Kia working on a Mazda MX-5 rival

Article by Christian A., on October 4, 2010

According to the latest reports, it appears that Kia has one ambitious plan and wants to take on the iconic Mazda MX-5. Although this model was dismissed by Kia design boss Peter Schreyer back in march at the Geneva Motor Show, it seems that the same Schreyer was far less definitive when it was asked at this year’s Paris Motor Show about the same car.

"Don't ask me so difficult questions," he said when he was asked how much progress Kia made in developing the new car.

Schreyer also said that in his opinion the MX-5 has done a lot for Mazda, and a car like that will definitely help Kia. "I think it would be great, a car like that," Schreyer said. "I think the MX-5 has done a lot for Mazda. There are MX-5 enthusiast clubs and racing and it is an important part of Mazda."

Some European sources said that the new car might enter production in 2013 and will use a shortened version of parent brand Hyundai’s Genesis rear-wheel drive architecture.

For those who don’t know, Schreyer joined Kia back in 2006 and his portfolio models at Kia include the 2011 Sportage and the 2011 Optima mid-size sedan. His latest creation was the Kia Pop Concept, which was unveiled last week at the 2010 Paris Motor Show.

Mazda has made sure that the facelifted MX-5 is more enjoyable to drive. This was achieved by making it more responsive during acceleration and braking while enhancing pedestrian safety. In addition, the new MX-5 comes with a more aggressive front end.

Manual versions of the face-lifted MX-5 are provided with fine-tuned acceleration management program, thereby enhancing acceleration control and linear response to throttle input during lower speeds. Brake return control was also improved by optimizing the vacuum brake booster, thereby enhancing front-rear load distribution, which in turn improves the car’s handling. These improvements are more apparent when the face-lifted MX-5 is braking into or sprinting out of curves.

In terms of pedestrian safety, the face-lifted Mazda MX-5 is also ahead of the game. It achieves this by employing a new active bonnet system that could automatically raise the hood as soon as the car hits a pedestrian.

This way, the crumple zone is enlarged, thereby preventing or minimizing injuries to the head. Mazda also reinforced the lower part of the front bumper to offer better protection of pedestrian legs. These innovations have allowed the new Mazda MX-5 to already be compliant with the more stringent EU pedestrian safety standards.

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