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Test drive: LLM motoring editor Lisa Curtiss reviews the Mazda MX-5 GT Sport Tech

By Lisa Curtiss  |  October 13, 2020
Mazda MX-5 GT Sport Tech

The Mazda MX-5 is one of the very few sporting models to have retained its phenomenal popularity over the years, thanks to its smile inducing cart-like dynamic drive and eye-catching looks. Now it’s likely to attract an even larger army of fans with the introduction of the extra stylish GT Sport Tech version. We took it for a countryside spin to remind ourselves just how fun the MX-5 can be.

Viewed in the metal, this is a prettily proportioned sportscar. Compact, neat, with sweeping muscular lines, you feel just by looking, that it’s going to be a great drive. This flagship GT Sport Tech model comes with extra flourishes and is distinguished by 17-inch BBS alloy wheels and Burgundy Nappa leather seats.

Mazda MX-5 GT Sport Tech

This new model also benefits from extra standard safety equipment including Front Smart City Brake Support, Lane Departure Warning System, Rear Smart City Brake Support, Traffic Sign Recognition and Driver Attention Alert. Blind Spot Monitoring System with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Adaptive LED headlights and a reversing camera are standard on the GT Sport Tech model too.

As you’d expect for a car so famed for its dynamic abilities, this new Mazda MX-5 retains the same award-winning mechanical set up as before, working on the principle of, if it’s great, why change?

Introduced back in September 2018, the updated 184ps version of the 2.0-litre Skyactiv-G engine features lighter pistons and con-rod, plus upgraded camshafts, exhaust valves, fuel injectors, throttle valve and air intake, all of which increase performance over the 160ps version that featured in the fourth-generation MX-5 at launch in 2015. As a result, the engine has a redline of 7,500rpm. In addition, with higher fuel pressure and more efficient combustion than the 160ps version, there’s an increase in torque across the rev range, while peak torque rises by 5Nm.

Mazda MX-5 GT Sport Tech

A particularly clever feature of the new model is its unique three-piece fully automated roof, which is operated at the touch of a button and is one of the fastest retractable hardtops on the market – opening or closing in just 13 seconds even when moving at speeds up to 6mph. The front and middle sections disappear along with the rear window glass while the fastback buttresses return to their external position to deliver a unique roof down style profile and look. It’s a great option for those who want to enjoy the open-air benefits of a convertible, but feel they have the security of a more robust roof.

Out on the road, it’s easy to achieve a great driving position and the MX-5 GT Sport Tech is a dynamic and rewarding drive. Cart-like and agile, it’s great fun and actually just as good bowling along on motorways as it is on tight and twisty country lanes. There’s even enough space in the boot for a couple of overnight bags making this cute car ideal for couples’ weekend escapes.