Japanese company could give hybrid or fully-electric powertrain to existing sports car

Mazda bosses are deliberating on the next generation of its existing sports car, the MX-5, by considering how to improve the popular model while potentially using an electrified powertrain.

Given its relatively low volume, the MX-5 might be one of the few cars that could avoid being electrified for its fifth generation but, either way, maintaining its light weight is crucial.

R&D boss Ichiro Hirose said: “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.”

Brand and design chief Ikuo Maeda flagged changing public opinions as a consideration on which powertrain to use. “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 current MX-5 continues to enjoy healthy sales, with 4000 units sold in the UK this year. Mazda UK MD Jeremy Thomson describes the model “as an evergreen car that keeps one aspect of the brand alive”, also saying it has “an incredibly passionate following”.

He added: “It wasn’t so long ago that MX-5 was as well known as Mazda overall. We’ve tried to infuse that MX-5-ness into all our cars.”

READ MORE

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

Join the debate

Comments
26

29 November 2019

660cc kei engine at around 100bhp, with hybrid for some extra poke, and a generator turbo like f1 has

29 November 2019
russ13b wrote:

660cc kei engine at around 100bhp, with hybrid for some extra poke, and a generator turbo like f1 has

Sounds good, maybe you should message Mazda?

29 November 2019
russ13b wrote:

660cc kei engine at around 100bhp, with hybrid for some extra poke, and a generator turbo like f1 has

They could also team up with another carmaker to make the car more profitable (like they did with Fiat before they bolted). My preference would be someone like Jaguar who could make a small affordable 3 cylinder hybrid modern day E-type to fit below the F-type at the 30k bracket. 

29 November 2019
russ13b wrote:

660cc kei engine at around 100bhp, with hybrid for some extra poke, and a generator turbo like f1 has

 

Rhetorical question...have you costed this bizarre plan...nope.

FM8

29 November 2019
Takeitslowly wrote:

russ13b wrote:

660cc kei engine at around 100bhp, with hybrid for some extra poke, and a generator turbo like f1 has

 

Rhetorical question...have you costed this bizarre plan...nope.

Maybe they haven't, but what does a tool like you think about the future of a small sports car like the MX5?

29 November 2019
Yeah a light weight hybrid like Honda's old ima which acts like an electric supercharger for a smaller engine. The kei engine is a good idea to hybridise but aren't they experimenting with a rotary hybrid? That could be lightweight.

29 November 2019

I need the next MX5 to be electric. Allow me to explain. I’m a commuter into London who pays £40 per week to park my car. But parking is free for electric cars. I also don’t need two extra seats in the back as for family trips we use the family car only. Therefore this car is all about me and my needs.

Therefore if Mazda could kindly do an electric MX5 that doesn’t cost the earth I’ll be straight down the dealer. The savings from parking fees alone will almost pay for the car making it easy for me to justify a sports car in the family.

29 November 2019
TStag wrote:

I need the next MX5 to be electric. Allow me to explain. I’m a commuter into London who pays £40 per week to park my car. But parking is free for electric cars. I also don’t need two extra seats in the back as for family trips we use the family car only. Therefore this car is all about me and my needs.

Therefore if Mazda could kindly do an electric MX5 that doesn’t cost the earth I’ll be straight down the dealer. The savings from parking fees alone will almost pay for the car making it easy for me to justify a sports car in the family.

 

Well thats you sorted then...selfish.

FM8

29 November 2019
Takeitslowly wrote:

TStag wrote:

I need the next MX5 to be electric. Allow me to explain. I’m a commuter into London who pays £40 per week to park my car. But parking is free for electric cars. I also don’t need two extra seats in the back as for family trips we use the family car only. Therefore this car is all about me and my needs.

Therefore if Mazda could kindly do an electric MX5 that doesn’t cost the earth I’ll be straight down the dealer. The savings from parking fees alone will almost pay for the car making it easy for me to justify a sports car in the family.

 

Well thats you sorted then...selfish.

Is it selfish? Or is it someone explaining how there isn't currently a vehicle that fits their brief? It's a bit like you with websites. Porn Hub obviously sorts most of your perversions out, but you need something else, something more disturbing to fulfill your sick needs

29 November 2019

Maybe a 1.0t 150ps engine with NO Hybrid (keep it pure ICE as long as possible, they're be around alot longer than you think). Then switch to pure Electric.

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week