In August 2005, the Mazda Roadster made its full model change to its third generation model, coded the NC. Though it is given increased collision safety features and environmental performance suited for the new era, serious efforts were made by the design team to maintain the greatest attraction of the roadster, of being able to control the car exactly to the will of the driver. Because of this, significant focus was placed in keeping the weight low, and resulted in a car that is only 10kg heavier than the previous verion (RS grade model)
The car is powered by a new LF-VE, a 2L, DOHC inline 4 engine, combined with a 6 speed or 5 speed MT, or a 6 speed AT. The body was enlarged by 1.5 inches in both length and width, and the wheelbase has been extended by 2.5 inches. With its length now at 67.7 inches, the car has now become a higher size class 3 in Japanese vehicle registrations. On the other hand, the engine itself is now 3.1 inches shorter, enabling a full front midship configuration, and maintaining a 50:50 weight balance front to rear. The suspension utilises a new multilink in the rear to achieve a higher road holding performance. All this effort paid off, as in November 2005, it became Japan's car of the year.
The RS is the sports grade of the Roadster and is equipped with features like Bilstein dampers, 17 inch wheels, and a front suspension tower bar. In August 2006, a RHT model with a powered retractable hardtop was added, and in January 2007, the roadster achieved over 800,000 cars sold, cumulatively for the entire series.
Later in December of 2008 a minor change was performed, and in addition to changes in the front grille and headlight shape, many detailed refinements have been made. The maximum output of the engine is now produced at a range 300rpm higher at 7000rpm, and the rev limit has ben increased by 500rpm, to 7500rpm.

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