Bolder design planned for lightweight new MX-5; set to weigh less than 1000kg

Mazda plans to make much greater use of its Nagare design language on the lighter next-generation MX-5, due in 2012.

Mazda has been undergoing a ground-up rethink of its sports car strategy after concerns that the current MX-5 has become too heavy to stay true to the original car’s ethos.

The new model is seen as ideal candidate for the Nagare design language, which is inspired by nature — in particular, wind and flowing water — and produced five highly rated concepts in 2006 and 2007.

Nagare will not feature on any future Mazda concept cars (the firm will reveal a new design direction in the autumn) but it will still make it on to the firm’s upcoming production cars, including the newly launched 5.

The decision to apply it to that car was hotly contested inside the firm, because many felt the tall, slab-sided MPV was unworthy of the treatment.

Employing Nagare’s side panel creases should prove a more straightforward process on the MX-5 sports car.

The original MX-5 had a target weight of 1000kg during development, and Mazda has set itself the same goal for the new model. It is still evaluating engine options, but it’s almost certain to be one of the first models to get the firm’s Sky-G range of petrol motors; 1.6 and 1.8-litre variants are under consideration.

The chosen powerplant will be mated to a six-speed manual as standard. Mazda’s forthcoming dual-clutch unit — due on the 3 next year — is likely to be an option.

Peter Lyon

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Comments
19

26 July 2010

i hope they do get below 1000kgs.

i'm suprised at the engine sizes though (1.6 or 1.8) , NA units, rather than smaller turbo petrols of 1.0 to 1.3, if they have access to any, if they dont mazda need to make some urgently. they cant turbo the 1.6 or 1.8 engines as that would be far too heavy.

they have an 85bhp 1.3, they could turbocharge that to get a balanced/economical 150bhp for 999kgs.

26 July 2010

With all the expertise Mazda has amassed from decades of producing auto history's best, most loved roadster, I'm sure the next will be a fine car. But purchasing it will depend on how it looks as much as how well it drives. It has to stack up against impending small roadsters from VW, Jaguar, and Porsche, no easy task.

When the MX5 first appeared Mazda had next-to-no competitor in that category. Single handedly it resurrected a passion for sports cars or at least provided one for a need that existed unfulfilled. Today it faces severe competition, the natural consequence of kindling millions of fans interest in simple, fun, wind-in-the-hair driving.

26 July 2010

back on track! keep it under 1000kg and use a 1.8L motor

26 July 2010

This is Mazda going back to its roots. The first MX-5 was under 1000kg and had a 1.6l engine, and with the current trend of downsizing engines why not have a 1.6? The current 1.8 only has 120bhp which is easily matched by a 1.6.

26 July 2010

Mazda are making the right noises, fingers crossed their plans come true.

26 July 2010

As a previous owner of the current MX-5, making the car lighter, as well as more distinctive to look at are good ideas, but please, please, please, don't make the car any smaller.

I don't want a car that can barely be worn as a shoe, I want a roadster that I can actually use on a day-to-day basis, that doesn't cost ridiculous Z4, SLK money.

A smaller boot and interior will just force me to cross it off my list of possible future cars, and I really don't want to do that, as I still rank my MX-5 as the best car I've ever had.

26 July 2010

In contrast to that, i would be more likely to want one the smaller it was. preferably a single seater, with the space left where a passenger seat and foot well used to be turned into a luggage space, or used as the space for a hybrid electric motor in the future.

26 July 2010

Ughhhhh what have they done.

I know this is an artists impression but what have they done.

The MX5 is steadily getting worse again. What are those lines along the side. It looks like it has had an accident.

The MX5 was supposed to be a classy small soft top in the essence of the elan, spitfire, etc...but this is more like the essence of someone with too much time on their hands

bring me a Mk1 MX5 anyday

26 July 2010

Mazda might have plenty of competition in this category but this brings them out on top again i would say.

26 July 2010

Having just scrapped my rusty old MX-5 (only owned it for a year), all I can say is that I hope they keep the insurance group low, as even hot hatches are too expensive for someone like me in their early twenties with a few accidents under their belt. Given a choice between a higher powered hatch or a low powered RWD chassis, the choice is simple. Mk 1 MX-5 all the way!

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