Conceptual Mazda MX-5 or something else?
Mazda has pledged to maintain the MX-5 on a rear-wheel-drive architecture with a combustion engine, but to meet tighter emissions rules, some sort of electrification may be required. Basically, that is all we currently know about the fifth-generation MX-5. That plus the fact that it won’t be arriving soon because the ND will last for a few more years.
Joachim Kunz, head of product development and engineering at Mazda Europe, claimed in an interview with Autocar that “having one generation [ND] for 10 years is not a problem for us.” However, earlier this week, the Zoom-Zoom business may have offered a sneak peek at the NE (even if that was actually the codename for the Fiat/Abarth 124 Spider). It made an appearance in a protracted official film discussing the decision to improve its EV game.
Currently referred to as a “Vision Study Model,” some have speculated that it represents an idea for the next-generation MX-5 or possibly an RX or MX-3 rebirth. According to a Mazda representative, “it is meant to show the brand’s dedication to fun cars.”
We all recall the stunning RX-Vision from October 2015 and the Vision Coupe from 2017. This is not the first Mazda to bear the Vision moniker. Unfortunately, neither survived to see the day of production. Hopefully, the most recent idea will be applicable in real life. For what it’s worth, a number of MX-5s from earlier generations were shown before the car in the video.
Kunz said in a June interview with Autocar that the MX-5 will always be treated differently because it is seen as a distinct model from conventional vehicles. He add:
“At the moment, it looks like we will have this car forever, with this size and concept and combustion engine. Of course, someday, we will have to electrify it, but we want to keep this pure concept.”
Purists may have some optimism that the internal combustion engine will survive for at least one more generation of the cherished roadster according to this comment. The Vision Study seems to be an electric vehicle, and Mazda has stated that the MX-5 will continue to use a gasoline engine for the time being, so perhaps the svelte coupe was unrelated to the MX-5.
We only know that Mazda is making (small) moves toward electrification while keeping enjoyable automobiles on the menu.