Having debuted the current fourth or ND generation Mazda MX-5 seven years ago, a high ranking company official has confirmed an electric future for its iconic sports car by 2030.
Reiterating comments made by Hiroshima’s R&D Head Ichiro Hirose two years ago, R&D Managing Executive Officer, Takeji Kojima, told Kuruma News this past week that while the MX-5 will remain petrol powered, a switch to electrical propulsion will take place within the next nine years, albeit as an alternative instead of an outright replacement.
Reportedly, the electrified MX-5 will adopt either a 24-volt of 48-volt mild-hybrid system instead of a full electric powertrain in order to retain “the DNA of the [MX-5) as a lightweight sports car”.
“Considering the DNA of the [MX-5], which is a lightweight sports car, the possibility of EV conversion is quite low,” Kojima said, adding that Mazda is also looking into alternative fuel sources such as e-fuels as well as electricity.
“We will provide an internal combustion engine that uses bio-fuel such as e-fuel. Although 24-volt was adopted for the small product group in consideration of costs, etc., it is expected that the cost reduction of 48-volt will progress in the future, so it was suggested that the mild hybrid maybe a 48-volt (system)”.
At present, little is known about the next generation MX-5 that will reportedly wear the internal moniker NE, however, reports have suggested a possible date of reveal between next year and 2025, meaning a production run of at least ten years for the ND.