Mazda is looking at its options when it comes to the next generation of the MX-5, as they search for ways to make it better and maybe even use some form of electrification.
Maintaining the MX-5’s low weight figure is crucial for Mazda, so the prospect of an electrified powertrain complicates things for the next generation of the popular Japanese roadster.
"The lightweighting and compact size are essential elements of MX-5, so even if we apply electrification, we have to make sure it really helps to achieve the lightweighting of the vehicle," Mazda’s R&D boss Ichiro Hirose told Autocar.
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Mazda’s consideration of an electrified powertrain for the MX-5 comes from the change in public perception, the company’s design boss, Ikuo Maeda, explains: "The preference of people who enjoy driving sports cars might be changing, so we need to think about what direction society is going," he said. "We want to look at the best powertrain to keep the vehicle lightweight, but because of the diversifying requirements and preference, we need to explore various options.
"I don’t have the answer now but we need to make a vehicle that people can own without worrying that they are not being eco-friendly."
The Mazda MX-5 is still one of the very few models that could avoid getting a hybrid powertrain, mostly thanks to its relatively low production volume. The current model is considered one of the most fun-to-drive affordable rear-driven sports cars, focusing on lightness and balance – and, electrification or not, potential customers (as well as any petrolhead) would certainly love to see these qualities in its successor as well.