With international borders closed for the foreseeable future, we packed our (very small) bags, popped the top off, and cruised down the coast with the latest Mazda MX-5 Roadster GT RS. This wasn’t our first rodeo with the small, but mighty Mazda. In fact, it was our third year testing this ride… but 2021 came with a few tidy surprises we weren’t expecting.
This year’s Mazda MX-5 GT RS comes with a number of modifications that make it more at home on a racing track, than on the roads of Melbourne.
Firstly, gone are standard alloy wheels of the past, the RS has BBS forged rims with a new cross-spoke design, there are Brembo four-piston brakes on the front axle, stiffer Bilstein dampers, and a strut brace.
This might go over the top of some people’s heads, but what this means is a more aggressive tuned chassis that would work wonders on a perfectly groomed race track — unfortunately, we didn’t get to test it on one, rather, taking it down the bumpy roads of the Great Ocean Road.
How did it drive? Like a dream. The combination of the firmer ride, reduced body roll, and strut brace was a welcomed sight.
While we’re not a fan of too much technology in cars, the Mazda MX-5 sits in the sweet spot. Our mobiles connected seamlessly with Apple Play, we were able to easily navigate with maps thanks to the large display while simultaneously listening to banging tunes on the tough Bose sound system.
These additional features are nice, but what’s the damage? Well… it’s not too bad. The 2.0-litre manual MX-5 starts from $41,200 and it comes with the RF retractable hardtop, the Roadster GT on which the RS is based comes in at $43,820… but the newest addition to the range sits at $47,020….
That said, if you wanted to create your own version of the RS with off-the-shelf parts, you certainly wouldn’t find a set of forged alloy wheels, especially BBS, German-engineered dampers, brakes from one of the world’s most trusted brands and a strut brace for $3200.
Overall, we think that the Mazda MX-5 is one of the most fun and enjoyable rides around, especially for its price point.
With its low, striking stance and beautifully balanced body, the Mazda MX-5 doesn’t just capture your attention, but captures the very essence of Japanaese Kodo – Soul of Motion design philosophy. Interested in taking one for a test ride? You can book in one here.