RAC Cars News


Next Mazda MX-5 Edgy and Youthful

By raccars Published

Mazda has been hinting that its design for the next generation Mazda MX-5, due in 2015, will show quite a bit of spirit. In fact the words 'edgy' and 'youthful' were mentioned, along with the suggestion that the car will be more 'masculine' than before.

Mazda believes these changes will broaden the MX-5's appeal, particularly the younger, male market, which traditionally has not been a big consumer of the funky little roadster. The company's head designer has also confirmed that the new Mazda MX-5 won't follow the company's current 'Kodo' design language in the style of the 6, the 3 or the new Hazumi concept, but will present a unique, MX-5 face. It will be recognisable as an MX-5 but will stand alone in the company's model range.

The company could have chosen a revolutionary route with the fourth generation but has been keen to maintain its customer base's connection with earlier models, so has chosen a more circumspect philosophy.

Apparently, the aim was to achieve a sub-1,000kg kerb weight with the mechanical updates but this has presented a struggle. Fitting a lighter set of wheels, for example, was very hard to accomplish when it turned out that Mazda was already using the lightest wheels on the market.

The future of the MX-5 has been called into question recently as the car is being developed as part of a joint project with Alfa Romeo, with the object of reviving its Spider roadster. However, corporate disagreements within the Italian firm have led to speculation that the Spider project could still go ahead but under a Fiat, Abarth or even Chrysler badge. More news will apparently be forthcoming at a press conference scheduled for 6th May.

Meanwhile, Mazda's stand at the Geneva Motor Show revealed the new Hazumi concept, a preview for the new 2 model. The Hazumi is expected to reach the market by the end of next year, where it will take on the Ford Fiesta. Design wise it follows the lead set by the 6 and 3 models added to a fairly sporty silhouette, including a low ride height and large wheels. It's an energetic and attractive looking car but little is known about performance statistics. Mazda has confirmed the production of a new 1.5 litre SkyActiv diesel engine, that could well be used for the Hazumi. Images of the car were leaked online ahead of its public debut to largely positive reactions.

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