The Mazda MX-5 Miata is into its fourth generation, with the current ND generation having arrived for 2016.
Mazda has started plotting what comes next for the spritely sports car and given the push for stricter emissions regulations around the globe, electrification is not out of the question for the fifth-generation MX-5.
There's just one stipulation, Mazda R&D chief Ichiro Hirose told Autocar in an interview published last week, the car's lightweight ethos needs to remain.
“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,” he said.
Also speaking with Autocar, Mazda design chief Ikuo Maeda said it ísn't necessarily emissions regulations alone that has Mazda considering electrifying the MX-5. Rather, changing consumer trends also has a part.
“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,” he said.
The MX-5 nameplate turned 30 this year and Mazda also introduced an updated model boasting a more potent engine. In Mazda tradition, the fifth-generation “NE” should arrive close to the middle of the next decade.