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Next Mazda MX-5 to debut in early 2015

Roadster enthusiasts will get their first glimpse at the next-generation Mazda MX-5 at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show. It should be an eyeful too, as a long-time Mazda employee says that it will be "our best looking car ever."

That's high praise from the company that's penned acclaimed designs such as the 1993 RX-7 and 1967 Cosmo Sport. "It is such a good-looking car -- recognizable as an MX-5, but with very clean styling," the source told Autocar. Mazda's well-received Kodo design language will feature prominently, but according to design chief Ikuo Maeda it will be notably different from the Mazda 3 and 6. Maeda also emphasized that it will not be a retro design.

In particular, the new MX-5 will reportedly feature a visually longer hood than past models. Its purpose, besides highlighting the MX-5's rear-wheel-drive format, will be to accommodate front axles pushed forward in what might be a front-midship layout, as well as to house Mazda's SkyActiv engines and their lengthier 4-2-1 exhaust manifolds.

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