New model Mazda MX5

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Mazda Australia has confirmed a facelifted version of the world’s top-selling open-top sportscar, the iconic MX-5 roadster, will be available here later this year featuring a number of cosmetic upgrades.

Motoring.com.au understands the new-look MX-5 soft-top and hard-top – both of which were released earlier this month in Japan – will make their local debuts at the Australian International Motor Show in Sydney on October 18, before going on sale later that month.

Mazda Australia is now taking expressions of interest for the MY13 MX-5, which is now in production at Hiroshima and features a number of interior and exterior upgrades, as well as some minor mechanical tweaks.

The changes represent a midlife makeover for the third-generation MX-5, which was launched here in September 2005 and then upgraded in March 2009, before it is replaced by a redesigned model that will lend its all-new Skyactiv platform with Alfa Romeo’s next-generation Spider.

Chief among them is a slightly more aggressive and aerodynamic front bumper with larger grille opening, redesigned foglight bezels with black ‘eyebrows’ and new chin spoiler.

Inside, new glossy dark grey surfaces replace the current silver colour on the decoration panel, steering wheel bezel and instrument meter rings.

Mechanically, a reprogrammed throttle management system in manual models is claimed to make the MX-5 more responsive under acceleration, while brake booster upgrades are said to improve front/rear braking distribution and overall braking performance.

No further details are available at this stage and although Mazda Australia makes no mention of it in today’s press release, Japan’s revised MX-5 range also gains a pedestrian-friendler active bonnet, more prominent side skirts, new 17-inch alloys and slight weight reductions.

“The MX-5 is an iconic car that just got better,” said Mazda Australia National Marketing Manager, Alastair Doak.

“The MX-5 is the world’s best-selling two-seater roadster and these latest design and dynamic upgrades should see it remain firmly on the shopping lists of buyers looking for fun, open-top driving.”

MX-5 sales have slumped by 60 per cent in Australia to July this year, with just 84 examples representing one per cent slice of a mainstream sportscar segment now dominated by Hyundai’s new Veloster coupe, which has attracted 2219 buyers and a 25 per cent share.