Mazda MX-5 may go hybrid
The Mazda MX-5 roadster series celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. The current generation is already four years old, so the company is looking for ways to bring it up to date with the latest trends.
According to Ichiro Hirose, R&D Director of the Japanese automaker, Mazda will not abandon the model anytime soon, but major changes are due because of the increasingly strict environmental legislation. Essentially, this means the car may switch to a hybrid powertrain in its next iteration.
He assured that MX-5 fans had nothing to worry about: the core advantages of the model – its steering ease, low weight and compact size – will all be preserved. Given that the current generation weighs as little as a metric ton (2,200 lbs), the hybrid will likely be heavier, but not by much. Using innovative materials in bodywork and chassis may compensate for that.
Note that no official statement exists on behalf of Mazda about turning the next MX-5 into a hybrid-only vehicle. The company may just as well find another way of making it compliant with the norms.
Editor Andrew Raspopov