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.
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 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.