If you’re looking for icons of the automobile industry, then surely Mazda’s venerable MX-5 ranks among your list. Having been on sale for over thirty years at this point, the car has more staying power than the historic little Brit cars from which it gained its inspiration. The Miata is one of the best selling sports cars of all time, and certainly one of the most-raced vehicles in the world. And according to a recent admittance from a Mazda exec, it’s not going anywhere any time soon.
In a discussion with Autocar, Mazda’s head of product and development for the European market, Joachim Kunz, the MX-5 is given a completely different set of parameters to meet its goals in the market. Allegedly the car is considered completely outside of the brand’s more mainstream models, and as such it won’t need to meet the same sustainability and profitability goals.
“It’s our brand icon and it is always treated very specially,” Kunz told Autocar. “At the moment, it looks like we will have this car forever, with this size and concept and combustion engine. Of course, some day, we will have to electrify it, but we want to keep this pure concept.”
Mazda is working on building out its full product line from just two modular platforms, one large and one small. According to Kunz, the MX-5 will remain on its own small sports car platform, and will not need to shift to a FWD layout to continue on. It is apparently also not concerning that the ND-generation car has soldiered on largely unchanged since 2015, as Kunz explains it is necessary for the MX-5 to live on longer life cycles than other Mazda products, suggesting that a ten-year development cycle is not out of the question.
Enthusiasts rejoice, because the darling of the automotive enthusiast market isn’t going anywhere. We’ll have compact, lightweight, rear-wheel drive, manually-shifted, gasoline-powered Mazda sports cars until the inevitable heat death of the universe, apparently. And that’s something we can all get excited about. The Mazda, not heat death. I mean, unless...