Good things come to those who wait. Or so we're told.
If that's the case, the all-new Mazda MX-5 should be very, very good. It has been a decade since the Japanese brand launched its last new drop-top, the third generation model (codenamed NC).
Now, after a global financial crisis delay, a back-to-basics re-think and a painfully slow drip feed of information (including two drives overseas - the 1.5-litre in Spain and 2.0-litre in Scotland) the all-new 'ND' MX-5 is on Australian soil.
So does the little drop-top suit our local roads? Not surprisingly, after a day spent behind the wheel of the 1.5-litre model on the mountain roads between Noosa and Brisbane, the answer is an emphatic yes.
As any MX-5 fan will already know this new model is a huge change from the old model, with no parts carried over. It is smaller, lighter and comes with the choice of two engines for the first time in Australia (but if you want a 2.0-litre you'll have to wait until later in the year for it to go on sale).
With only 96kW of power and 150Nm of torque produced by the compact engine (which shares plenty of parts with the engine of the Mazda2) the MX-5 is not ideal for climbing hills. But with its compact dimensions and well-tuned chassis the new model is at home rushing through the challenging, twisty roads that take you down the mountain.
Mazda has taken an extreme view to weight saving, even down to making the lever that moves the seat as small as possible. And it pays off on the road.
The MX-5 reacts instantly to driver inputs and provides excellent feedback, allowing you to really push the car to its limits.
Thanks to the modest power output and relatively narrow 195/50 Yokohama tyres, finding the limit of the MX-5 doesn't require breaking the speed limit. Which is also a big part of the appeal of the Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ. The lower threshold makes it more fun, but whereas the coupe twins are let down by cheap-looking interiors the MX-5 looks more stylish.
It shares a lot of elements with the Mazda2, including three round airconditioning dials and its infotainment systems, but that is no bad thing because the smallest Mazda is arguably the best presented inside. The materials look and feel good quality too.
Mazda Australia used the local launch this week to reveal the long-awaited pricing and specifications for the entire range, not just the headline grabbing $31,990 (plus on-roads) entry price for the base 1.5-litre model.
Both the 1.5- and 2.0-litre engines will be available in two trim levels - Roadster and Roadster GT - and both will be available with an optional six-speed automatic.
The auto costs $2500 in the Roadster, with either engine, while it adds $1560 in the GT models.
In base Roadster specifications the 1.5-litre model comes equipped with 16-inch alloys, LED headlights, airconditioning, cruise control, keyless ignition, black cloth trim, a leather wrapped steering wheel, Bluetooth and a six-speaker stereo.
The both the 1.5 and 2.0 manual models come with a limited slip differential as standard too.
Stepping up to the GT adds daytime running lights, black or tan leather heated seats, keyless entry and a 7-inch (part-time) touchscreen infotainment system that includes a nine-speaker Bose sound system, navigation and smartphone app integration for Pandora, Stitcher and Aha. The 1.5-litre GT is priced from $37,990 (all prices exclude on-roads costs) for the manual.
When the 2.0-litre model arrives, in addition to the previously mentioned gear, it will come equipped with 17-inch alloys and daytime running lights and a starting price of $34,490. The 2.0-litre GT will only gain 17-inch alloys over its 1.5-litre equivalent and be priced from $39,550.
It is an extensive range that caters to a wide range of buyers and coupled with the sharper dynamics and fresh looks this latest MX-5 has been well worth the wait.
2015 Mazda MX-5 pricing and specifications
Price: From $31,990 plus on-road costs
On sale: Now
Engine: 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol
Power: 96kW at 7000rpm
Torque: 150Nm at 4800rpm
Transmission: 6-speed manual or automatic, RWD
Fuel use: 6.1L/100km (man)/6.4L/100km (auto)