Mazda confirms electrification for next MX-5 Miata

The Mazda MX-5 Miata is in its fourth generation, with the current ND model having arrived for 2016.

Given the usual product cadence at Mazda, the next MX-5, which will likely be classified the NE generation, should arrive around the middle of the decade, and Mazda on Wednesday confirmed in a statement to Motor1 that the new sports car will be electrified.

The news should come as little surprise as Mazda only a week ago said it aims to have a fully electrified lineup by 2030.

Fans of the MX-5 shouldn’t worry about the future car being weighed down by a heavy battery as electrification can mean a simple mild-hybrid setup, a technology Mazda plans to implement in future models. A mild-hybrid setup is essentially a starter motor that can act as a generator to recover energy under braking or coasting, with this energy stored in a small battery to be used to power ancillary features and sometimes to aid the engine during high-load situations.

Mazda is also well aware of the need to stick to a lightweight ethos for the next MX-5. In its statement, the automaker said it will strive to make sure the MX-5 remains a “lightweight, affordable, open two-seater sports car.”

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Mazda last week announced a highly modular platform known as the Skyactiv Multi-Solution Scalable Architecture, which the automaker said would be used for a host of models launching between 2022 and 2025, including five hybrids, five plug-in hybrids, and three battery-electric cars. However, the automaker said the platform with longitudinal engine mounting, like that used by the MX-5, will be reserved for larger vehicles. This suggests Mazda might modify the current MX-5’s platform for use in the next generation of the sprightly sports car. The platform, which is unique to the MX-5, can trance its roots to the original NA generation launched for 1990.

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