Mazda still wants its internal combustion Miata

Is there a future for the MX-5 miata? The Mazda car brand is convinced of this. The European engineering manager called the internal combustion roadster Mazda’s “baby” and said: “we want to keep this concept pure”.

The Miata is Mazda’s ‘brand icon’

The original “NA” generation of the Mazda Miata was originally the baby of journalist and engineer Bob Hall. He was a fan of the endangered British roadster and designed a replacement for his employers at Mazda.

Mazda MX-5 Miata | Mazda

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The Mazda car brand was able to make the front-engine RWD convertible both affordable and reliable. Mazda’s original “NA” generation MX-5 Miata caused an instant sensation.

The Miata is so popular for track days that the National Auto Sports Association created an entire class for it: Spec Miata. It is as emblematic of an art of living as the Jeep Wrangler or the Harley Davidson. Additionally, the MX-5 Miata has become an icon of Mazda’s sporting philosophy.

The modern Miata is the “baby” of the Mazda car brand

Miata’s modern reputation for making sporty, affordable, and reliable vehicles hinges on the success of the Miata. It’s no surprise that Joachim Kunz, Mazda Europe’s product development and engineering manager, said the Miata “is the baby of headquarters” in Japan.

Four Mazda Miata convertibles parked on top of a mountain.

Generation NA Mazda MX-5 Miatas | Mazda

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The Mazda automotive brand stuck to the formula that made the original Miata so successful. While most vehicles get bigger and heavier with every redesign, the Miata actually lost weight and gained power. The modern Miata continues to win awards, like MotorBiscuit’s Car of the Year.

What’s next for the iconic Miata? In a recent interview with CoachKunz previewed the future of the Miata:

“It’s the icon of our brand and it’s always treated in a very special way… At the moment it looks like we’ll have this car forever, with this size, this concept and this combustion engine.”

Joachim Kunz, Head of Product Development and Engineering, Mazda Europe

Will Mazda build an electric Miata?

Mazda wants to keep the “pure concept” of an internal combustion Miata. But in many markets, Mazda may not be allowed to sell a gas-powered car forever. With the recognition of the Miata name, it seems obvious that we will see an electric version eventually.

A parking lot full of various MX-5 internal combustion Miatas from roadster history.

Mazda MX-5 Miata | Mazda

Kunz admitted: “Of course one day we will have to electrify it, but we want to keep this concept pure.” So the next generation or Miata “NE” will almost certainly retain a gasoline engine while the eventual Miata “NF” could be electric.

What does this “pure concept” look like without a gasoline engine? A front-engine RWD EV roadster with an available manual transmission. And before you call this concept crazy, know that Jeep’s Wrangler Magneto concept harnesses a powerful axial-flux electric motor that spins up to 5,250 rpm and a six-speed manual transmission.

When will we see the next Miata? Well, the Mazda car brand last released a redesigned Miata in 2014. Kunz said “having a generation for 10 years is not a problem for us”, so it could be 2024 before Mazda does. launches the “NE” Miata. This would align the release of an “NF” electric Miata with the first proposed combustion bans: 2035.

Find out if future generations will be allowed to restore combustion cars or learn all about the Miata in the video below:

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Kevin A. Perras