It looks like Mazda may have reason not be pleased with the transparency of the European Union's trademark authority, OHIM. Barely five days ago, computer-generated images of the updated Mazda3 surfaced on the Internet that were later found to have come from Mazda's own trademark application to the regulatory body. They were simple un-textured 3D models, but the fact that the overall design of Mazda's new hatchback was no longer secret must surely have stung the manufacturer.
Now, thanks to some dedicated cyber-sleuths, Mazda's got something else to worry about: a bunch of OHIM-supplied renderings of the 2009 Mazda MX5 have surfaced, featuring a fresh front-end redesign to extend the life of the NC MX5 up until 2012, when an all-new replacement is expected. Somebody call the RSPCA: the cat's well and truly out of the bag now.
Like the 2009 Mazda3, the OHIM-sourced CGI renderings show the shape of the body and nothing more. In the case of the MX5, the external revisions are limited to the panelwork ahead of the A-pillars only, with the rest of the sheetmetal carrying over from the 2008 car.
Gone is the goldfish-like yawn of the current NC, replaced by a more upturned 'smiley' aperture that mimics the front grille of the '09 Mazda3 and RX-8 GT. The foglight housings have also been re-profiled, with a Mazda6-esque bevel surrounding the lens.
Headlights for the 2009 model are sharper than the jellybean-shaped units of the current MX5, and we can expect some Nagare-inspired jewellery behind those lenses too. Other than that, there's not much else to note. It should look a lot more aggressive from the front, which should go some way towards rectifying the MX5's somewhat effeminate image, however a rear-end facelift (butt-lift?) wouldn't have gone astray either.