Fifth-gen car will make use of carbonfibre to be more efficient than ever; it's not due before 2021

The Mazda MX-5 should continue to get even lighter in future generations, with downsized three-cylinder engines likely to power them.

The current, fourth-generation MX-5 was smaller and lighter than the car it replaced. While MX-5 programme manager Nobuhiro Yamamoto has said the MX-5 is unlikely to get smaller in the future (a fifth-generation car won’t arrive before 2021), it should get lighter due to the increased affordability of lightweight materials such as carbonfibre.

“The size is right,” said Yamamoto. “But in the future lightweight materials will be very important and will be used in this car. Now carbonfibre is very expensive, but we have in development affordable carbonfibre, so the MX-5 will be lighter in the future.”

On the subject of downsized engines, Yamamoto said as the car got lighter, the need for a big engine reduced. Mazda has already achieved this, with the current MX-5’s base engine being a 129bhp 1.5-litre unit.

“It’s a simple concept,” he said. “The vehicle weight gets lower, there’s a smaller engine, smaller tyres. It’s a lightweight sports car.”

Yamamoto also revealed that the recent Speedster and Spyder concept versions of the MX-5 were not feasible for production, despite showing the car at its purest.

The pair were unveiled at the SEMA tuning show late last year in Las Vegas, and the Spyder appeared at the recent Goodwood Festival of Speed.

“We have dreams, our customers have dreams,” he said. “An open car is very emotional, and you have a good feeling driving this. But it’s not feasible and is a very difficult car [to make]. It’s a dream car.”

Our Verdict

Here is the fourth-gen Mazda MX-5 - the definitive small sports car

Fourth-generation MX-5 heads back to the roadster's roots

Join the debate

Comments
1

23 July 2016
What? Are we supposed to start anticipating now, with it five years away? This is pointless guesswork and speculation masquerading as news.

I don't need to put my name here, it's on the left

 

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Jaguar E-Pace 2018 review hero front
    Car review
    20 April 2018
    Can Jaguar’s compact SUV bring flair and dynamic polish to a fast-growing class?
  • Audi TT RS Coupé
    First Drive
    20 April 2018
    The Audi TT RS has the looks, a vociferous engine and the supercar-baiting performance, but is it too uncompromising to use as a daily driver?
  • Lamborghini Urus review 2018 hero front
    First Drive
    19 April 2018
    The supercar maker's new 4x4 is massively capable wherever it goes, while being extremely conspicuous and costly while it does it
  • Skoda Kodiaq
    First Drive
    19 April 2018
    High-spec seven-seater Kodiaq begins its family life with a lot to prove — for Skoda and SUVs
  • Ford Focus RS Race Red Edition front
    First Drive
    18 April 2018
    Ford drafts in some tasty extras for this limited-run Focus RS swansong edition