Click above for high-res gallery of the Mazda MX-5

Many of you (and some of us) don't think the current MX-5 went far enough in distancing itself from its cutesy predecessor, but design director Lauren Van den Acker wants to change that for 2012 and give the iconic convertible "more balls" in the process. If you're worried that the amazing handling characteristics of the MX-5 could be in danger, Van den Acker insists that the razor-sharp roadster will keep its core character. Stricter CAFE standards and customers demanding more mpg means that the next MX-5 will also be lighter and more efficient than the current model.

With the next MX-5 still a few years out, no design has been given the green light, but Mazda designers think the more dynamic designs that were shot down for the current-gen car would be a good place to start. A newer, ballsier, more radical MX-5 sounds good to us, as long as the changes don't mess with the cut on a dime handling that we've come to love.

Related GalleryAutoblog Garage: 2008 Mazda MX-5 Hardtop

[Source: Auto Car]