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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    • 1 Second Ago
      Niko Khan
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think Mazda knows it's almost an impossible goal, and that's the point. Mazda usually sets impossible dreams and works towards them. Simple things like building the Mazda 2, stripping it down to individual parts right down to bolts and screws and shaving 1 gram off of every single part to lower weight. Or finding the lightest carpet fibers possible to use in the FD RX-7s interior. They were the company that would never get the rotary to work, would never win le mans, would never recover from bankruptcy etc Regardless of if they achieve it or not, it's always refreshing to see a Mazda post because they are a company that still pushes, prods, defies convention and ignores the critics every time they say it can't be done. I believe Sport Compact Car magazine once summed it up well. "Mazda is one of the only automotive manufacturers who puts pure engineering passion over financial sense. And we have no problem with that" Mazda probably has a major motorsport trophy to show for every time someone says they can't achieve something. Keep doing the do.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I can't remember how many times I've lost a race only to wish I didn't have that heavy owner's manual.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I know. I was once losing ground on a straight when I was racing some guying in a Ford GT. I then remembered that I still had the cigarette lighter plugged-in. I pulled it out, tossed it out the window, and flew past him.
      • 3 Years Ago
      To Mazda: You have my attention. Sincerely, EnzoHonda The Miata has always been a love of mine. Sure, it's about as manly as a musical, but it looks fun standing still. Add lightness, keep the price low, and it will continue to sell well. It's the spiritual successor to the classic British sports car (except the Mazda will start reliably). I'm very interested.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Dear Mazda, I agree with this guy. BimmerFerret I was a Miata "hater," and considered it a girl's car. Then I attended my first Auto X, and I sat inside one. Lots of room for such a small car, decent interior, and it owns face in stock form on the track!
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's always comforting to know that at least one car company has their priorities in proper order. Pity about those that used to do it right, and forgot how (yes, I'm talking about you BMW!).
      • 3 Years Ago
      With soon to be $5/gallon gas, EVERY car will be going on a diet in the quest for improved fuel economy.
      Smith Johny
      • 3 Years Ago
      Not gonna happen, but nice to see they are trying hard.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'll be impessed if they manage to make it 400 lbs less than the current model, much less the original, but I have to say that I admire Mazda's commitment to making a lighter, more driver-oriented car. Let's hope they pull it off!
      • 3 Years Ago
      That isn't a rumor, it is 100% nonsense. They will be lucky to knock off 300 lbs. 700lbs off is absurd unless they are building it out of Aluminum and Carbon fiber, which they aren't.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I hope they get close to the goal. Just the concept of a new car being lighter than the one it's replacing is reason to do a shot. Cheers!
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is great news - It undoubtedly means they'll eliminate the heavy and expensive Power Retractable Hardtop models as well.
      • 3 Years Ago
      This has kick ass written all over it. That's lighter than my '90 Miata!!! Giggity giggity GOO!!!! Mazda, you do that and I'll have two Miatas in my garage.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'll buy one in a heart beat if its under 2000 lb.
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