It’s one thing to see a car in a magazine or website, another to see it in a show (like Geneva). But it’s another thing to see a new car in the flesh. I’m emotionally attached to Mazda’s diminutive MX-5, having owned, loved and and tuned my own Eunos Roadster over many years. Even the bigger NC has a place in my heart, thanks to a win at the Nürburgring.
And now I’ve seen the new car in the flesh, I’m expecting a whole new relationship to begin. The photos really don’t do this car justice. At first I wasn’t sure of the mixed-up styling, reminiscent of the bastard offspring of a BMW Z4 making love to a Suburu BRZ.
But when you see it for yourself, it’s quite something. Small, yes. But well proportioned and almost weapon-like in its poise and purpose.
The promise of a high-compression “Skyactiv” 1.5 and 2.0litre petrol, plus the reduced kerbweight, should keep this car as sharp as it looks.
Now I’m really looking forward to my first drive!
Where was it?
Yesterday’s AMG CLA launch took us through some delightfully snow-covered forests north of Frankfurt. I had no idea that just 20-minutes out of the city centre, you could be carving through some very Germanic twisties. Perfectly surfaced, and wonderfully grippy, even in these temperatures. And we weren’t alone, because in addition to the Mazda pictured above we also some Wolfsburg-plated Phaetons and an Ingolstadt-plated Audi, all testing.
The tiny ‘mountain’ is called Der Großer Feldberg, but it’s not to be confused with the ‘real’ Feldberg near the Alps. Here’s a map.