All-New Mazda MX-5 | GT Channel

26 Sep 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on All-New Mazda MX-5 | GT Channel
Mazda MX-5

All-New Mazda MX-5

Mazda’s 4th generation of the Miata roadster—the lightweight, rear-drive purist’s paradise which resurrected the genre back in 1989—has begun development on an all-new model, slated for fall of 2014.

Badged the MX-5 once again, same as the current car, the recipe for sound mechanicals built on a lithe, compact chassis, cloaked in a stylish body that somehow appeals to both men and women alike, will remain intact. In fact, after 23 years of the model’s existence these attributes seem to be gaining favor with more drivers. The evidence is not only on display in the dealer lots of some of Mazda’s competitors who are putting out their own versions of an affordable rear-drive sports car (anyone say Scion FR-S or Subaru BRZ?) but contained in our intel which says that Mazda itself has applied a project mission and working title of Downsizing and Less Weight to the new car’s synthesis.

They know that a good number of customers still drive, and treasure, the original Miata whose light tossable nature made it a favorite among purists. Though not a quick car by today’s standards, that first-gen roadster was well-balanced and tidy, measuring 155.4, 65.9, and 48.2 inches in length, width, and height, respectively, and weighing only 2182 lb. It came with a 1.6-liter inline-4 engine making 116 bhp.

Flash forward to the current 3rd generation model, introduced in 2005 powered by a 2.0-liter inline-4, and measuring 157.1, 67.7, 49 in. (length, width, height, respectively) and weighing in at 2498 lbs. and one can see that it has grown over the years.

Mazda MX-5

From our sources, we hear the new roadster will come powered by a SkyActiv 1.5-liter inline-4, with a 1.8-liter engine as optional. The 1.5 will make about 125 bhp, and the 1.8 version approximately 140. Fuel economy for the new chassis/powertrain combinations is expected to be much improved, and there is also talk of the U.S. getting a 2.0-liter engine making 150 bhp.

With an overall width of 69 in. and a curb weight trimmed to less than 2000 lbs. the car’s stance will be sportier, and it will certainly be a lot lighter with a much better power-to-weight ratio to boot.

Mazda wants to keep the price around $20,000 or less. The Japanese yen has fallen to 82 yen/dollar this week, but if it can get back up to 85 or perhaps 90 to the dollar—since virtually all Mazdas are built in Japan, and a strong yen has hurt business here in America—then things will look good for the Hiroshima-based company, and even better for MX-5 buyers.

It’s important that this platform be economical, as well as a driver’s delight, because, it will also serve as the basis for the next Alfa Romeo Spyder! Although the structure and powertrain will be shared, Alfa will be building their own unique body, so its version should look quite different from the edgy BMW Z4-like styling shown in our digital illustration. The Alpha Spyder is likely to launch 6 months to a year after the MX-5.

We eagerly await both, although the Spyder may not make it to our shores.

Mazda MX-5
Mazda MX-5
Mazda MX-5
Mazda MX-5
Mazda MX-5
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