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To go with the supposed 1.3L turbocharged powerplant the next-generation MX-5 will be getting, Mazda‘s MX-5 development boss Hirotaka Kanazawa also revealed that the 2014 MX-5 will go to a back-to-basics approach towards being a fun sportscar, just like the 1989 original model.
“We will return to the original. It will be lightweight and the cost will be lightweight too. It will be easy to handle and fun to drive,” he said in an interview with What Car?
The next-generation convertible will also utilize Mazda’s new Skyactiv technologies and as we reported before, it’ll shed some weight – though now it’s a more believable figure of 2,200-lbs. Originally Mazda hoped to get it around 1,780-lbs but now it appears that the next-generation MX5 will be more in line of the original which weight 2,178-lbs.
Mazda is also exploring the idea of multiple models in order to appease all the MX-5 enthusiasts out there. Whether they want power or comfort, they’ll be able to make a choice rather than being alienated. Design boss Ikuo Maeda also hinted that the company’s new Kodo design language could find its way onto the MX-5′s design.
[Source: What Car?]
A while back, we reported that the next-generation Mazda MX-5 would be going on a major diet and could be powered by a 1.5-liter turbocharged powerplant rather than the 1.8L or 2.0L naturally aspirated motor used today. Now reports are coming in that the new MX-5 will likely sport a 1.3L turbocharged four-cylinder, with Mazda’s SkyActive technology.
Scheduled to be released sometime in 2014, the 1.3L turbocharged motor will feature variable cam phasing, lighter, low-friction reciprocating parts and possibly a new exhaust manifold to achieve better exhaust gas evacuation. Mazda is also looking to lighten the load in the transmission as well as reducing the friction in order to make each shift short and snappy on the manual. For the automatic fanatics, Mazda will probably offer a paddle-shift, torque-converter auto with a lock-up clutch.
The next generation MX-5 has been confirmed to be built on a new rear-wheel-drive SkyActive platform called the S-platform, and Mazda engineers continue to work towards their goal of making the sports car weigh in at a scant 1,765-lbs or so.
One of the most famous sports cars in the world (as voted on by the people’s wallets) is the Mazda Miata. The next one will no doubt continue with this sales success, and with this leaked patent drawing, we can get a glimpse of what we’ll be seeing on the twisties.
Any change from its simple 2-seater RWD template is subject to the ire of the masses, so this next Miata has been speculated on with the fervor only dedicated fans can muster. Will it sport a rotary? Will it have a turbocharger, standard? Will it weigh less than 1700 lbs? Will Mazda bring back headrest speakers? While some of those things aren’t clear, the patent drawing leaked by a Japanese publication—intercepted on their way to the Tokyo Patent Office—shows us the most accurate view of its front end yet.
Mazda is ditching the “Nagare” styling theme (read: silly grins) on the rest of its lineup and going retro—all the way back to 1989, when big-haired women blasted “Like A Prayer” in their “hairdresser’s cars.” It gets vaguely Kabuki-esque stretched headlights that frame a big oval intake, which isn’t too much of a stretch from past and current Miatas. Sadly, pop-up headlights are still sequestered (by various governments, anyway) in the realm of lawn darts and asbestos, and won’t be making a comeback.
The next Miata will bow out as a concept car next year, before Mazda plans to debut the production version at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. Expect plenty more fun, bizarre speculation (and plenty of loud opinions) for the next year and a half!
[Source: Motor Trend]
The RX-8′s days may be as limited as the Shinka, but the rotary engine isn’t. Mazda is still interested in furthering production of the Wankel, and they could have one ready by 2017 with Skyactiv technology.
During the gap, engineers will work on improving the rotary’s mileage and oil-eating capabilities, as well as improving reliability. The new rotary project had been scaled back during the recession, but senior officials are eager to continue developing it to fit with Mazda’s “zoom-zoom” image. It could go in the RX-7/RX-9 revival that’s been floating around for years, or it could even go in the MX-5 Miata. Either way, one thing’s for certain: they won’t give up on the triangle spinner.
Mileage is a big concern, but Mazda’s new Skyactiv system from its gasoline and diesel engines could make the jump over to the rotary. Skyactiv promises hybrid-like mileage from conventional powertrains, and some of its technology—direct injection, for starters—could easily be adapted. No more eating apex seals, hopefully.
[Source: The Detroit Bureau]
The barter system is alive and well, it seems, with the offer of a free goat (the animal kind, not the Pontiac kind). But it’s not what you think—on many different levels.
The company in question is Flyin’ Miata, which is well-known in the Miata world for their go-fast products. And if you buy a FMII Hydra turbo kit—good for a cool 265 rwhp—or spend at least $5,000 otherwise, the company will donate a goat to charity Heifer International, which supplies third-world nations with farm animals to ensure that communities there become self-sustaining.
For a small village, a goat can provide food, milk and fertilizer for crops. Goats can survive in extreme conditions and can be sold to provide educational resources, and can provide farmers with offspring to continue the cycle of escaping poverty. It’s not exactly lawn decoration for a Miata owner, though some of these animals are provided to rural families within the United States as well.
