My radio crackles into life. “Tom,” it squawks, from one of the MX-5’s cupholders. “Where are you?” It’s my colleague Sam Philip, and he sounds worried. I’m not going that slowly, but it’s not been 20 minutes since The Boss gathered us together in Garage 11 and left us in no doubt that, should we embed something in the Armco, he would be most unhappy. I have been missed. “Don’t worry, I’m on my way back,” I reply, as I round Pirelli at half-speed. Which, in the Mazda, is maybe 6mph.
Fast, the all-new MX-5 is not. In this company, 0–62mph in about nine seconds feels almost inadequate. Particularly if you’ve just stepped out of a Huracán. Oops. But speed isn’t really the point of the Mazda. It’s how big it is, which isn’t very, and how heavy it is, which, again, isn’t very, and how that makes it behave. At 3,915mm end to end, it’s shorter than the 1989 original, and 100kg lighter than the car it replaces. It looks lighter, too. Certainly less substantial than the rounded MkIII and, to my eyes, much better-looking. Modern, yet classically proportioned. It just works.