The all-new Mazda MX-5 has just been launched locally, and if the international reports so far are anything to go by, then the fourth incarnation of the world’s favourite no-frills roadster is the best one yet.

The MX-5 is constructed from a higher ratio of high strength steels and aluminium than previous models, which means higher collision safety and rigidity, yet the body shell weighs approximately 20 kg lighter than the third-generation model. The overall length of 3 915 mm is shorter than any generation before it, while the centre of gravity has been kept as low as possible through careful cabin and engine compartment design.

The MX-5 is powered by the Hiroshima-based firm’s normally aspirated 2,0-litre four-cylinder motor that produces 118 kW at 6 000 r/min and 200 N.m of torque at 4 600 r/min. It’s mated with a shift-throw, short-ratio manual gearbox for maximum performance, but despite the oomph, Mazda’s SkyActiv engine technology keeps the average fuel consumption down to an average of just 6,7-litres/100 km.

Just like the rest of the MX-5, the cabin has been constructed to the philosophy of Jinba Ittai, the love of driving. This includes a head-up display and ideally positioned steering wheel, pedals and gearshift.

Despite its no-frills history, the MX-5 boasts plenty of comforts, such as a nine-speaker Bose audio system, seven-inch infotainment display, leather upholstery, auto headlamps, auto wipers, hill-launch assist, climate control, and keyless entry and start.

The Mazda MX-5 costs R389 800 and comes with a three-year unlimited km warranty and three-year service plan with three-year roadside assistance.