Looks Like The Mazda Miata Will Retain “Pure” Burning Power
Last summer, Mazda expressly confirmed that it was actively considering the electrification of the Mazda Miata roadster, saying it would “work hard to turn it into a lightweight, affordable and open two-seater sports car to meet customer needs.” . It looks like the hard work will pay off towards the end of the decade, as more recent comments from Mazda’s head of European product development indicate that the MX-5 will only stick to combustion engines as long as it will be able to push back more and more strict regulations.
In June, Mazda announced that 25% of its model lineup would be fully electric, with the remaining 75% expected to be plug-in hybrids or electrified vehicles by 2030. This naturally raised questions about the fate of the Miata, which has remained laser-focused on being compact and lightweight for four generations so far, and exists as a kind of antithesis to the weight and packaging challenges that come with an EV. Mazda has confirmed that a next-generation Miata will arrive in some form, but now it seems any electrification effort is a long way off.
Talk to CoachJoachim Kunz, Head of European Product Development at Mazdaindicated that the rush to electrify the Mazda lineup could pass over the MX-5 Miata, for now: “It is the icon of our brand and it is always treated in a very special way”, Kunz said. Coach. “At the moment it looks like we will have this car forever, with this size, this concept and this combustion engine. Of course, one day we will have to electrify it, but we want to keep this concept pure.
Coach says the next-generation Miata won’t switch to the automaker’s new small-vehicle architecture and will retain a rear-wheel-drive layout. Kunz also mentioned “having a generation for 10 years”, so we may not see the next-gen roadster until around 2024, giving the current model a few more years of gas-powered fun as well.
So what exactly has Mazda got planned? It’s possible we’ll see a heavily reworked update to the current Miata with burn-only power in 2024. If we give it a 10-year gen as Kunz mentioned (which, admittedly, is in line with cycles Miata’s previous lifetimes), that could mean a mid-cycle refresh around 2029 which would then likely introduce a hybrid powertrain in order to meet the company’s stated electrification goals for 2030. At least we hope that that’s Mazda’s plan.