Mazda is the next of a growing line of carmakers that are promising to kill the production of gas-powered cars in the near future. However, unlike many others, Mazda is taking a slower, more calculated approach to killing its dino-powered cars. For car nerds, all that matters is what happens to the Mazda Miata. Mazda was clear that the Miata was going to see a major change soon.
Is the Mazda Miata going electric?
A Mazda U.S. spokesperson told The Drive, “Mazda is seeking to electrify the MX-5 Miata in an effort to have all models feature a form of electrification by 2030… We will work hard to make it a lightweight, affordable, open two-seater sports car in order to meet the needs of customers.”
Basically, Mazda is saying; we have to do this, guys, but we promise to try hard not to mess up the Miata. The Mazda Miata represents one of the most affordable sports cars in the world. Not only that, it is one of the few cars that is a real sports car in the sense that it is made for serious drivers who care more about handling and precision than showy horsepower figures that mean little to drivers with actual ability.
The company reportedly broke the news at a technological and policy conference a couple of weeks ago, attended by Japan’s Kuruma News. At the conference, Mazda’s Senior Managing Executive Officer, Ichiro Hirose, reportedly said that the Miata was included in the electrification of the future Mazda line.
Even Hirose made a point to mention that Mazda intends to honor the legacy of the Miata and has vowed to keep it a lightweight roadster.
Will the Miata be a hybrid or full EV?
Hirose neglected to say if the Mazda Miata will be a hybrid or fully electrified. If that question wasn’t enough mystery, Mazda colleague Takeji Kojima, Managing Executive Officer, made it seem that this would be some all-new future model. However, all the other context seems like Mazda intends for this electrification to happen in the next generation Miatas.
If this happens to the next-gen model, it seems most likely that the Miata will adopt the 48-volt hybrid technology from some of Mazda’s larger rear-drive models. If this is the case, then many Miata fans would likely have little to fuss about.
The Drive also mentions that Kojima referenced the Miata engine possibly being converted to run on alternative synthetic fuels like Porsche has been suggesting is going to happen.
“For customers who have purchased the [MX-5] Roadster so far, we will provide an internal combustion engine that uses biofuel such as e-fuel,” said Kojima, as dictated by Japanese Nostalgic Car. “We would like to utilize it to realize carbon neutrality as Mazda.”
There is a 6-speed elephant in the room
One of the defining features of the Miata, especially in the current market, is the manual transmission. If/when the Mazda Miata goes full electric, it will no longer be a manual car, changing the appeal for some drivers. Most drivers are used to their modern dream car not offering a manual transmission, but the Miata has always been a three-pedal safe haven. Those days might be coming to an end.
All we know for sure is that the Mazda Miata will be changing. How much it changes and how good those changes are the big questions.