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Mazda’s Doing What Every Petrol Head Wants – Preserving The MX-5 With Its NA Petrol Engine

Surprisingly out of all the manufacturers, it seems only Mazda has been supporting all petrol heads in a losing battle against the electrification of cars. Look at almost every car brand today and you’ll see them either downsizing the capacity of their engines and depriving it of one or more cylinders.  Otherwise, they just delete the engine from their inventory and add batteries to the same car.

What else do they do these days? Ah, they’re into crossbreeding actually. No, hybrid engines! While they’re better than complete electrification, the complexities involved in a hybrid system are immense when compared to a naturally aspirated, sincere petrol engine.

Tears of joy roll down our faces as we continue this piece. Mazda has decided that it will continue to sell the MX-5, or Miata in its original form as it is found today, as changing the platform would mean doing away with the RWD. Despite pressure from regulators to cut emissions, Mazda said it will not do away with the MX-5.

Speaking to Autocar, Mazda’s head of product development and engineering in Europe Joachim Kunz said: “It’s our brand icon and it is always treated very specially. At the moment, it looks like we will have this car forever, with this size and concept and combustion engine.”

This is a big relief for fans and prospective buyers who wish to own a Miata someday in the near future. What is more important to us enthusiasts is that a manufacturer is going to great lengths to preserve its iconic and most desired car.

The executive did admit that one day, they will have to electrify it but they still want to preserve this “pure concept”. He added that the MX-5 is “the baby of the headquarters” in Japan since all the development of the two-seater roadster is done there.

He also added the MX-5 will not switch to an existing platform used by other cars and SUVs since that would lead to the loss of RWD which is the pure essence of the car. The current ND generation of the Miata will continue to be sold for at least ten years, he hinted. This means that we may witness the MX-5 being unaltered in any way at least until 2024 since the current-gen model was launched in 2014.

Kunz reported:

“Having one generation for 10 years is not a problem for us.”

He stressed the fact that the MX-5 holds a special place in the company’s lineup and is separate from its other mainstream vehicles.

If we look back, the Mazda MX-5 has been a favorite of the Grand Tour Trio as well. We witnessed Jeremy Clarkson have so much fun driving it across the middle east borders through Iran, Syria, Turkey, and Israel to reach Bethlehem in Old Top Gear’s Middle East Special in 2010.

Recalling Jeremy’s quote about 2 seater sports cars from the episode, he said: “I can’t think of anything I’d rather have done this journey in than a small open-top sports car, because what cars like this give you, for a relatively small outlay, is access to 93 million miles of blue sky. You can’t really put a price on that.”

Richard Hammond had also chosen the Mazda MX-5 in Season 1, Episode 5 of The Grand Tour in 2016 where the Trio argue about the best lightweight sports cars. To find out, the three went to Marrakech, Morocco. Clarkson drove the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider (obviously) whereas James chose the Zenos E10S. At the end of the episode, Hammond’s Mazda MX-5 was declared the winner!

Who else is left? James May! Errr… we can’t recall anything specific. Isn’t he into hybrid and electric cars lately?

Moving on, what could be a concern in the future is that in case the MX-5 does get a full hybrid setup, it would add a considerable amount of weight to the car.

However, some wise men say that it is best to live in the present moment. As of today, you still get a  Mazda MX-5 that weighs just a thousand kilograms with a 1.5-litre inline-four, naturally aspirated engine that produces 132 HP mated to a six-speed manual gearbox with all the power being sent to the rear wheels.

We just got goosebumps typing all of that!

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