The next-generation of Mazda’s venerable MX-5 roadster
is due in 2014, and word is that the car will go back to basics in terms of its focus.
Like the original Miata, it will be smaller, lighter
and will feature razor-sharp handling; unlike the original, however, the car will come with a turbocharged engine under its hood.
Before you begin to conjure up images of the second-generation Mazdaspeed Miata
, remember that turbocharging is the new replacement for displacement.
Expect the new Miata to come with an engine smaller in size than the current 2.0-liter four-cylinder, but comparable in output to the current engine’s 167 horsepower. It will rely on Mazda's suite of SkyActiv technologies
to boost both performance and fuel economy.
As Britain’s Whatcar?
reports, Mazda is shooting for an ambitious target weight of 1,000 kilograms, or 2,200 pounds. They expect the 2014 Mazda MX-5 will be more of a driver’s car, with less emphasis on comfort than with the present, third generation car
That said, a significant number of MX-5 buyers are attracted to the car’s “cute factor,” and never come close to probing the limits of the car’s handling. Building a hard-core “driver’s MX-5” would alienate this segment of the population, who expect amenities such as a power retractible hard top, cruise control and heated leather seats.
It’s possible, then, that Mazda could build the next MX-5 in several different versions, including both a mainstream luxury model and a more sport-oriented variant, possibly with more power. Expect the next MX-5 to wear the “Soul of Motion” Kodo design theme, which will do away with the “grinning guppy” front end of the current car.