Mazda’s Next Generation Miata Aims to Be Lighter Than the ND
Text by Cameron Parsons // Photos courtesy of Mazda
As if a 2,300 lbs footprint doesn’t stand out against other vehicles today, a recent interview from autocar.co.uk with Program Manager Nobuhiro Yamamoto revealed that the next generation MX-5 will aim to be lightened even more. The first generation NA Miata came out of the factory weighing 2,100 lbs, and got significantly heavier with its following iterations. The third generation NC model pressed the scales at approximately 2,500 lbs which, although still lightweight, is nearly 20-percent heavier than the NA. Mazda fought against this trend of weight gains with the 2016 ND model, introducing a complete redesign that reduced the weight by approximately 200 lbs from the NC. The manufacturer aims to do this again with the next model, expected no earlier than 2021.
How will this be possible, especially after all the focus on weight reduction designs implemented in the ND? According to Autocar‘s interview with Yamamoto, carbon fiber is on the shortlist of potential solutions. The expense of utilizing carbon fiber in road-going vehicles is going down, making it a viable option for the next MX-5 to get even lighter. He also recalled the fact that a smaller engine will reduce weight further. This is a point of contention among many enthusiasts, since the MX-5 is already a relatively low-powered roadster. Some argue that additional horsepower would take away from the spirit of what the car is about. Others claim that more power can be achieved without adding significant weight, leaving little reason to restrict the MX-5 powertrain. What would you want to see in the next Miata?