And as a fellow Miata owner, if you needed an excuse to hop up your car through the miracle of forced induction—now’s a good excuse. Go fast for charity!
[Source: Flyin' Miata]
At quick glance, this 1995 Mazda Miata plays the part well, and it wouldn’t surprise us one bit of the common non-automotive enthusiast would think it’s an actual BMW, rather than a cheesy replica. But really anyone that has a clue is probably laughing on the inside. The eBay auction is starting at $4,200 and currently has no bids (surprise, surprise).
We’re just hoping it’s the only Miata out there like this!
GALLERY: Mazda Miata With BMW Z3 Front End
Mazda‘s European division has given die-hard Miata fans something to celebrate about. The Karai Special Edition Miata MX-5 has been adorned with plenty aesthetic accessories, interior race-inspired upgrades and comes with a special Sinn timepiece. Unfortunately only 165 of the Karai Miatas will be produced and sold only in Germany with a price around $43,500.
Karai, which means “sharp” in Japanese, defines this Miata’s styling accessories that sets it apart from your run-of-the-mill Miata. The eye-catchy lime green shade is called “Metal Green Metallic” and is contrasted by a glossy black retractable top, glossy black mirrors and 17-inch wheels.
For the interior, the Karai Special Edition gets some race-inspired pieces from Recaro, with sport seats in a black leather trim and Alcantara, accented with white stitching. The leather steering wheel receives white stitching to match while other pieces of the interior has been refinished in glossy black to contrast.
GALLERY: Mazda Miata MX-5 Karai Special Edition
Back in 2000, Guinness World Records officially confirmed the Mazda MX-5 Miata as the world’s best selling sports car. At that time Mazda had just hit the half-million mark for its tiny, fun-to-drive roadster.
Mazda is now celebrating its approach to the one million mark with news that the car has officially topped 900,000 units. That 900,000th car is a soft-top, six-speed (how classic) and will be delivered to a customer in Germany.
“Since Mazda launched the original MX-5, it has undergone two complete product redesigns and a series of upgrades,” said Nobuhiro Yamamoto, MC program manager, MX-5. ”Its enduring success is due to the strong support it enjoys from fans around the world, and I will strive to keep the MX-5′s spirit alive while evolving it into a car that will be loved by even more people.”
With the third generation of the car currently on sale, Mazda is expected to deliver a fourth-gen model soon, returning to the car’s roots with rumors of a smaller engine and a significant reduction in weight.
With new cars getting heavier as the years go on, Mazda is bucking this trend for their next MX-5, aiming to cut the car’s weight from its current 2500 lbs to 2200 lbs, just slightly heavier than the original 1990 Miata’s weight.
Mazda executives felt that the current car is straying too far from the essence of the original Miata, and the weight reduction is part of a plan to completely overhaul the upcoming MX-5. Engines will also get smaller, with Mazda’s ultra-efficient SKY-G four cylinder motors appearing in 1.6L and 1.8L configurations, smaller than the current 2.0L MZR engine. Most significant is the addition of a dual-clutch gearbox alongside a 6-speed manual gearbox. The twin-clutch unit will help increase efficiency and performance while appealing to the MX-5′s slightly older demographic.
More controversially, Mazda’s Nagare styling is slated to make an appearance, despite an unpopular reception on various concept cars and the upcoming Mazda5 minivan.
We’ve heard of people swapping Mazda rotary engines into older Miatas, but if reports out of Japan are to be believed, the next MX-5, due out in 2012, will come standard with an all new, super efficient rotary engine – as well as a hybrid system.
7Tune is reporting that an article in the Japanese magazine Best Car outlines Mazda’s plans for a “rotary hybrid” MX-5, set to compete with the “Hybrid Sports” competitors from Honda and Toyota. After that, things start to get a little suspect, as 7Tune reports that
“According to the popular magazine, Mazda is pondering whether to offer their newly developed Sky-G Hybrid Rotary Engine in a 1.2 liter ( commonly known as the 12A ) or 1.3 liter ( commonly known as the 13B ) engine capacity for their venerable Roadster.”
Despite these claims, the SKY-G has previously been announced as a highly-efficient piston engine, while the 12A – and the 13B for that matter- hasn’t been build for a couple decades. Last December, the SKY-G seemed to be a sure bet for the MX-5, and the engine was confirmed off the record through Mazda sources, who stressed that the new car would be an ultra-lightweight affair, with a 1.3L SKY-G being an integral part of the package. To put a rotary into an MX-5 would be a dangerous blurring of Mazda’s two strongest brands, their RX sports cars (famous for their rotary engines) and the MX-5 (which follows the classic 2-seat, bare bones sports car format that has made it so successful).
On the other hand, Mazda recently announced a patent for a new type of integrated electric motor, mounted in the wheel hub. A compact system like this could actually work on a car like the MX-5, where packaging and a light weight are essential, bu only time will tell what powertrain Mazda decides to go with for their iconic sports car, but with over 1 million cars sold over 20 years, Mazda has a lot of customers that they can’t afford to alienate, and a hybrid system would be the antithesis of the no frills experience that made the MX-5 such a hit.