Next-generation Mazda MX-5 to get turbo power

Mazda MX-5 Superlight concept

The upcoming Mazda MX-5 will be gaining turbo while losing weight. With the purpose of making the model the sports car it was intended to be, Mazda has set some goals that will present a few challenges in production.

Mazda has set the goal for its engineers to get the weight of the car all the way down to approximately 1,764 pounds. To date, the lightest MX-5 created was in 1989 at around 2,105 pounds.

Weight reduction comes with some hurdles that were not all present back in 1989, though. Crash testing means added weight, due to the components necessary for multiple airbags, side-impact bars, and other features.

Since the it is difficult to cut the fat on safety specs, Mazda’s team will be looking elsewhere for options. Mechanical components will be trimmed, such as as smaller breaks, a lighter transmission, and a suspension reduced in weight.

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Engine displacement will be sized down to approximately 1.5 liters, featuring 4-cylinder turbo direct injection with low-friction reciprocating parts and variable cam phasing. The transmission will get a makeover while preserving its precision, and the exhaust may be redone, as well.

The overall design will be smaller and more narrow for the MX-5 and the structure will be steel for cost purposes. But Mazda is coming up with other creative ways to keep things light.

Some features may be lost, however Mazda has not made any solid decisions yet on what will be removed. With several alternatives for storage, it is possible the glove box may be removed. Heavy sounds system components will be swapped for lighter ones, as well.

As for the metal folding roof that comes with the cabriolet model, there is still debate over keeping it, because of the substantial amount of weight that it adds.

– By: Alexandra Koken

Source: AutoCar