The upcoming Mazda MX-5 is set to deliver on its promise of providing “the joy of driving.”

Mazda’s next-generation MX-5 roadster is set for a major transformation as the brand shifts towards electrification, but maintaining the iconic “fun to drive” character remains a key priority.

In a recent interview with Drive, Mazda’s Australian marketing chief, Alastair Doak, emphasized the brand’s commitment to preserving the driving spirit that has defined the MX-5 since its introduction in 1989. He stated that Mazda is dedicated to ensuring that the future MX-5 models will continue to be engaging, lightweight, and entertaining, with driving pleasure being at the core of the brand’s sports cars.

The MX-5 has a rich history dating back to its debut in 1989 with the ‘NA’ generation, followed by the ‘NB,’ ‘NC,’ and ‘ND’ series. Despite facing criticism for increased size and decreased agility with the ‘NC’ model in 2005, Mazda successfully revamped the MX-5 with the ‘ND’ series in 2015 by focusing on weight reduction and enhancing performance while maintaining comfort.

As Mazda enters the electric era, the upcoming MX-5 is expected to undergo significant changes. The possibility of an all-electric model is being explored, and while the fate of the manual gearbox remains uncertain due to electrification, Mazda aims to prolong the current ‘ND’ generation as long as possible.

Weight reduction will be crucial for the next MX-5, with Mazda planning to maintain the four-bolt wheel pattern for continuity with previous models. The iconic SP concept showcased in Japan hints at a potential powertrain option for the next-generation MX-5, featuring a twin-rotor motor combined with an electric motor and battery for an impressive 272kW output.

Mazda’s commitment to developing the rotary engine as a range extender showcases its dedication to innovation and efficiency, as seen in the RX-8 and iconic models like the RX-7 and 787B race car. While the MX-30 R-EV may not have made it to Australia, the possibility of introducing a similar powertrain option in local showrooms remains open.

The partnership model is also under consideration for the new MX-5, with the potential for collaboration with another manufacturer to share costs. Examples from other brands, such as Toyota’s alliance with BMW for the Supra and Subaru for the 86, highlight the feasibility of joint ventures in the sports car segment.

Despite previous collaboration with Fiat for the Abarth 124 Spider, Mazda aims to develop an all-new MX-5 model independently, focusing on delivering the pure driving experience that enthusiasts have come to expect from the iconic roadster.

As the automotive industry transitions towards electrification, Mazda remains dedicated to preserving the essence of the MX-5 while embracing new technologies and innovations to ensure that future models continue to deliver the joy of driving.