And make no mistake — the regular march of electrification threatens the Miata’s character.
The Easiest Mainstream Automotive
What makes the MX-5 nice is its simplicity and its mild weight. It’s one of many biggest vehicles of all time as a result of Mazda engineers didn’t attempt to make all of it issues to all individuals. They dedicated to at least one concept — a light-weight roadster barely serviceable as an on a regular basis automotive — and made positive that idea drove each choice, from what powerplant drove it to what luxuries had been value providing.
Electrical automobiles (EVs) aren’t mild. They are often extraordinary efficiency vehicles, however the large weight of their lithium-ion batteries guidelines out a Miata-like featherweight — a minimum of till somebody perfects lighter solid-state batteries.
So how will Mazda construct a Miata for the electrical age?
The corporate isn’t positive but. But it surely plans to have a solution by 2026.
Mazda’s director and senior managing govt officer Yasuhiro Aoyama tells Australia’s WhichCar, “It is going to, on the time, be some form of electrification, so we have to examine probably the most acceptable technique for the long run MX-5 which is not going to betray our passionate followers’ expectations.”
The 2026 date is locked in, Aoyama says, because of new European emissions requirements that take impact in July of 2025.
Electrified; Perhaps Not Electrical
The phrase “electrification” doesn’t imply the automotive can be purely electrical. It may confer with hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains as properly. The smaller, lighter batteries of plug-in hybrids would possibly give engineers extra flexibility to scale back emissions and preserve the light-weight, toss-it-into-corners-as-sloppily-as-you-want character that Mazda design chief Akira Tamatani calls “MX-5-ness.”
Satirically, Mercedes might have paved the way in which with among the heaviest vehicles in the marketplace. The Mercedes-AMG S 63 E Efficiency, revealed for the primary time final evening, makes use of its plug-in hybrid options to not maximize vary however to supply a surge of energy that helps a automotive as heavy as two Miata fashions get from 0-60 mph in 3.2 seconds.
The same however scaled-down strategy may assist Mazda construct an electrified Miata that also feels good. The added weight of the batteries may even be offset with a smaller engine, relying on the electrification to make up for any misplaced horsepower.
However we’re speculating. And speculating is dangerous.
We Have been Improper — No New RX-7 For Now
Not way back, Mazda launched a design idea — the Imaginative and prescient Research — alongside (scant) particulars on its plans to go electrical.
We speculated that it may very well be the idea of a brand new RX-7. It isn’t, Tamatani tells WhichCar.
“Please take it as a picture, simply a picture,” he says.
“We’ve got this ardour to create that kind of auto, that’s the message we need to say. However will we make manufacturing automobiles constructed from that? We nonetheless haven’t actually determined.”