The Mazda MX-5 Miata ‘Will Never Die’ In the EV Future, Says CEO
As automakers work to fulfill carbon-neutral strategies through electrification, they have sacrificed some beloved models, especially sports cars. The Dodge Challenger and Charger are gone, as is the monstrously powerful Hellcat V8. Kia’s sporty Stinger sedan bit the dust, as did Hyundai’s buzzy Veloster. Among the dozens of other models stricken with planned obsolescence for the full-electric future lies the revered Mazda MX-5 Miata. Fortunately, one of the company’s C-suite executives declared the lightweight roadster “will never die.”
Does electrification threaten the Miata?
During an interview with Autocar asked Mazda Motor Europe CEO Martijn ten Brink about the future of the MX-5 Miata. Since the current ND generation is nearly a decade old, Miata enthusiasts anticipate the presumed NE-generation MX-5. Also, some may worry the roadster is the next casualty of plans for a carbon-neutral future. Luckily, ten Brink quelled concerns, emphasizing the MX-5 Miata is here to stay.
“I think it will continue to exist forever and it will have to go with the times,” he said. “People are passionate about this car.”
The current generation Miata is slated for continual updates. It isn’t under threat of discontinuation due to emissions or safety regulations. But what about when the internal combustion engine (ICE) is fully phased out, if ever?
The Mazda MX-5 Miata’s electric future
While Mazda asserts, like many other automakers, that electrification by 2030 is an inevitable goal, plans remain unclear. With a question, ten Brink offered, how does the Miata “stay true to the concept of what the car stands for” with next-generation technologies? “That’s not been decided,” he replied. “But I think for Mazda, it would be fair to say that the MX-5 will never die.”
Yet, ten Brink did ask further, “How do we go? Do we go to a new shape?” He speculated that the new Mazda MX-5 Miata could be even sleeker. “That’s what our designers are experimenting with,” ten Brink added, “but they will definitely have to be super-aerodynamic.”
Moreover, dropping the ICE out of the Miata won’t have to be the death of the sports car. Yes, its effervescent four-cylinder charms the ears of many, but there is so much more about its brilliant formula. An athletic suspension, nimble handling, and impeccable power delivery provided a seemingly analog experience pegged with a reasonable price. The powerplant is only part of its flair.
Even if the fifth-generation Miata must have a hybrid system, Mazda has a drivetrain candidate in the Mazda2, overseas. The agile and compact four-door has a 1.5-liter four-cylinder mated with a Skyactiv hybrid system. It only has 90 horsepower in its range-topping trim, but it might feature the Miata’s 2.0-liter instead.
When will Mazda release the next Miata?
Reports have claimed for years that the next-generation MX-5 Miata was due in 2024. However, speculative dates in 2026 and even 2029 are further signs of uncertainty.
In the interview, ten Brink claimed that Mazda’s new “scalable electric architecture” will arrive in 2025. Even if Mazda executives remain uncertain about what direction to take with the Miata, at least two years remain before electric plans may be released. Regardless, it means the Mazda MX-5 Miata will persist in its current form for now.