Mazda has promised to keep the MX-5 on a rear-wheel-drive platform with a combustion engine but some form of electrification might be necessary to comply with stricter emissions regulations. That’s basically all we know for the time being about the fifth-generation Miata. Well, that and the fact it won’t arrive soon since the ND will stick around for a couple of years.
Speaking with Autocar, Mazda Europe’s head of product development and engineering, Joachim Kunz said: “Having one generation [ND] for 10 years is not a problem for us.” However, earlier this week, the Zoom-Zoom company might have provided an early look at the NE (although that technically was the Fiat/Abarth 124 Spider’s codename). It appeared in a lengthy official video about the commitment to step up its EV game.
It’s known as a “Vision Study Model” for the time being, with some people suggesting it serves as a conceptual next-gen MX-5 or even an RX or MX-3 revival. Well, a Mazda spokesperson told Autocar “it is intended to demonstrate the brand’s commitment to enjoyable cars.”
It’s not the first Vision-badged Mazda as we all remember the gorgeous RX-Vision from October 2015 and the Vision Coupe from 2017. Sadly, neither went on to see the light of production day. Hopefully, the latest concept will have a correspondence in the real world. For what it’s worth, the car appeared in the video right before a bunch of MX-5s from past generations.
Back in June, Kunz suggested in an interview with Autocar that the Miata will always receive special treatment since it’s considered a separate model from mainstream cars. He added:
“At the moment, it looks like we will have this car forever, with this size and concept and combustion engine. Of course, someday, we will have to electrify it, but we want to keep this pure concept.”
This statement gives purists hope there’s still life in the internal combustion engine for at least one more generation of the beloved roadster. With the Vision Study seemingly being an EV and Mazda saying the MX-5 will keep the gas engine for now, perhaps the sleek coupe was not related to the Miata.
All we know is fun cars are still on the agenda while Mazda is taking (baby) steps toward electrification.