From the very first generation, Mazda MX-5 has always featured a compact, open-top two-seater body, a Front-midship engine/Rear-wheel drive (FR) configuration, and 50:50 front/rear weight distribution — the classic layout of a lightweight sports car. The fourth generation carries on the tradition, but with the engine moved rearward and an aluminium bonnet and boot lid to achieve a lowered yaw inertia moment. Combined with a lower centre of gravity realized by lowering the engine's mounting position and the seats, this results in the kind of response and handling drivers dream about.
Another key element adding to the commanding feeling of control is the driving position: the driver is placed closer to the car's centre line, while the pedals, controls, meters and displays are optimally located to allow the driver to maintain good posture and drive comfortably. Additionally, the low nose, rearward position of the A-pillars and thinner front header afford a panoramic view for easier confirmation of the surroundings and the car's behaviour. The seats themselves feature Mazda's innovative and ergonomic S-fit Structure, employing a newly developed net material and urethane pads in place of the conventional metal springs/urethane pad structure. This reduces both the weight and thickness of the seats at the same time as providing superior support and holding capability when driving hard through the curves.