The Mazda MX-5 range has never been short of a special edition since it was launched back in 2015. The last limited-edition Arctic was pretty subtle in the way it was styled differently from the rest of the range; this Z-Sport however, is easier to spot with its own bespoke look.
With 300 examples made, each of them come with black 17-inch BBS wheels, a Machine metallic grey paint finish and a dark cherry-red roof. Inside you’ll find sand leather seating, a numbered badge, door sill plates and a set of mats. You won’t be confusing this 2018 special edition with any other model.
Based on the 2.0-litre Sport Nav, all the extra cash spent on this model goes on these cosmetics; there are no mechanical changes made elsewhere.
This means the Z-Sport drives just like the flagship MX-5, fitted with a suspension setup that includes a set of Bilstein dampers and a strut brace in the engine bay to deliver a sportier drive than the rest of the range. There’s also a limited-slip differential to help maximise cornering traction.
Performance is also the same: with 160hp and 200Nm of torque, 0-62mph takes 7.3 seconds and top speed remains the same at 133mph. Claimed fuel economy is 40.9mpg.
Oddly, this example didn’t feel as urgent as previous examples we’ve tested – chiefly the Sport Recaro from 2016 – which, not only felt more eager to accelerate, but also made a louder, rorty noise in the cabin.
A recent experience of the same engine in the MX-5 RF also proved to be the same, so this tweak in engine character could be the result of a model year change.
The driving position also seems to have been raised a touch – which may compromise comfort for those who are taller.
Otherwise, the MX-5 continues to be a fun-to-drive roadster: it’s light, agile, soft-riding and offers fun with plenty of bodyroll included.
For a full review on the MX-5 head on over to the link below: