MX-5: The Next Generation

Gary S. Vasilash

What you can’t see very clearly in the picture below is the 25th anniversary Mazda MX-5 zooming along on that highway:

25th Anniversary Mazda MX-5

Arguably, it could actually be a picture of the 2016 Mazda MX-5, which Mazda recently confirmed will be, according to Jim O’Sullivan, president and CEO, Mazda North American Operations, “arriving soon.”

The next-gen MX-5 is to be revealed in Monterey, California, on September 3. Monterey is where Mazda Raceway is located.

Mazda showed a chassis for the vehicle last April at the New York International Auto Show. It is part of the suite of Mazda SKYACTIV Technologies. While there is a considerable amount of attention paid to things like the SKYACTIV engines, SKYACTIV is really an engineering approach that addresses vehicles in a more holistic manner, with every aspect of the vehicle addressed.

Foto: Hildebrandt/Lorenz

For the 2014 Mazda6, for example, they developed entirely new front and rear suspension systems (the focus was to provide both low- to mid-speed agility and high-speed stability without sacrificing comfort) and an electric power steering system. Oh, and they reduced chassis weight by 14% compared with the previous-generation car.

Again this approach will be taken for the 2016 MX-5.

Earlier this month when June sales numbers were released, Mazda reported that it was its best June in 10 years, and that it had a 16.5% year-over-year increase.

Mazda is a small player in the U.S. market, with, according to Autodata, 1.9% of the market.

Yet there is no other company in the industry that punches well above its weight the way that Mazda does.