It seems like it’s full steam ahead for Mazda’s Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030 plan, where every Mazda vehicle will feature some form of electrification by 2030. The Mazda MX-5, arguably Mazda’s halo car, might move towards the electrification route too, according to an interview by Autocar UK.
Mazda Brand and Design chief, Ikuo Maeda said, “We want to look at the best powertrain to keep the vehicle lightweight, but because of the diversifying requirements and preference, we need to explore various options.
“I don’t have the answer now but we need to make a vehicle that people can own without worrying that they are not being eco-friendly,” he added.
An electric roadster sounds like a ton of fun (remember the first-generation Tesla Roadster, anyone?), but the added mass from an electric powertrain would still definitely affect the fun and nimble driving dynamics that the MX-5 is so well-known for, even if the low-mounted battery does help with the centre of gravity.
Moreover, if weight is not an issue, driving range most likely will be. We still can’t beat physics (yet), and a lightweight battery most probably means limited range.
Unsurprisingly, Mazda recognises the true essence of the MX-5, with R&D boss Ichiro Hirose saying “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.”
If we have to trust someone to make it happen though, it would be Mazda. Just look at the all-new Mazda 3 – Mazda managed to tune the controversial torsion beam rear suspension to handle as well, or even better, than a more sophisticated multi-link independent suspension set-up.