The next-generation Mazda MX-5 will be lighter and cleaner
10 October 2008

The next-generation Mazda MX-5 will be re-engineered as a lightweight, sub-one tonne two-seater, most likely powered by a down-sized petrol engine.

"The next MX-5 needs to be much lighter," said program manager Takao Kijima. "And we also need to get CO2 levels down to the B-car [Mazda 2] level."

Kijima said the next MX-5 must weigh less than 1000kg, a cut of around 120kg compared to today's 1120kg car. That's a similar weight to the original MX-5, which weighed in at 945kg.

Mazda's target is a 10 per cent "minimum" weight reduction, which will also apply to all of its new models from 2011.

The MX-5 will stick with its front-engine/rear-drive layout and a steel body and platform. "Alloy is out of the question, as it's too expensive," said Kijima.

Mazda is also targeting a dramatic reduction in tailpipe emissions of carbon and is aiming for 120g/km, a 40g/km cut on today's 160g/km.

As well as the weight saving, more efficient engines are part of Mazda's plan. "I am sure a downsized engine will be necessary," said Kijima.

Our Verdict

Mazda MX-5

The Mazda MX-5 is still great fun, and more grown up in its third (NC) generation. For pure driving fun, little else gets close

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That most likely means 1.6 and 1.8 engines in place of today's 1.8 and 2.0 units, although it could also mean a highly efficient, possibly turbocharged, 1.4-litre unit.

Julian Rendell

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Comments
3

dgs

10 October 2008

[quote Autocar]Mazda is also targeting a dramatic reduction in tailpipe emissions of carbon and is aiming for 120g/km, a 40g/km cut on today's 160g/km.[/quote]

Where does the 160 g/km figure come from, as the current MX-5 emissions range from 174 to 193 g/km depending on which engine/model you choose?

10 October 2008

160g/km is the 'Base' CO2 level, before adding on the drivers hairspray gas emissions.

10 October 2008

[quote The Apprentice]160g/km is the 'Base' CO2 level, before adding on the drivers hairspray gas emissions.[/quote]

Controversial... yet funny.

I'm glad they are taking the right route with the MX-5. It's been getting heavier and more powerful for a while now, moving further away from its core values. Perhaps they should introduce an MX-6 or 7 as a heavier, faster, less focussed alternative? They can cover both bases then.

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Our Verdict

Mazda MX-5

The Mazda MX-5 is still great fun, and more grown up in its third (NC) generation. For pure driving fun, little else gets close

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week