The year 1989 marked the re-birth of the lightweight roadster with the inception of the game-changing Mazda MX-5.

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Fast-forward 26 years and the all-new Mazda ND MX-5 has landed in Australia. And it’s available at a very competitive price.

Just $31,990 plus on-roads will see you behind the wheel of the base model Mazda ND MX-5 Roadster six-speed manual; that’s $15,290 cheaper than the previous 2.0-litre NC’s entry price. Opting for the six-speed auto sets you back an additional $2000. Both employ a 96kW/150Nm SKYACTIV naturally-aspirated four-pot.

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The all-new convertible is available in two grades, the Roadster and higher-spec Roadster GT. The 1.5-litre Roadster GT manual starts at $37,990, the auto $39,990.

The entry-spec MX-5 Roadster rides on 16-inch alloys shod with 195/50 tyres and sports LED headlamps and an easy-to-use cloth soft top which can open or close in seconds. As befitting its status as a driver’s car, the MX-5 manual comes standard with a limited-slip differential. Dual-pinion EPAS is fitted for the first time on a Mazda to all MX-5 variants.

Inside the Roadster offers standard air-conditioning, cloth seat trim, Bluetooth control and keyless go. Interestingly, it also uses a tyre pressure monitoring system.

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Step up into the MX-5 Roadster GT and you gain auto headlamps, heated mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, leather trim, climate control, keyless entry as well as go, a seven-inch touchscreen MMI and nine-speaker Bose premium sound system.

Interestingly the Roadster 2.0-litre, which will come on-stream later in the year, starts at only $34,490 ($36,490 for the auto); some $3500 cheaper than the 1.5-litre GT and making it appear as the performance bargain, with 118kW/200Nm from its nat-atmo four-pot. There’s no power increase over the NC variant, but a useful 12Nm torque boost.

Spec is broadly similar for the larger-engined variants, albeit both come with 17-inch alloys and 205/45/17 rubber.

When designing the ND, Mazda responded to the community’s feedback, and set out to build a car more in line with the original NA MX-5. Thus, reducing size and weight was a priority.

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The ND is the smallest MX-5 yet, and is 90kg lighter than its predecessor, at 1,009kg. Put in place is a new suspension system that ‘improves turn-in ability, stability when braking and control when cornering’.

Mazda’s infotainment system, MZD Connect, will make its debut on the ND MX-5 as an option on the 1.5-litre Roadster and as standard on the Roadster GT and 2.0-litre range.

The car will come in six colours including the recently introduced Cermaic Metallic, and the popular Soul Red. Interior trim options include, black cloth for the roadster, or a choice of black or tan leather in the Roadster GT.

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