Mazda answers our prayers - next MX5 to go superlight



It looks like Mazda is intent on going back to the future with the next generation of MX5. Word on the automotive rumour mill is that the manufacturer is shooting for a kerbweight of just 800kg.

To put that into context, the current MX5 tips the scales at an already slender 1075kg, and a stripped-out special like a Caterham Seven weighs around 500kg.

Splitting the difference is very likely to be unachievable, but that's the ambitious target Mazda has set as part of its new SkyActiv engineering campaign, which will see all of its mainstream models drop weight in an effort to save fuel and improve performance.

An insider told Autocar magazine that the new model is intended to return the MX5 to the svelte original concept that heralded the most successful roadster in history.

The car will be powered by a compact, turbocharged four-cylinder engine, possibly as small as a 1.5-litre. It's a safe bet that the downsizing will occur elsewhere, too.

Any serious reduction in weight will mean the car is likely to be smaller than the current MX5 (probably returning it closer to its original dimensions) and that should mean smaller, lighter components.

While the source admitted that the featherweight objective might be unachievable, Mazda are apparently serious enough to be considering jettisoning things like the glovebox and owner's manual.

With a new design language already previewed by the Shinari concept also on the cards, it looks like the Japanese firm is at last building something special again.
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