2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata Road Test | Old dogs, new tricks

Miyata devotees survive by a simple mantra. Whether you’re behind the wheel of a Spankin’s new 2022 Mazda MX-5 or 1990 Rustpile Edition বসে sitting in my garage, one truth unites us all: MIATA – Miata Is Always The Answer. Of course, the tribalism with a welcome smile behind it, but for a long time, it had the advantage of being true. As bargain-price, rear-wheel-drive models evaporated from the market in the early 1990’s and early 2000’s, the Miata became the entry-level car of choice for enthusiasts if they wanted a rear-wheel drive.

Even the ho-hum alternatives we accept today are few and far between. Remember, the DaimlerChrysler partnership didn’t knock out a Challenger with a decent V6 until 2011 and we went almost completely ahead. Decade Without a Camaro of any kind. The Honda S2000, Nissan 350Z and Mazda’s own RX-8 were only cheaper by 2022 standards; Then, they adopted the MSRP of the 4.6-liter V8 Mustang GT – much more, in the case of Honda. So, for a long time, your choice was to do with Miata, Mustang or front-wheel drive.

It certainly helps that Miata has always been good. Actually very good, despite following a formula that most modern car buyers avoid. Light, low and limber – three words you would never use to describe the harvest of today’s performance SUV – the name of the game was just as it is now. The ND MX-5 adheres better to the formula than the mediating NB and NC models, in practice, but for some reason, Mazda is tinkering with it.

When Mazda increased the power output of the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder from 155 hp to 181 a few years ago, surely no one (except the owners of the 2016-2018 model) complained. 2.0 could not be more charismatic or attractive than the other 26. Horses, but they are certainly welcome. Ask any clear-headed Mazda fan how to best describe the manufacturer’s offers, and you’ll hear some sort of “outstanding chassis, acceptable engine.” This has doubled since the Renaissance Rotary closed (yes, they are as reliable as politicians, but equally entertaining until they fail).

But for 2022, Mazda looked to the chassis for opportunities for improvement, not the powertrain. No matter what you want to do, Mazda engineers have come up with new braking software that helps reduce body speed in hard corners, reduce rolls and make the steering response more linear. Mazda calls it “Kinematic Poster Control” (KPC) and it does not require any additional hardware to implement – exactly what the doctor ordered.

When you’re in the business of chasing a Miata in a tight corner, the KPC will be digitally hidden and the inner rear brake will pull a little. Applying brakes in this manner will help to cope with the normal upward movement of the body, flatten the cornered attitude of the vehicle and give the impression of a strong suspension setup without additional cost, complexity and ride quality penalty. In the first place. If it sounds like a bell to you, it’s similar to Nissan’s “Active Ride Control”. Mom, yes. Nissan Ultima technology on my RWD Roadstar. This is exactly what I wanted.

“It’s good,” you said. “The Miata Internet called me ND Handles like a yacht, different from previous Miatas, which is basically a race car.” Hey, I remember Mine The first internet. And when I think That’s right The same was said about NC. But “4×4 Ride Heights” and “Leaning Like a Container Ship” are the only valid criteria for performance in Magazine Racing World, and let’s be clear: Body Roll is a product of the tramwire of the L-words mentioned by Mazda from the very beginning. . Yeah Al that sounds pretty crap to me, Looks like BT aint for me either. Bone-stock, the thing that was in the air was her inner buttocks going around. Single cone

Body motion is not inherently bad, it is just a practical expression of the weight management features of a chassis. When Mazda re-jiggered the seating position for the current Miata, the whole point was to keep the driver close to the car’s roll center so that his attitude (as pitch and yao, how smiling the grill is) could be more easily explained. . This change was Miata’s reduced side effect Felt Body roll, although it has done very little (nothing, but we are not going to dig it here) to change the amount of weight transfer.

How? Sit in the center of a saw while your two friends take good seats. Now close your eyes. Seeing and hearing how much is moving? Although you can feel the swinging motion, your body is not ascending or descending. To you, it’s not moving at all. To your friends, this is a great moving deal. Who is right? If this is a philosophy class, the answer will be “both”, but in a performance driving school, you will learn that it is the viewpoint that counts in the end.

Because driving fast means handling weight transfers. Whether you’re on a drag strip or chasing a cone, being fast means the weight isn’t where you want it to be where you don’t want to be. The body roll is the most effective tool in the car to show you how well you are handling its weight. Reducing this, whether in reality or by mere perception, is tantamount to reducing the volume of the chassis’ communication system. This is why you want a rolly-poly ride on a big, heavy, unreal truck; It is there to tell you where the lines are so that you do not cross them

Fortunately, the Miatar limit is relatively low and reachable – again, part of the formula – and it is highly unlikely that anyone is going to overdrive the next ND to something new in 2022 at first due to incoming traffic because it is infinitely strong. Car replaced it. Indeed, an experienced ‘shoe’ might even be able to wrap a few tenths in each lap off their favorite track if Mazda’s claimed limited-slip extensions actually translate into higher real-world exit speeds, though I wonder what? Longevity break costs.

Back-to-back, I’m sure it makes a noticeable difference on the road. Since I haven’t run an ND since 2016, I can’t say what it does to manage it except to say that it certainly doesn’t interfere with experience. I just argue that it wasn’t needed, because the ride / handling balance of the car was already brilliant. There are at least no weight fines; The only cost involved is money.

Where Mazda makes more sense for such a system in new premium-based crossovers, where similar tricks can work in the real world. Although the kinematic posture control is clearly exclusive to the 2022 MX-5, Mazda can easily adapt the technology to other applications. We’ve already seen that the Mazda G-Vectoring control can help facilitate front / rear torque transfer (in other words, pitch instead of rolls) with an all-wheel-drive system to improve turn-in and various other parameters. Combining this with kinematic posture control can benefit both on-road handling and off-road composer – just the kind of jack-of-all-trade content consumers think they want from a crossover. That being said, I understand why Mazda did it; In fact, the reasons are probably twofold.

First, as good as the Miata is, it is a roadster that has been a part of the coupe for the past two decades. As modern as the current MX-5 is, it shakes without BRZ and GR86. And it’s old. Yes, the BRZ and GR86 are somewhat of a carry-over platform that was first launched in 2011, but they are even more measurable than their predecessors. A relatively long guinea pig for anything but cheap for a relatively long – significant developmental investment in the MX-5 teeth – a great guinea pig that can help keep sales flowing as it approaches lame-duck conditions.

Second, for better or worse, the MX-5 is Mazda’s Hello Performance Car. You can’t debut a performance upgrade on something like a refreshed CX-30; From a marketing standpoint, it’s no good. Give it a few model years and I’ll bet the term is reduced to the rest of Mazda’s lineup both in nature and in name (which may be a more appropriate metaphor to spread damp in paper towel plies).

In the meantime, the MX-5 is definitely not a bad thing at all. It may show its age, but the little roadstar is still as amazingly attractive as ever and quite enjoyable to drive. Miyata can’t Always The answer may be, but it is very often mine.

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