New Mazda MX-5 Sales Rise

Sales of the new third-generation Mazda MX-5 have risen by a third when compared to sales of the previous edition last year.

The news comes as the new MX-5 wins the New Zealand Herald car of the year award for 2005.

Peter Aitken, managing director of Mazda New Zealand, said: "The award recognises the achievements of the MX-5 design team, which created a sports car to meet the needs of modern motoring without diluting the special factors that have made the MX-5 the world's best-selling soft top sports car.

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"We are getting a lot of inquiries from people who want something a little bit special and the MX-5 certainly fulfils this criteria."

The cheap new MX-5 is bigger than previous models in all dimensions, and despite requirements for added weight to its components, maintains the lightweight tradition of the MX-5 car.

This is done by using a unique "gram strategy" that trims tiny amounts of weight from fittings such as the rear-view mirror, which is now 84 g lighter than in previous models.