Mazda plans major rethink of iconic roadster
26 August 2008

Mazda’s design boss has told Autocar that the company is planning a radical rethink of the MX-5.

“The next MX-5 needs to be a big step,” Lauren Van den Acker said. “The last one was too conservative and we can’t do another car like that. We need to make it more dramatic and give it some balls.”

However, Van den Acker admitted that nothing would be done to change the MX-5’s core character. The fourth-generation car, due to appear in around 2012, will still be a no-nonsense small rear-drive roadster, albeit probably lighter and more fuel-efficient than the current model.

Another senior Mazda designer told us that while there has been lots of internal debate about the future of the company’s iconic roadster, no final decision has yet been taken on what it will look like. “Last time round [designing the current car] we came up with lots of radical proposals and we may reignite one of those,” said our insider. Another Mazda designer admitted that the intention was for the MX-5 to stop being completely different from the rest of the line-up, hinting that the likes of the Kazarai concept car will influence its design.

In the meantime the current MX-5 will have at least one facelift before it is replaced. Leaked patent documents showed recently that the forthcoming visual makeover is a very minor one. It will make its official debut at the Paris motor show in October.

Chas Hallett

Our Verdict

Mazda MX-5 2005-2015

The Mazda MX-5 is still great fun, and more grown up

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Volvo V90
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The Volvo V90 is a big estate ploughing its own furrow. We’re about to see if it is refreshing or misguided
  • Kia Stonic
    First Drive
    18 October 2017
    Handsome entrant into the bulging small crossover market has a strong engine and agile handling, but isn’t as comfortable or complete as rivals
  • Hyundai Kona
    First Drive
    18 October 2017
    Hyundai's funky-looking Kona crossover with a peppy three-cylinder engine makes all the right noises for the car to be a success in a crowded segment
  • Citroën C3 Aircross
    First Drive
    17 October 2017
    The Citroen C3 Aircross has got funky looks and a charming interior, but it's another small SUV, and another dynamic miss. Numb steering is just one thing keeping it from class best
  • Skoda-Karoq 2.0 TDI 4x4
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Diesel version of Skoda’s junior SUV is unobtrusive and undemanding, but we’d still go for the silkier petrol version of the Karoq