According to multiple automotive news sources, including Autoblog, AutoGuide, Autocar, and Repairer Driven News, Mazda is looking to cut weight from its next-generation MX-5 Miata with carbon fiber.
“The size is right,” said MX-5 program manager Nobuhiro Yamamoto in an interview with Autocar. “But in the future, lightweight materials will be very important and will be used in this car … Carbon fiber is very expensive, but we have in development affordable carbon fiber, so the MX-5 will be lighter in the future.”
This is a big deal, considering the current MX-5 uses steel and aluminum, and Mazda doesn’t use carbon fiber in any of its cars. Yamamoto says the automaker’s desire for a smaller engine was a big factor in the decision to develop more affordable carbon fiber.
“It’s a simple concept,” Yamamoto said. “The vehicle weight gets lower, there’s a smaller engine, smaller tires. It’s a lightweight sports car.”
To some, though, this development may not be so surprising, as the fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata, which debuted last year, was almost as light as it was when it first debuted in 1990. Autocar reports the new generation wouldn’t come before 2021.
However, for car enthusiasts, there are outlets that exist to supply composite parts for the Miata. CarbonMiata is a project started in 2013 that consists in providing fiberglass and carbon fiber parts to the MX-5 and RX-7 communities.
“We decided to start our range of products with some classic replica versions of the existing OEM parts, but we also started to … design some new parts to offer something new and unique to the already huge range of products available for Mx-5s/Rx-7,” the website says.