Mazda has promised to keep the MX-5 on a rear-wheel-drive platform with a combustion engine, but some form of electrification may be needed to comply with stricter emissions regulations. That’s basically all we know about the fifth-generation Miata so far. Well, that and the fact that it won’t be happening anytime soon since the ND will be sticking around for a few years.
Talk with CoachHead of Product Development and Engineering for Mazda Europe, Joachim Kunz said: “Having a generation [ND] for 10 years is not a problem for us. “However, earlier this week the company Zoom-Zoom might have provided a first look at the NE (although technically it was codenamed the Fiat/Abarth 124 Spider). It appeared in a lengthy official video on a commitment to step up its EV game.
It’s known as the “vision study model” at the moment, with some people suggesting it serves as a next-gen concept MX-5 or even a revival RX or MX-3. Well, a Mazda spokesperson said Coach “it is intended to demonstrate the brand’s commitment to enjoyable cars.”
It’s not the first Mazda to wear the Vision badge, as we all remember the gorgeous RX-Vision from October 2015 and the Vision Coupe from 2017. Unfortunately, neither saw production day. Hopefully the latest concept will have a real-world match. For what it’s worth, the car appeared in the video just before a bunch of previous-generation MX-5s.
In June, Kunz suggested in an interview with Coach that the Miata will always receive special treatment since it is considered a separate model from mainstream cars. He added:
“At the moment it looks like we will have this car forever, with this size, this concept and this combustion engine. Of course, one day we will have to electrify it, but we want to keep this concept pure.
This statement gives purists hope that there is still life in the internal combustion engine for at least one more generation of the beloved roadster. With the Vision study apparently being an electric vehicle and Mazda saying the MX-5 will keep the gas engine for now, perhaps the sleek coupe wasn’t related to the Miata.
All we know is that fun cars are still on the agenda as Mazda takes (baby) step towards electrification.