Insider Reveals Details About Next-Gen MX-5 And New RX-9

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Mazda’s MX-5 (Miata) recently underwent a facelift to keep it fresh until the arrival of the next-gen model in 2012

Mazda’s MX-5 (Miata) recently underwent a facelift to keep it fresh until the arrival of the next-gen model in 2012

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The launch of the next-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata has reportedly been pushed back as far as 2012 because of a number of major changes in store for the car. Not only is Mazda developing a new generation of lightweight platforms and fuel-efficient powertrains, but a new coupe version is also expected to join the ranks. The story doesn’t end there as Mazda’s program manager for the new model has revealed that a new range of alternative powertrains could be available, as well as several other fuel-saving measures.

Mazda’s global design chief Lauren Van den Acker has previously mentioned that the next MX-5 will be a major leap in terms of styling and dynamics over the current model, and its chief developer Takao Kijima has also stated that the new model will be smaller and at least 10% lighter than the current car, which means a kerb weight around the 1,000kg mark. He also revealed the car would pick up an electronic power steering to help conserve more fuel.

An inside source has now revealed to GoAuto that the next MX-5 is being developed on a new platform to be shared with a second 2+2 seater coupe, which has been branded as the spiritual successor to the RX-7. Due in three years, the car will be called the RX-9 and will feature Mazda’s latest generation 16X twin rotor Renesis rotary engine matched to a dual-clutch transmission.

As for the MX-5, the source revealed the car would come with a range of light and compact 1.4 and 1.6L engines with direct-injection and turbocharging technologies. Other goodies will include an optional dual-clutch transmission as well as a revised suspension set-up that does away with the bulky double wishbone front end on today’s car.

The car’s styling and proportions, according to the source, will be closer in size to the original 1989 model. However, interior space and safety will be better than the current car due to improved engineering and clever packaging. Finally, both a folding hard-top roof and a conventional fabric soft-top are expected.

While the new model isn’t expected for several years, the MX-5 recently underwent a mild refresh to keep it competitive in the affordable convertible market.


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Comments (19)
  1. The Miata has always been a bit of an underpowered girl's car, so any attempt to make it more fuel efficient could make it completely unpalpable to men anywhere...

  2. Gus, have you ever driven the MX-5? It is far from underpowered, it is lightweight, so does not need more power, it handles great and is not to bad looking and it is at a great price.

  3. I have driven the MX-5, and on anything but the tightest turns it is severely underpowered. 0-60 is over 8 seconds, and that doesn't cut it for "sports" cars anymore...

    Driving one makes you look like you borrowed your girlfriend's car. It's one step up from a VW Beetle in that regard...

  4. See here:

  5. Gus, I worked at a Mazda dealership, every MX-5 owner I know loved it and never complained about it being underpower, so it is fine.

  6. yeah as far as the segment is concerned.. it's got a great power to weight ratio... it's got 165 hp at like 1100kg, where as the solstice has 180 hp at 1300kg..

    the thing is.. it's only a 2L, where the solstice is a 2.4L.. as far as the MZR engine is concerned, it doesnt get much low end torque the way it's tuned in the MX5.. it's the same engine you find in the base mazda3 and in the ford focus. but even the 3 gives you the option for the 2.3L (which will now be a 2.5L).

    If they can make it lighter, use the 2.5L engine, offer a 2L ecoboost, and FOR GOD SAKES make it more agressive looking, then you'll have a great car. as it is, if i were buying in this segment it would be the Redline SKY or bust. I'm not going to take a 2seater roadster with less than 200 BHP/tonne, and i sure as hell wont take one so girly looking.

    and gus, i'm going to help you out so you dont have to beat around the bush any more. it's been statistically proven that the Miata/MX5 is the gayest car in america.. beating out the beetle. it's fact. don't make me go look for the article.

  7. Complaining about the Miata being slow is a mute point. The 1st and second gen Miatas take extremely well to boost. Buy yourself a first gen 1.8l Miata, throw on a Flyin' Miata FMII turbo kit, upgrade the clutch to handle the power, and voile, you've got a car that runs 12s all day long. I don't care who you are or how jaded you are, a 12 second 1/4 mile is not slow. Maybe not earth-shatteringly fast, but more than enough for some fun. Or do an LS1 swap and have an 11 second car with no engine mods whatsoever.

