Currently reading: Next-generation Mazda MX-5 prioritises simple driving fun
The 2024 model will be separate to the firm's mainstream models and aimed towards enthusiasts

Mazda is committed to keeping the formula of its venerable Mazda MX-5 sports car intact even as it embarks on a strategy to heavily overhaul, expand and electrify its line-up in the coming years.

The firm has confirmed that it will launch a range of electrified SUVs atop its new rear-driven platform and three new pure-electric cars on its smaller, front-driven architecture, as used by the Mazda 3 hatchback and Mazda MX-30 EV. However, it has so far said little about how the 33-year-old roadster fits into that strategy.

Now, though, Mazda’s head of product development and engineering in Europe, Joachim Kunz, has given strong hints that the MX-5 will be considered completely separately to the more mainstream models that underpin the firm’s growth, with a view to maintaining its enthusiast appeal.

“It’s our brand icon and it is always treated very specially,” Kunz told Autocar. “At the moment, it looks like we will have this car forever, with this size and concept and combustion engine. Of course, some day, we will have to electrify it, but we want to keep this pure concept.”

Crucially, the company has no intention of moving the MX-5 over to its small car architecture, as that would mean sacrificing its character defining rear-driven layout.

Kunz acknowledged that Mazda’s Europe division has less influence over the MX-5 than it does with other models because it “is the baby of headquarters” in Japan, where engineers are committed to carrying its core characteristics over into new generations.

Kunz explained that the MX-5 has a longer life cycle than other Mazda models – “having one generation for 10 years is not a problem for us” – which suggests a replacement for the current ND-generation car may not break cover until 2024.

One possibility is that the MX-5 will exploit Mazda’s innovative Skyactiv-X combustion technology, which serves to reduce consumption and boost torque in the 3 without the need for a turbocharger and can be deployed in conjunction with a mild-hybrid system.

Join the debate

Comments
15
Add a comment…
Bimfan 9 April 2022

The MX5 has one problem that I guess will not be addressed by the new model.

It's getting pretty expensive now (£30k) and that for most will be a second or third car, 

Zeddy 10 April 2022
I'll grant you that £30k is not a small amount of money.
However, show me a sports car by another manufacturer that is cheaper than that these days.

Cars ain't cheap!

russ13b 15 April 2022

£30,000 today is about £13,000 in 1990, the original NA cost just over £14,000. Inflation is the enemy, not Mazda

275not599 8 April 2022
The MX-5 is already much too cramped. Add a battery and it will have to bloat up in size as well as weight, sprung and unsprung, and will lose its MX-5ness.
bol 8 April 2022
275not599 wrote:

The MX-5 is already much too cramped. Add a battery and it will have to bloat up in size as well as weight, sprung and unsprung, and will lose its MX-5ness.

If a bloke in a shed can make an electric MX5 weigh the same as the petrol one, then so can Mazda. Just because manufacturers choose to make 2.5 tonne EVs doesn't mean they have to, or should. 

Tom Simons 8 April 2022

Head in sand Mazda !!! If DIYers can make a better electric Lotus Elan (called cheakily 'Lotus Elon') which is lighter, faster, more efficient (as well as having no air or noise pollution).

Then Mazda can do the same with the mx5, We need affordable, small fun electric sports cars this side of the huge Taycan and possible E-boxster there is only the Elise based, 14 year old Tesla roadster. 

And if any old farts complain that they''d miss the MX5 engine noise, well my MX5 ND engine sounds like a 'fart on wheels' gimme silent torque any day!!! 

 

bol 8 April 2022
Tom Simons wrote:

Head in sand Mazda !!! If DIYers can make a better electric Lotus Elan (called cheakily 'Lotus Elon') which is lighter, faster, more efficient (as well as having no air or noise pollution).

Then Mazda can do the same with the mx5, We need affordable, small fun electric sports cars this side of the huge Taycan and possible E-boxster there is only the Elise based, 14 year old Tesla roadster. 

And if any old farts complain that they''d miss the MX5 engine noise, well my MX5 ND engine sounds like a 'fart on wheels' gimme silent torque any day!!! 

 

Exactly this. The engine is the least good thing about a modern MX5. 

Zeddy 8 April 2022

You've never had a GT86/BRZ then.

 

It's wonderful in comparison to those.