Mazda’s next generation MX-5 It may still be a few years away, but it will remain rear-wheel drive for as long as possible while moving away from electric powertrains and plug-in hybrids.
“It is our brand symbol and it has always been treated very special,” said Mazda Europe head of engineering and product development. Autocar.
“For now, it looks like we will have this car forever, with this size and concept and internal combustion engine. Of course, one day we will have to electrify it, but we wanted to keep this pure concept.”
Kunz also told Autocar that, like MX-5 traditionally have a longer lifecycle than other Mazda models, “having a generation in 10 years is not a problem for us”.
The current fourth generation of the MX-5 – the ND series – entered production in 2015. That suggests the new MX-5 may not be available until 2024 or 2025.
The next MX-5 is said to retain the rear-wheel drive platform, instead of switching to Mazda’s front-wheel drive architecture used on models like 3 hatches and sedans.
Kunz says the MX-5 is “headquartered” in Japan, and engineers at HQ are committed to maintaining the roadster’s purity. That shows that the team at Mazda Europe has little influence on this model.
A report from Autocar said last year that the next MX-5 ‘NE’ is suitable to use the company’s Skyactiv-X petrol engine in the pursuit of higher performance, rather than using pure electricity or plug-ins.
The Skyactiv-X engine uses alternating spark-guided compression ignition, the idea being to combine the characteristics of a high-revving naturally aspirated gasoline with higher torque and performance – just like the engine. diesel.
It launches in 2020 here and is currently available on the Mazda 3 and CX-30. Of course, none of these are rear-wheel drive like the MX-5.
In these models, the 2.0-litre petrol engine is referred to as the Skyactiv-X ‘M Hybrid’, referring to the belt-driven starter/alternator system and a 24V lithium-ion battery that captures energy during deceleration.
It produces 132kW of power and 224Nm of torque, with all of this mated to a six-speed manual or automatic transmission.
Supposedly, if this engine were used in the next-generation MX-5, it would deliver 30% more torque than the 2.0-litre ‘SkyActiv-G’ engine used in all models. MX-5 and can deliver 0-100km/h in under six seconds.
If Mazda chooses to introduce this powertrain for the next MX-5, it will be the only engine offered, although it may be offered in different states.
Mazda has discontinued the smaller, slower-selling 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine for the current car in the Australian market.
“We wanted to consider the best powertrain to keep the car light, but due to diverse requirements and preferences, we needed to explore,” said Mazda Chief Design Officer Ikuo Maeda. many different options.
The next MX-5 is said to take from the design language first appeared on the 2017 Vision Coupe concept, which has inspired the brand’s latest cars.
It’s unclear where the MX-5 sits relative to the two new modular architectures Mazda is rolling out.
Upcoming Mazda products like the CX-60 SUV will use the Skyactiv Multi-Solution Extensible Architecture, which Mazda says will underpin five hybrid models – at least some of which will use a hybrid system. from Toyota – along with five plug-in hybrids and three electric models.
This architecture has been developed for both front- and all-wheel drive vehicles with transverse engines, as well as rear- or all-wheel drive vehicles – such as the CX-60 – with longitudinal engines.
It’s separate from Mazda’s upcoming Skyactiv Scalable Electric Vehicle Architecture, which will build a range of vehicles between 2025 and 2030.
Mazda is aiming for 25% of its vehicles to be pure electric by 2030, while all vehicles will be electrified to some extent.
The Japanese government has proposed a plan to ban the sale of new internal combustion engine vehicles by 2035, although this does not include hybrids.
THAN: Everything Mazda MX-5