New-look 2015 roadster will be lighter with greater chassis rigidity; previewed by Ibuki concept
4 November 2010

Mazda’s next-generation MX-5 roadster is set to adopt principles from the RX-8, in a bid to trump the current car’s kerb weight and balance, according to well placed sources in Japan.

The new car, scheduled to appear at next year’s Tokyo motor show, will use layout ideas first previewed by the Ibuki (pictured), a concept that was revealed at the same event in 2003. That show car was believed to be a preview for the current MX-5 and little else — particularly since it used the RX-8’s twin-backbone frame.

Click here to read full details and see exclusive pictures of the new 2015 Mazda MX-5

But a Mazda insider has told Autocar that the next MX-5 will use a revised version of that construction, and build on the RX-8’s philosophy to adopt a “super front-midship four-cylinder layout”. That means placing the powerplant behind the front axle for optimum weight distribution, and mounting the fuel tank and main exhaust in front of the rear axle, so all critical components sit inside the wheelbase.

By employing a revised version of the twin-backbone frame, Mazda engineers believe they can deliver an open-top car with the chassis rigidity of a regular coupé. The firm has been patenting elements of the Ibuki’s construction in the US and Japan in recent months.

One Mazda engineer said, “The Ibuki was not a one-off future concept car. It contains crucial aspects of the next-generation roadster.”

It’s unlikely to influence its styling directly, however; instead, the new MX-5 will incorporate elements from the Shinari concept that was revealed in Milan in August. Power for the next MX-5 is likely to come from one of Mazda’s all-new Skyactiv powerplants. “It’ll probably be a 1.5 litre,” said our source. That should be enough for sprightly performance, given that the car is on track to weigh less than 1000kg.

Takao Kijima, the man behind the second and third generations of the iconic roadster, said, “The MX-5 must always be lightweight sports. The car has got bigger and heavier over the past decade, but it’s now time to reverse the process and get back to basics.”

 

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Comments
13

2 November 2010

Let's just hope it doesn't look anything like that blue bar of soap....................

2 November 2010

Sub-1000kg must be possible, but they only just managed it with the Superlight concept. For reference, the 1.5 litre Mazda2 is 1030kg, the 1.2 litre Suzuki Swift 1005kg and the 1.2 litre Fiat 500 865kg. I was surprised by that last one. The current soft top 1.8 litre MX-5 is 1150kg. The Elise is 876kg.

All this data is from the What Car website.

I do hope they reach their target. What a laugh it could be...

2 November 2010

It would be great if Mazda could get the MX5 can get under 1000kg, it would mean that it would be able to put a nice sub 1.6 litre engine in without it seeming to struggle to pull the skin off a rice pudding.

2 November 2010

Getting under 1000kg is not too difficult - see Sexto Elemento. What's hard is doing it at the right price. There's only so much decontenting you can do, then you have to use more expensive materials. But I don't doubt that Mazda can do it and I am sure the car will be wonderful.

Wouldn't it be great if they also built a bigger brother to the MX-5 for say 30k? Same philosophy, 1250kg (cf 370Z 1470kg, Z4 1480kg, all approx)

Too bad Lotus is going upmarket and upweight.

2 November 2010

[quote thebaldgit]if Mazda could get the MX5 can get under 1000kg, it would mean that it would be able to put a nice sub 1.6 litre [/quote]

I like Autocar's rendition better

In the meantime I'll zip around in my Classic Red 1000 kg 1600cc 2 seater

http://www.flickr.com/photos/d70w7/5121705511/

C2100

2 November 2010

I dont know about everybody else but i am getting some serious deja-vu here.

Isnt this the concept picture that was posted prior to the Mk2 's 2005 launch?

..and even if it is or isnt it still looks like a rubbish james bond aqua car!

2 November 2010

Looks too much like the mark 1 mx5. Also, both on the current mx5 and the concept mx5, the front lights appear too far up the front bumper, making it appear to look like an amphibious vehicle, rather than a sport car. The original mx5 looked sporty from the front, but the current looks too frumpy and I'm sure the headlight positioning have a lot to do with it.

3 November 2010

Good for Mazda, one of the few car companies whose main aim is to reduce weight in all their new cars in the future. It's got to be applauded.

6 November 2010

I appreciate that I’m at risk of being called a philistine, but I think I’d rather get my hands on a rebuilt MGB Roadster, have enormous amounts of fun and save a shed load of cash in the process!

6 November 2010

Looks good and sounds very promising.

Smaller wheelarches and correspondingly smaller wheels would look better though. Make the tyre profile a touch deeper too.

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