• Nov 2, 2010
2009 Mazda MX-5 – Click above for high-res image gallery

Mazda is hard at work on the next-generation MX-5. We know the automaker has set a target weight of 2,200 pounds for the forthcoming roadster, and it plans to keep weight distribution at the magic 50/50 figure. A new report from Autocar, however, reveals a bit more information about what's in store for the new MX-5.

Mazda showed off a concept vehicle back in 2003, called the Ibuki, that previewed the styling of the current generation car and many believed that was all it revealed. However, the Ibuki concept featured a twin-backbone frame that can be found in the current Mazda RX-8. This layout allows for vital components, such as the powertrain, gas tank and exhaust system, to be placed between the front and rear axle. The twin-backbone setup also enables the automaker to produce an open-top car with the rigidity of a fixed-roof vehicle. If the next-generation MX-5 receives these updates, it will allow Mazda to take its iconic two-seater to new heights.

Takao Kajima, who was in charge of the suspension on the first generation car and then promoted to program manager for the second, says:
"The MX-5 must always be lightweight sports. The car has got bigger and heavier over the past decade, but it's now time to reverse the process and get back to basics."
Those words are pure symphony to the ears of Miata owners around the world. As for what Mazda is planning for the next-gen MX-5, consider us on the edge of our seat.



Photos copyright ©2010 Chris Paukert / AOL

[Source: Autocar]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 52 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      It's easier than you make it out to be, Mazda. Just start by getting rid of the ludicrously large rims on the car. These are huge and heavy and require huge and heavy tires. They also lead to the clown car wheel arches and making the car taller so that the wheels don't poke up through the top of the fenders!

      On top of all this, they just move the car higher off the ground, which doesn't help the sportiness.

      You could lop 200 lbs off the Miata just by reversing course on the progression of wheel sizes from 14" to 17" that it underwent. Even more if you reversed the changes to the suspension and such that went with it.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Only in Europe.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Modern cars have to meet new pedestrian safety regulations which necessitate higher bumper/hood lines, which raises the beltline and everything else (larger wheels so the car doesn't look like a jacked-up 4x4, etc.).
      • 4 Years Ago
      Heh. More Lotus than Lotus...
      HotRodzNKustoms
      • 4 Years Ago
      The more I hear about the new Miata the more I fear I may end up parking a ND next to my NA.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I hope they also remember one of the Miata's other favorite traits- low MSRP
      • 4 Years Ago
      Glad to hear someone is interested in making lighter cars.

      Now the feds need to back off their constant push, making cars heavier.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I hope they come up with a design close to the Ibuki concept and come out with a really good engine. They should put off the rotary engine for the time being.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Lightweight is awesome, just don't turn it into an anorexic chick car.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Fantastic.

      Now, all they need to confirm is Rotary Power, and we'll be all set!
        • 4 Years Ago
        I couldn't agree more. Rotary power makes so much sense fo the Miata, I can't believe it hasn't been done. At least make a Mazdaspeed version with rotary power.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @rudyherfurth: The RX-8 has been successful well beyond Mazda's projections. They are very happy with it's sales. Do your research.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Does somebody actually *not* want a lightweight MX-5 powered by one of the lightest and most compact engines available? Really?

        Out of the entire Mazda lineup, the lightweight Miata is the best match for a rotary engine: low torque requirements, with a premium on light weight and small size. Why anybody wouldn't want that combination, I cannot imagine. Perhaps someone can clarify.
        • 4 Years Ago
        ohh god... no wankel engine please... i'd rather not have to pay a specialist mechanic for repairs which would cost 2x what mazdas other engines would cost to fix
        • 4 Years Ago
        yess... the expense... lack of torque... horrendous fuel economy.

        no... no.. no. it'll be fine with their current crop of NA and FI fours, especially if they keep the balance right.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I am ecstatic about a new MX-5, but the thought of them putting a rotary in it makes me throw up a little. What a horrible engine to have such a following of rotards that can't even do simple math. For rotards ANY extra weight is a bad thing, regardless of power, reliability, fuel economy, or emissions. Us with a fully functioning brain realize that gaining 50lb here or there in exchange for greatly increased figures in all of those areas is worth it.

        Rotards, if weight is the ONLY thing that a rotary has going for it, why does it still weight so much? You should all put 5hp Briggs&Stratton engines in your RX-7s, because they are lighter and that's all that matters. Better yet, take the engine completely out, maximum weight savings and maximum performance!
        • 4 Years Ago
        I sure hope not, or it will be as 'successful' as the RX-8, and it wouldn't be called a MX-5, rather a RX-5.

        Mazda should finally create a 'MX-8' with a 2.3L turbo from the MazdaSpeed3, let the consumer decide if a rotary has a place in the line-up, even have the 2.3L turbo as an option. I will be the first to trade for the 2.3L turbo, giving up my 2010 Genesis Coupe 2.0T mark my word on that.

        With the current RX-8, you pay more for the Mazda over a close competitor the 370Z, and you get close to 100 less hp, don't get me started on the poor powerband due to the lack of torque, and certainly a better handling car but it's incredibly hard to justify at that price point. Not to mention the poor resale value, and if you hope to buy used, you pray the previous owner babied the engine to death.

        No thanks!
        • 4 Years Ago
        I certainly don't want a rotary in the MX-5, either! I like the free-revving power, but I dislike the lack of torque and the fuel thirst. I'm honestly a fan of neither two-seaters nor roadsters, but the current Miata makes so much sense, I'm tempted. I'd have an RX-8 if not for that engine.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Rotaries go in RX cars.

        This isn't the 60s/early 70s anymore.

        (Though ok ok there was the Cosmo, but that was like uber-expensive executive coupe, just an intriguing outlier)
      • 4 Years Ago
      Aww look, it's smiling!

      http://www.freewebs.com/smiley_lorenzo/Pikachu.JPG

      Seriously though, the MX-5 is a great car. I'd love to see them go back to a more simple design for the next generation though, and (hopefully) reduce as much weight as possible, and size.

      In my opinion, the original Miata was the quintessential drivers car.
      • 4 Years Ago
      unimpressive. it should be less than half the weight and electric. this is 2010. not 1990
        • 4 Years Ago
        I hope this is a sad attempt at trolling.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Lee, try a complete sentence
        • 4 Years Ago
        Batteries do not work that way.
        • 4 Years Ago
        go buy a golf cart.
        • 4 Years Ago
        remember my name when in the future you will realize I was right.
        • 4 Years Ago
        that's ok as long as you remember my name.
      • 4 Years Ago
      My wish list includes a fastback hardtop.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I would like to see the rotary as a possibility. I drove a '91 for seven years (6.0') and its not as though that car had any torque to speak of. No matter, it was still the most enjoyable car I've ever owned, and there will be another one in my garage as soon as the kids are out of school. I've driven rotaries and their light weight and high-revving nature does seem to be a natural for the Miata. But a rotary works best when the car is designed around it to take advantage of the packaging, and I can't imagine Mazda risking their legend as a rotary only offering, so it will likely remain my little fantasy.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "The MX-5 must always be lightweight sports. The car has got bigger and heavier over the past decade, but it's now time to reverse the process and get back to basics."

      Wow. How often do you hear that from a modern automaker?
      Tip of the hat to Mazda.

      ( now deliver on your promises, because you've been making a lot of them!! )
        • 4 Years Ago
        Kitko:
        Including Mazda so far.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I think Honda also said that for the next gen Civic. They had a car designed, but scrapped it and the new Civic is the first generation that is actually lighter than the one it succeeds.

        Although, the spy shots are not so promising...
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ spin,

        All say, not many do.
    • Load More Comments
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