Despite debuting more than 30 years ago (1990), the current Mazda MX-5 is only the fourth-generation version of the model. The current edition dates to 2016, and the next iteration is expected around the middle of the decade. Mazda has now confirmed to the Motor1 outlet that it will be electrified.
That news shouldn't come as a surprise, since the Hiroshima-based firm said only a week ago that it aims to have its lineup fully electrified by 2030.
Fans of the MX-5 shouldn't worry though; electrification doesn’t necessarily mean the lightweight roadster will henceforth be weighed down by a battery. The likely scenario for the model is some form of mild hybridization, a technology Mazda wants to introduce with future models. One such configuration essentially consists of a starter motor that can act as a generator to recover energy during braking or when traveling at a steady speed on the road. Stored in a small battery, this energy could be used to power auxiliary functions and, when needed, assist the engine during hard accelerations.
Mazda is well-aware of the need to keep the next MX-5 as light as possible. In its release, the automaker said it would strive to keep its model a “lightweight, affordable, open two-seater sports car”.
Last week, the company announced a highly modular platform known as the SkyActiv Multi-Solution Scalable Architecture. This will be used with several models (13 to be precise, including five hybrids, five plug-in hybrids and three electric cars) set to launch between 2022 and 2025.
However, the automaker said that the platform that allows for the longitudinal positioning of the engine, like the one used by the MX-5, will be reserved for larger models in the future. This leads us to believe that Mazda could modify the structure of the current MX-5 for the next generation. This platform, unique to the model many still refer to as the Miata, is derived from the one used on the original 1990 model.