Mazda eyes carbon-fibre
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Despite the fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 going on sale only last year, the car’s programme manager, Nobuhiro Yamamoto, has revealed some details about the next generation model.
Yamamoto told Autocar magazine that the fifth-generation MX-5, which isn’t due until 2021 at the earliest, will attempt to shed more weight. Some of this weight loss will come through the adoption of more lightweight materials, including carbon-fibre.
Although carbon-fibre is currently expensive and typically reserved for luxury sports cars, Yamamoto revealed the Japanese carmaker is working on ways to make it more affordable.
If he and his team are successful with their weight-loss programme, the next MX-5 will feature “a smaller engine, smaller tyres”.
So, it’s possible the next-generation car could feature a three-cylinder motor as its entry-level engine.
Although the current car shrank in relation to the third-generation model, Yamamoto believes that “the size is right” now.
This is good news for adherents to the less-is-more faith, but Yamamoto did have some bad news for fans: the Speedster and Spyder concepts revealed at SEMA last year won’t be heading into limited production as they aren’t “feasible”.
Meanwhile, the new Mazda CX-9 has been awarded the maximum five-star rating by the Australasian New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP) in its combined safety performance evaluation.
The CX-9 performed well across all categories — achieving an overall score of 35.87 (out of a possible 37 points). Overall the Mazda CX-9 performed commendably across each of the destructive tests and, importantly, also scored well in the areas of whiplash and pedestrian protection.
Mazda New Zealand Managing Director Andrew Clearwater said it was fantastic to get this safety endorsement a couple of months out from the CX-9’s NZ launch.