Mazda calls electric MX-5 'a possibility' after mysterious teaser
The boss of the powertrains updates us
Mazda is actively considering whether there should be an electric MX-5. This is confirmed by the head of powertrain development, Kato Matsue to Top Gear. It would be a big step for Mazda to build an electric two-seater sports car. So far, the brand has been very cautious with EVs. Only two new electric models are planned until 2025.
For the time being, Mazda has one EV in its range, the MX-30. The brand has not yet released anything about the other two electric cars. In addition, Mazda does not want to have a fully electrified lineup until the end of this decade. Mazda mainly focuses on hybrids instead of cars without a combustion engine. You've probably heard of the MX-30 R-EV, with a Wankel engine. You can read our driving test of this in our upcoming issue (in stores at the end of October).
The mysterious teaser
Last week, Mazda announced the focus of the exhibition during the Japan Mobility Show (yes, the Tokyo Motor Show has been renamed). The Mazda stand at the car show is heavily focused on the MX-5. The dark photo below is a first pinprick for a concept that should become the symbol of 'the future made by the love for cars'.
Of course we had to find out more about that. That's why we spoke to the Mazda CEO about the arrival of an electric MX-5. Matsue responds: 'It's a possibility. The main markets for the MX-5 are the United States, Europe and Japan. Japan is a bit behind, but demand is changing towards electrification, so we have to think about that.”
Won't an electric MX-5 be too heavy for Mazda?
Matsue continues about the electrification of the Mazda range. "The sports car is not excluded, but at the moment I cannot say exactly when we will introduce a battery in an MX-5," he says. Mazda's credo is Jinba Ittai, which means something like 'horse and rider in perfect harmony'. Does this saying still apply when a heavy lithium-ion battery adds the necessary kilos to the roadster?
'We don't want a very heavy MX-5. If the car weighs one and a half tons, then it is not an MX-5. What I can say is that the MX-5 is a symbol for us. If it becomes electric, it would be an electric car with special characteristics, the Jinba Ittai feeling, where people are fundamentally central according to our philosophy. That's our hope.'
Also an electric Mazda RX-7?
An electric, open sports car for two people, something like that would fit into the niche next to the MG Cyberster. But hey, Mazda is also not averse to a special approach. Think again of that Wankel engine as a range extender. Can the brand's line of thought still result in an electric successor to the RX-7? Matsue: 'I have an RX-7 in Japan, so I like it a lot! I ultimately expect such a kind of super sports car, but only after the [medium-term] plans.' A little bomb from the Mazda man. And maybe you can already see that new RX-7 down here.