2009 Mazda MX-5 Miata – Click above for high-res image gallery

The future is looking bright for the next-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata. According to Inside Line, the head honchos at the Japanese automaker have instructed the company's engineers to strip a whopping 720 pounds from the vehicles already comparably light 2,480-pound curb weight. If successful, that would put the new comer into the feathery 1,760-pound range, which is 400 pounds less than the first-generation roadster. How do they plan to do it? Engineers are turning to high-strength steel for the vehicle's chassis and contemplating a smaller-displacement engine.

A turbocharged, direct-injection 1.4-liter four pot could work its way under the hood, though IL reports that the vehicle may also be considerably narrower than the current car. Other clever weight-saving moves include the deletion of the dashboard glove box and the replacement of the traditional paper owner's manual with an electronic copy on a USB stick.

Here's hoping you've got your laptop on you the next time you need to check your service intervals.

The report claims that the engineers at Mazda aren't entirely sure they can hit the weight target, but the vehicle will be much closer to the waif-like 2,178-lb 1989 Miata than the heftier 2011 model.

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