Is this the all-new 2013 Mazda MX-5?

Mazda-MX-5-Rendering

This rendering, produced by US publication Motor Trend, is based on an official technical drawing that was recently submitted by Mazda to the Tokyo Patent Office and accessed by Japan’s Holiday Auto magazine.

The patent sketch reveals a new drawn-back teardrop headlight design, potentially give the next generation of the world’s most popular sports car a more aggressive appearance.

The grille is expected to abondon the current smiley face look and adopt a more traditional oval shape, like MX-5s of the past.

The front fog lights will sit low in the front bumper, flanking a thin lower opening at the very tip of the vehicle’s chin.

As we have reported previously, the primary objective during the development stages of the new MX-5 was to produce a lightweight sports car that was a spiritual successor to the original MX-5.

Some reports even suggested Mazda’s engineers were pushed to get the total vehicle weight below 800kg, although the sub-1000kg target set by MX-5 chief engineer Nobuhiro Yamaoto will be closer to the mark.

Thanks to Mazda’s new SkyActiv principles of lightweight and efficient powertrains, bodies and chassis, Mazda insiders say the weight of the new drop-top will be around 950kg.

Reports suggest a sub-100kW 1.5-litre SkyActiv petrol engine capable of achieving 4.7 litres/100km will be offered alongside a 2.0-litre petrol engine similar to the current model, depending on the market.

Expect the all-new fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 to hit the road around the middle of 2013.

Read CarAdvice's review of the 2011 Mazda MX-5.