Mazda Roadster developer in charge and program manager, Nobuhiro Yamamoto

New Mazda Roadster Launch: Developer sees its essence amidst the development postponement due to the Lehman Shock

Mazda announced on May 20 that they will release the 4th generation Roadster model on May 21, 2015. It received a full improvement after 10 years since 2005. It is equipped with a 1.5L gasoline engine through the SkyActiv technology. It is set in three grades and its price range is around 2.49 million to 3.14 million yen including tax.

Since the release of the first generation model in 1989 until the third generation model, they produced a total of 950 thousand units, and it has become the longest-selling lightweight sports car. Despite having started the development of the 4th model in 2007, the whole company had to redesign it after the Lehman Shock in the autumn of 2008; the Roadster was scheduled to be released in 2012, a three-year delay from the original plan.

Looking back, developer in charge and program manager Nobuhiro Yamamoto said, “Those times when the developers had to be reassigned to different teams were really tough, but we were able to see some good in those bad days, in the postponement of its development even.” Yamamoto said that he clearly remembers that he realized this vehicle’s essence is pleasurable driving, thus they consequently once again reformed their plans and now completely made progress.

Regarding the development of the new model, Yamamoto said that it was also the time when the words “we will change to protect our legacy” were reborn as keywords that echo challenge. Despite all that, the postponement of its market launch brought favorable effect in the maturity of Mazda’s new generation technology, the SkyActiv. Yamamoto engaged in the development of the second generation Roadster. In the fourth generation model, “We were able to increase enjoyment in the people riding the car. I can say that with confidence,” he said, assured of the result of the vehicle’s 8-year development.

(Translated by Claire Marie Sausora)