Sunday 14 November 2010

2012 Mazda MX-5 to use principles from RX-8 sports car

The forthcoming Mazda MX-5 will take up the RX-8’s values in order to cut the current MX-5's kerb weight and balance, according to sources within Mazda.

The ’12 MX-5 will emerge at the 2011 Tokyo motor show and will use ideas previewed by the Ibuki concept, which was exposed in 2003.

A Mazda insider has said that the next MX-5 will use a revised twin-backbone frame, used in the RX-8, and build up on the RX-8’s viewpoint to take on a “super front-midship four-cylinder layout”. What this means is that the MX-5 engine will be placed behind the front axle for best weight distribution, and mounting the fuel tank and main exhaust in front of the rear axle, so all the vital components stay within the wheelbase.

By utilising a revised twin-backbone frame, Mazda engineers think they can give a drop-top car with the chassis rigidity of a normal coupé. In recent months, Mazda has been patenting parts of the Ibuki’s structure in Japan and the U.S.

A Mazda engineer whispered, “The Ibuki was not a one-off future concept car. It contains crucial aspects of the next-generation roadster.”

The future MX-5 could use Mazda’s all-new Skyactiv engines. “It’ll probably be a 1.5 litre,” a source noted. That ought to be sufficient for lively performance, given that the MX-5 is on course to weigh less than 1,000kg.

Chief engineer, Takao Kijima, said, “The MX-5 must always be lightweight sports. The car has got bigger and heavier over the past decade, but it’s now time to reverse the process and get back to basics.”

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