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