Ready to whip an MX-5 around U.S. roads? They’re coming, and we have the details

Mazda’s MX-5 has been long considered a true motoring icon, a bubbly, eager two-door that epitomizes being more than the sum of its parts.

For 2016, the roadster was given a meaner, sleeker look than its smiley predecessors, but the car’s pure appeal remains. In fact, Mazda says the fourth-generation model is smaller, lighter by 150 pounds, and more focused the one that came before it.

The U.S.-spec model officially went into production in Japan on Monday, and the automaker has given us the full rundown on what buyers can expect when the car arrives this summer.

Starting at $24,915 (not including destination), the 2016 MX-5 will be offered in Sport, Club, and Grand Touring trims, with a special Launch Edition being offered for the first 1,000 cars.

The entry-level Sport includes a 2.0-liter, 155-horsepower four-cylinder (the only powerplant currently offered) with a six-speed manual. Cruise control, LED lights front and rear, Bluetooth phone pairing, power locks, 16-inch alloys, a leather-wrapped shifter, and a single USB port make up the Sport’s standard equipment. A six-speed automatic is available across the lineup for a premium of $1,075.

Moving up the range, the spoiler-clad Club variant adds a 7-inch infotainment screen as well as satellite radio and a nine-speaker Bose stereo for $28,600. Performance-wise, 17-inch wheels, a limited-slip differential, roll over bars, and Bilstein shocks come standard alongside the manual transmission.

Grand Touring editions will set you back $30,065, but add leather-trimmed heated seats, rain-sensing wipers, and adaptive headlights to the mix. Additionally, Mazda’s ‘i-Activsense’ safety suite tacks on blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane-departure warning.

At the top of the lineup, the $30,195 Launch Edition offers unique badging, keyless entry (optional on all trims), a ‘Soul Red’ exterior with ‘Sport Tan’ leather upholstery inside, and a commemorative Bose Bluetooth speaker box.

So while the latest MX-5 may not be as cute as its ancestors, it looks to be every bit as fun, with a few new toys thrown in for good measure. How will it drive? We can’t wait to get behind the wheel and find out.

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