Oh no – the next Mazda MX-5 might be electric

Some might not like this

The Mazda MX-5 is quite simply the best-selling roadster in the world. It was introduced in 1989 and it was an immediate success with over 1 million units sold in four generations.

The fourth and current generation (ND) was unveiled in 2015 and at some point in the not too distant, it is going to be replaced. The bad news, or good news depending on your point of view, is that Mazda is considering both hybrid or all-electric powertrains for the all-new MX-5.

The MX-5 has always been a lightweight, simple sportscar with just enough horsepower and a no-frills attitude and that could be the first problem because batteries are very heavy. Ichiro Hirose, head of research and development at Mazda, said that even if the company decided to use electrification, Mazda would "have to make sure it really helps keeping the weight as low as possible".

The current MX-5 is powered by a 2-litre inline-four making either 155 or 181 hp, or a 1.5 L making 129 hp. It might not sound like a lot but even the heaviest MX-5 weighs under 1,100 kg and that makes it fast, nippy and cheap to run.

I have nothing against electric cars. In fact, I've driven many EVs and enjoyed most of them and that's why I think that some things are better left unchanged. Mazda can electrify the 3 or the 6 or the CX SUVs. But the MX-5? I certainly hope not.

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Comments (99)


      1 year ago
  • I’m fine with there being an option for an electric version but just being electric thats where I have a problem

      1 year ago
  • I think electrification could be one of the worst moves Mazda could take with the MX-5, The Mazda MX-5 is known globally for being a cheap 4 cylinder sports car with two seats.

    The current electric cars we have today aren`t exactly cheap in price even when used, they aren`t lightweight either, Cars like the MX-5 are also used in mountain roads in which finding gasoline is easier than finding a electric socket.

    If it came to modernizing the MX-5 I think most enthusiasts would aim for either a different 4 cylinder engine, a hybrid version with special attention to the weight and balance of it (I would also add plug-in posibilities) after all squeezing less C02 out of a 1.5L engine isn`t really possible.

      1 year ago
    • Sorry, but I think that's a wrong definiton. It is known as a cheap sports car, but definitely not as a cheap 4-cylinder sports car. You could walk up to people at a motor show and ask them about what's under the hood: most of them would say it's a...

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        1 year ago

      1 year ago
  • If the MX-5 is supposed to be a lightweight, well-balanced sports car, electric power will add much more weight and handling will be much worse. Essentially, an electric MX-5 will be boring (beautiful 4 cylinder and amazing stick shift) and less fun to drive (weight impedes balance and handling). A purist driving car should not be made dull...

      1 year ago