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by Jez Spinks

The next-generation Mazda MX-5 is on target to weigh less than 1000kg when it launches in 2015.

A Mazda insider has indicated to CarAdvice the Japanese brand’s engineers are progressing successfully in reducing the mass of the MX-5 to give it the best power-to-weight ratio in the sports car’s history.

The Mazda MX-5 has got progressively heavier over the generations since the original model of 1989 debuted with a 940kg kerb weight.

Mazda managed to restrict the weight gain of the current MX-5 to just 4kg over its predecessor through a gram-by-gram weight-saving strategy.

Mazda MX-5 - 1989

With ever-increasing needs for manufacturers to make cars stronger to meet crash safety standards and to add more features as expected by customers, it would be an impressive feat by Mazda to cut up to 200kg from the current MX-5 that weighs 1167kg in its lightest form.

The fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 will be twinned with a new Alfa Romeo Spider as part of a joint venture.

The Spider, however, is very much based on the new MX-5, with the Alfa bringing its own design and engines but the Skyactiv chassis and platform are from Mazda. Both models will also be built by Mazda in Japan.

Mazda MX-5 - 2

Mazda is expected to preview the new MX-5 in 2014 before the open-top sports car launches globally in 2015.

The engine could again be a non-turbo petrol engine – and could be either the 1.5-litre or 2.0-litre Skyactiv engines currently produced by Mazda. Mazda is believed to be developing a turbo petrol Skyactiv engine, however.

Mazda prefers the “purer” linear acceleration of a normally aspirated engine, though it is believed to be developing a turbo petrol Skyactiv engine for the near future.

  • crouchy35

    Less than 1000kgs + 2.0-litre Skyactiv engine….. Yep, thats a recipe for fun!

    • Zaccy16

      i agree, mix it will mazdas fun handling and you have a great sports car

  • Dave W

    I reckon the Alfa spider would sell a lot more than the MX-5 if they’re selling around the same price.

    Alfa badge and styling with Mazda’s build quality and reliability…

  • Piglet

    Yeah great. May be attractive if they shave $15k + off the RRP in AU. I think Alfa will go hard on price which will force Mazda to re-position.

    • Sydlocal

      It also doesn’t help that Toyota/Subaru have WAY under priced the 86/BRZ here in Australia compared to other markets. In most other countries the entry level MX5 is cheaper than the 86 for eg in the UK they almost pay in pounds for the 86 (which the base model 86 is not much cheaper than the most expensive MX5) what we pay in $AU, it is also similar in the US. How many other cars compare like that? However, yes, the MX5 is also over priced.

      • Piglet

        True. But I’d sooner take issue with Mazda gouging than Toyota/Subaru charging just enough. You can bet that if Subaru had built the BRZ themselves.. they’d be selling them at $5-10k more. It’s only because of the JV that Toyota & Subaru are forced to compete amongst themselves before they even worry about external competitors. Mazda has had it waay too good for too long. Mx5 is a great car, but severely overpriced in AU. Hopefully this partnership with Alfa will reign it back to reality.

  • Lightness of Being

    I can make an MX-5 weigh less than 1000Kgs right now. I have a dirty great big weather balloon I can attach to mine.