Mazda could offer a diesel engine for the next-generation MX-5

Article by Anita Panait, on May 7, 2013

The new Mazda MX-5 and Alfa Romeo Spider -- co-developed by the Japanese and Italian carmakers – will be equipped with their own separate engine units. Mazda plans to equip the MX-5 with a new naturally aspirated SkyActiv engine as standard. The new engine could have a capacity of 1.6 liters and a power output of 130 bhp.

Although Mazda has reiterated that the MX-5 will only be powered by a naturally aspirated engine, version of previous generations of the car were fitted with turbocharged powerplants. Mazda could also equip the MX-5 with a larger SkyActiv engine to provide more power without resorting to forced induction, according to Autocar.

While there is a possibility that Mazda would offer a diesel engine for the MX-5, the carmaker is more attracted to the lightweight and high-revving capabilities of a petrol engine. Mazda may also be worried about the marketability of diesel-powered MX-5, which may not be attractive to consumers.

The Japanese carmaker will probably install a six-speed manual gearbox for both cars, while an advanced paddle-shift six-speed automatic transmission remains a possibility. Mazda is hoping that the new car will have the same dimensions as the original MX-5. Mazda is targeting to make the MX-5 as light as 800kg, employing modern materials and design techniques to bring down its weight while meeting modern crash regulations.

On the other hand, Alfa Romeo is likely to equip the Spider with a turbocharged 1.4-litre ‘TB’ engine while more powerful MultiAir or 1750 TBi units are possibilities. An entry-level Spider could sport power of 120bhp while a top-end version could provide up to 296bhp.

When you already have the best-selling roadster in history, the challenge is how to rejuvenate it in terms of its looks, style, and driving comfort to keep to its well-established reputation. The Mazda MX-5 has not only been enhanced from its already stellar original, but the new model makes the driving experience truly a rewarding adventure.

Mazda MX-5 has seen improvements in its braking and pedestrian safety abilities, as well is in its front-end design and acceleration responsiveness. By giving the new Mazda MX-5 the capacity for throttle input linear response and a more balanced front-rear load distribution, the Mazda engineers have given the MX-5 more control in acceleration and handling particularly on winding roads where the MX-5 has long made its mark. The brake system was optimized through the vacuum brake booster, giving it smoother and a more dynamic pull over response.

Safety, both for those in the car and those outside of it, has always been of primary importance for Mazda. This is seen in how much effort Mazda put into the MX-5’s active bonnet system. With this system, the crumple zone of the front hood is enlarged and raised during impact in case of unfortunate accidents. What this results to is it lessens the force of the impact, thus sparing pedestrians and those in the car from potentially fatal body and head injuries.

Great care was also devoted to protecting people’s legs in cases of accidents, so there is a lot of reinforcement done on the front bumper of the Mazda MX-5. Mazda did not stop at these safety nets, as it also upgraded the front end of the MX-5 by putting in a grille that is deeper and a lower and wider stanced bumper design.

Other notable features of the Mazda MX-5 are the new fog lamp bezels, the chin spoiler, and the hardtop or soft-top coupe that is retractable. All these have further enhanced this classic 2-seat convertible’s aerodynamics. All these enhancements undoubtedly will enable the Mazda MX-5 to maintain its stronghold in the market and its place on top of the automotive fan’s wish list.

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