Next Generation Electric Miata, Still the Answer?

Next Generation Electric Miata

As per Autocar’s interview with R&D boss Ichiro Hirose and brand chief Ikuo Maeda, the guys at Mazda in charge of the development of the next generation MX-5 are debating whether to electrify the roadster, or simply keep it true to its roots.
Ichiro Hirose said: “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.”

The question is, will people hesitate to pick up an electric Miata du to the low range, and in case Mazda is considering a big battery, will that ruin the ride due to the extra weight and in the meantime considerably increase the price of the car?
Ikuo Maeda added: “The preference of people who enjoy driving sports cars might be changing, so we need to think about what direction society is going,” he said. “We want to look at the best powertrain to keep the vehicle lightweight, but because of the diversifying requirements and preference, we need to explore various options.“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.”

Mazda MX-30 Electric CarMazda plans to only have electric and electrified models by 2030 and actually is working on a joint venture with Toyota to explore EVs, the MX-30 looks like a nice effort, but is a little anemic in the specs department compared to similarly priced cars. It will be available in Europe in 2020. Other markets will be decided on later, and as per Jameson Dow from Electrek, “they may not want to put effort into electrifying a low-volume car when there are other better-selling models that might help them offset the R&D of a new powertrain. But considering the Miata has functioned as somewhat of a “halo car” for the entire company for so long, why not just do it?

“The weight can be distributed intelligently, low in the car, so it doesn’t have too bad of an effect on handling. Performance EVs can keep up with and beat similarly sized gas-powered consumer models in acceleration and in short track or autocross situations. It just so happens that this is exactly where the Miata does best, and is most popular.”

“Show people that one of the world’s best, most-beloved sports cars can go electric, and be made even more fun because of it. Keep that Mazda reputation for fun alive. Anyone who drives an electric Miata will love it, I’m sure of it.”

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