TechTalk MX-5

Published on February 20th, 2023 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


Mazda MX-5 Next Generation Will Be Battery Powered

There is good chance that the MX-5 new model delay is due to the arrival of a light weight battery powertrain.

After 33 years and more than 1 million units sold, Mazda feels that the MX-5 has grown into more than simply its own creation. It now belongs to the fans around the world who have supported the development of this iconic roadster.

Mazda has spent more than three decades being obsessed with everything a lightweight sports car can be. All the Jinba Ittai inspiration gained over three model generations has gone into the all-new Mazda MX-5.

So, with the world pushing for electric cars, Mazda needs to follow suite and deliver a ‘light weight’ electric roadster.  Well, the word ‘light’ and ‘battery powered’ right now do not go side by side.

Interestingly, there are battery scientist already promising smaller denser batteries are coming soon. So, it could well mean that Mazda engineers are waiting for this to maintain the MX-5 mantra.

Meanwhile, before a light weight battery arrives, the next Mazda MX-5 (NE) might use a Skyactiv-X petrol engine with a little supercharger and a 48V mild-hybrid system.

Please take note. The Mazda MX-5 has never been about high speed and low acceleration times, but rather the right balance between power, weight, responsiveness and agility.

These are the ingredients for maximum fun, and the all-new MX-5 and its Skyactiv powertrains take the legendary roadster that much closer to perfection.

Meanwhile, the aggressive looks are, in a word, moving. Even at a standstill, the current MX-5’s flowing KODO-inspired lines seem to be in motion.

However, it still looks best – as do those inside it – in its main element: Namely driving down the open road with the top down.

Jinba Ittai, the rider-and-horse-as-one-body doctrine that has defined the relationship between drivers and their MX-5 from the beginning, applies in more ways than one.

For example, in the way the interior design and remarkably clever packaging of the fourth generation model melt away the boundaries between the cabin and the exterior.

More traditional Jinba Ittai trademarks were also edged that much closer to perfection. Like weight distribution, which is now nearer than ever to the centre of gravity of a car that is lower to the ground with shorter overhangs.

Starting at under 1,000kg, the current 7-year-old MX-5 weighs some 10 percent less than the outgoing model and is the lightest since the first generation MX-5.

And that in spite of the advanced active and passive safety, smartphone connectivity technology, and evolved ergonomics with a human-machine interface that enables the driver to make the most of it all.

More than anything else the world’s best selling two-seater sports car has been revered for the way it handles. This recognition of the MX-5’s agility and driver engagement was at the forefront of attention for the team developing the fourth-generation of this sports car icon.

Conceived under the concept of “innovate in order to preserve” this engineering philosophy has allowed Mazda to maintain the agility, fun and engagement that has always defined the MX-5 while at the same time meeting ever-increasing safety and efficiency requirements, alongside improved refinement.

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