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Could the next Mazda MX-5 be electric?

Could the next Mazda MX-5 be electric?

The current Mazda MX-5 has been around a little while now and Mazda are inevitably looking to the future for inspiration for the next version. Could that next model be electric? Mazda have hinted that it might.

The Mazda MX-5 is one of the most popular roadsters in the world. Small, light, nimble and great fun, it has won the hearts and minds of car lovers everywhere. Any change to the current formula is risky and something the automaker has to take great care over. But change is inevitable and with the world slowly becoming more aware of climate change, the combustion engine’s days are numbered.

MX-5 EV

The Mazda MX-5 uses a small engine with relatively low emissions but those engines still produce emissions even if they are much less than other cars. That and the changing buying habits of consumers is causing Mazda to think carefully about the direction they take the MX-5 in over the next generation.

While Mazda may be mooting electrifying the drivetrain, the light weight and small dimensions will definitely remain.

In an interview with Autocar, Mazda R&D chief Ichiro Hirose said “The lightweighting and compact size are essential elements of MX-5, so even if we apply electrification, we have to make sure it really helps to achieve the lightweighting of the vehicle.”

Mazda design chief Ikuo Maeda said “I don’t have the answer now but we need to make a vehicle that people can own without worrying that they are not being eco-friendly.”

It is that last comment that has sparked speculation that the MX-5 may go electric. Our tastes are changing, our requirements are gradually becoming more about sustainability than pure performance. While a good thing, this change in habits provide a significant challenge to automakers who have depended on our desire for new cars over saving the planet.

That balance is shifting rapidly so automakers are going to have to respond to remain relevant. Hence the drive for electrification and clean fuels across the board.

Cars are slowly proving that going green does not mean going boring. Tesla, Porsche, Audi and others are all proving that performance cars using electric engines can still be fantastic fun and still give that same thrill a roaring V8 can give, just without the soundtrack and the pollution.

The current MX-5 is a superb little car. With a frugal engine, fantastic performance, low emissions for its class and excellent handling and build quality, it has to be one of the first cars you think of if you’re in the market for a roadster.

Visit Mazda of Hamilton, 1977 Upper James Street Hamilton, ON L9B 1K8 if you would like to experience an Mazda MX-5 first hand.

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