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Next Mazda MX-5 Miata Confirmed With Electrification

Ichiro Hirose, the research & development boss at Mazda, let it slip approximately two years ago that some kind of electrification will be applied to the MX-5 Miata. Design chief Ikuo Maeda mirrors his point, and given the incoming Euro 7 emission standards, the writing is on the wall for the roadster that sold more than a million units to date.
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Under the automaker’s new electrification plan, Mazda intends to cut back on emissions by 2030 in every respect. About 25 percent of the lineup is expected with all-electric propulsion, while the remaining 75 percent will combine internal combustion with hybrid or plug-in hybrid assistance. According to Japanese outlet Kuruma News, the MX-5 Miata is up for electrification too.

A U.S. spokesperson told The Drive that Mazda “will work hard to make [the electrified MX-5 Miata] a lightweight, affordable, open two-seater sports car in order to meet the needs of customers,” and that seals the deal.

For some reason or another, the cited publication refers to the next-generation roadster as the NG, and there’s a little problem with that. More to the point, the current generation is called ND, while previous generations range from NC to the original NA. If the current nomenclature soldiers on, then Mazda will refer to the upcoming models as the NE, NF, and so forth.

Considering that Mazda lags behind other automakers in terms of BEV technology, the most obvious powertrain for the MX-5 Miata NE would be a mild-hybrid system or a proper hybrid. As for plug-in hybridization, the battery pack is considerably larger than a hybrid powertrain-specific battery, translating into an unwanted weight that would spoil the car’s handling.

Mazda is also looking into synthetic fuels that would help the automaker’s internal combustion engines in the not-so-distant future, but for the time being, that’s wishful thinking. Synthetic fuels still have a long way to go, and there’s no guarantee that someone, somewhere, will create a carbon-neutral fuel capable of replacing the gasoline and diesel that we use today.

 
 
 
 
 

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