Get ready. This could be the next Mazda MX-5!
Mazda has just teased an as-yet unnamed car and further hinted that it will be developed into what could be the next-generation or, at least, a spiritual sibling to the MX-5.
The immediate reaction to seeing this pebble-shaped two-door is to note its fixed hard top roof, which could suggest it could sit alongside the Japanese automaker’s much loved roadster instead of replacing it.
It’s called the Vision Study, which is perhaps one of their least interesting sounding concept cars. However, pulling our interest back in is the fact that it even has Lamborghini-style scissor doors and shape that speaks to ‘mid-engine’ configuration.
That is, of course, still a big if as Mazda themselves said the projected timeline for a possible introduction will be around or beyond 2030, which is when they plan to have shifted their entire portfolio to one that’s electrified, lifting its target to between 25-40% of global sales to comprise of battery electric vehicles like its MX-30, which was launched in Malaysia in late June 2022.
A lengthier update video (presented by company President and CEO Akira Marumoto) that covered the brand’s future plans, policies, and sustainability efforts going forward ended with a flashier summary that showed the Vision Study.
The car only made very brief appearances but was couched in between footage of current and past-generation MX-5s, hence the implied connection. Mazda also made many mentions of “human emotion” and driving enjoyment, surely made to emphasise the high priority of sporty, fun motoring experiences as they transition further into an electrified future.
Though assumed, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the next-generation MX-5 will be driven by electric motors exclusively. A quick blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment in the presentation showed the car’s underlying structure, which doesn’t exactly match up with an EV platform.
Perhaps we’re looking at sports coupe that will offer buyers both combustion and battery electric powertrains much like what Maserati are doing with the GranTurismo and GranCabrio.
As of 2022, the newest 4th-generation evolution of Mazda’s iconic roadster – the ND – has been in production for 7 years, making it about old enough to step aside for a fresher-faced successor.
That said, Mazda has previously said that longer product cycles will be favoured.