, thanks to the Induction Sound Enhancer, which is standard on the RS model and a must-have dealer option if you’re buying a new Roadster other than the RS.

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