Mazda plans to make much greater use of its Nagare design language on the lighter next-generation MX-5, due in 2012.
Mazda has been undergoing a ground-up rethink of its sports car strategy after concerns that the current MX-5 has become too heavy to stay true to the original car’s ethos.
The new model is seen as ideal candidate for the Nagare design language, which is inspired by nature — in particular, wind and flowing water — and produced five highly rated concepts in 2006 and 2007.
Nagare will not feature on any future Mazda concept cars (the firm will reveal a new design direction in the autumn) but it will still make it on to the firm’s upcoming production cars, including the newly launched 5.
The decision to apply it to that car was hotly contested inside the firm, because many felt the tall, slab-sided MPV was unworthy of the treatment.
Employing Nagare’s side panel creases should prove a more straightforward process on the MX-5 sports car.
The original MX-5 had a target weight of 1000kg during development, and Mazda has set itself the same goal for the new model. It is still evaluating engine options, but it’s almost certain to be one of the first models to get the firm’s Sky-G range of petrol motors; 1.6 and 1.8-litre variants are under consideration.
The chosen powerplant will be mated to a six-speed manual as standard. Mazda’s forthcoming dual-clutch unit — due on the 3 next year — is likely to be an option.