- Changing sports car driver preferences are evolving away from the internal combustion engine.
- Selecting the right layout and powertrain for an electric MX-5 could make or break the car.
- With the right power-to-weight ratio, an electric MX-5 could become the fastest ever.
- The expected “NE” body code would lend itself nicely to an electrified 5th generation Mazda MX-5.
Many automakers are studying the future of their low-volume performance cars and seriously considering converting them to a fully electric powertrain. The situation is apparently no different at Mazda where figuring out the best route for the 5th generation of the beloved MX-5 is already under serious consideration.
Two things come to mind immediately. The first is that Mazda is still firmly committed to the Mazda MX-5 roadster and second, as it will surely earn the “NE” generation code, it somehow seems destined to go electric.
In a conversation with Autocar, R&D boss 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.”
Given the global importance of Mazda’s flagship sports car, engineers and designers will without a doubt make the right decision and get it right. We think rear-axle-mounted electric motor fed by a battery pack located in part behind the front axle and in the central tunnel could work.