    Plus, the fact that they're "gay" would make it even more satisfying when you blow away that Mustang or what have you.

  8. Oh ya, and I like the sound of the words "significantly lighter". No other two words could get me so excited about a car. Lightweight=fun and fast.

  9. NoName, I'm sure they loved their cars. I'm sure it's a great car if you are satisfied with that sort of car. The handling IS excellent, my personal taste is for a little more mass and power, that's all.

    Thanks, Chris, I wasn't going to say it myself.

    Layne, I love lighter, see my review of the Tesla.
    And, if the fact that your highly modified feminine car can "blow away" a stock Mustang or what have you makes you "highly satisfied", then more power to you. Bring towels.

  10. 'gayest" car in America would actually be a Saab. As 50% of the men that buy them are gay (Saab Marketing dept) second beilieve it or not is a Subaru primarilly because they were the first auto manufacturer to advertise in gay media/press, so guess what demographic buys them.

    Assuming a car is gay or looks gay is very assumptive and far from factual.

    As for the Miata I owned one of the very early ones and had if for eight years and 240,000 miles with numerous track days and auto cross events under its belt. A Mustang would not be able to do any of that as such tasks require brakes and the abiltiy to corner also putting 240,000 hard miles on a Mustang in nigh impossible. My Miata only ever took brake pads and rotors.

    Also Mustangs are not sports cars they are muscle cars and muscle dont do braking or corners so we are not exactly talking apples to apples.

    Finally, I tend to notice that Mustangs are primarilly driven by strippers and hair dressers so not only is it a Muscle car its also a "chicks" car too!

    So would it be safe to say Gus that the reason you drive an automatic Mustang is so that you can check out your perm in the mirror without having to shift gears?

  11. Light, I like, that will make it faster. A coupe, I like that idea also. Mazda, just keep the dimensions the same and don't succumb to the temptation to bloat it up like BMW did the Z

  12. I wish I had a perm, but I don't have enough hair left...
    Maybe I drive it because I really want a Camaro, a hairy chest and a medallion... :)

    No, I'm not trying to compare the two, the Miata is more reliable and handles much better, but is also much lighter and has hardly any space for anything at all. I regularly (4-5 times a year) drive up the coast with my family (wife and daughter) with all of our luggage and stroller for the weekend in, you guessed it, San Francisco. For that, I guess you could get a trailer for the Miata and park the kid on the trunklid... Like I said, no comparison, just preferences (I'm talking cars, by the way)...

  13. Gus- Very funny. As for reason I no longer have the Miata- I got married and had kids!!!!

  14. i love this car.

  15. A 3 or 4 cylinder turbo diesel with about 200 hp and 350 ft lbs of torque and great milage would be awesome

  16. It's more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow.
    The Miata is a car you can drive near 100% of its capabilities in a lot of places without running too far outside of law. In my Miata I've never seen a car that could keep up with me on a tight cloverleaf; well one time a GTI did catch me but only because I didn't realize he was chasing me down before I was halfway through it. Faster cars just require you to drive them well under their capabilities and where is the fun in that? A friend with a Corvette braged that it could top 60 MPH in 2nd gear before redlining. Ok, where do you do from there? There are few places where you can open up a car like that.
    Men that think Miatas are for girls or gays are just insecure about their own manhood; often with good reason.

  17. Simple. MX5 is a great car.

  18. More power and a turbocharger would be nice, i personally love the balance of the MX-5, but i am sure most owners wouldn't mind more power. And on a side note, Mazda needs to stop making those stupid flappy paddle gearboxes, any purist is going to want a proper stick shift.

  19. Gus - I can understand that American men have this insecurity of their masculinity and latent homosexuality, and constantly try to remedy it with muscle cars etc. If you are one of those, buy a muscle car. If you're a real man who can't be bothered with image problem, buy a car with great handling and fun.

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