We’re finally getting an ‘electrified’ Miata in 2026

We’re finally getting an ‘electrified’ Miata in 2026

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Mazda has confirmed that the next-generation MX-5 Miata will are available 2026 and might be “electrified.” Although the automaker stopped wanting saying what stage of electrification that may entail – hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or full electrical.

The affirmation is gentle on particulars, although Mazda stated it might work with Rohm Semiconductor to develop electrical motors and with Envision AESC for batteries.

Again in 2019, we reported that Mazda was considering electrifying the next Miata. At the moment, it wasn’t clear whether or not it was speaking about absolutely electrical or hybrid – and with this information, it nonetheless isn’t. However we suspect that it’ll most likely be a traditional or plug-in hybrid, reasonably than absolutely electrical.

Mazda’s branding and R&D chiefs on the time acknowledged that the automobile and model wanted to shift in the direction of being extra eco-friendly, however that the primary objective of the MX-5 is to stay light-weight, which is a problem with the burden of electrical automobile batteries.

Since then, Mazda has acknowledged that the Miata would finally be electrified, however now we’ve bought a date: 2026 mannequin yr, which implies the automobile will doubtless be on the highway in mid-2025.

The Miata is an exceptionally light-weight automobile – the 2023 MX-5 mannequin has a curb weight of round 2,400lbs. For comparability to some gentle EVs, the unique Tesla Roadster, which employed costly and light-weight carbon fiber extensively, weighed ~2,800lbs, and the same Caterham Project V concept will weigh ~2,600.

Not solely that, however the Miata is an inexpensive automobile, not only a light-weight one. Each of the aforementioned EVs are priced within the six determine vary, whereas the MX-5 begins for underneath $30k.

However there are different lower-priced light-weight EVs, like the three,000lb Mini Cooper SE at $30k and the defunct 2,900lb BMW i3 which first began at $42k.

So there’s actually a problem right here, nevertheless it’s not unachievable, particularly as EV batteries proceed to enhance in vitality density. With trendy batteries, a shorter-range, light-weight Miata could possibly be doable.

However regardless, given Mazda’s historical past with electrification, we suspect this might be a hybrid mannequin reasonably than absolutely electrical.

Mazda has been one of many slowest within the business to undertake EV expertise. Japanese automakers typically have been laggards on EV tech, and Mazda has the least-ambitious 2030 EV goal within the US. Its first EV, the MX-30, was not a great effort, and only sold 505 cars in its preliminary run (it came back this year, however has solely bought 66 items).

Alternatively, Mazda has claimed it desires to promote only EVs and hybrids by 2030, and extra lately, Mazda did pull back the curtain on its EV plans and confirmed a really cool “Imaginative and prescient research” idea, a glossy, low, two-door roadster which regarded prefer it could possibly be the evolution of the Miata:

Whereas that idea is gentle on particulars, it clearly seems to be so much like a Miata, and was launched alongside a dialogue on Mazda’s EV plans, so most thought that it might flip into some kind of electrified Miata.

As for the MX-30, one purpose it wasn’t nice is as a result of its clear that the automobile was designed to be a PHEV, and solely made into an EV for compliance with California’s emissions guidelines. The MX-30 finally came out as a PHEV overseas, and it’d truly be fairly good as a PHEV.

Whereas hybrids and PHEVs are extra complicated than EVs – stuffing two powertrains right into a automobile as a substitute of 1 – the discount in battery weight can lead to decrease general weight for the car however nonetheless give a number of the advantages of electrification, like partial zero-emission operation (within the case of a PHEV) and faster acceleration from electrical motors (for each hybrids and PHEVs).

So having an electrical motor onboard in any type will certainly assist the Miata’s well-known enjoyable issue, which has all the time been a bit of bit held again by its small 2L 4-cylinder engine.

Electrek’s Take

Longtime readers might know that any time Mazda comes up, there’s precisely one factor that we at Electrek wish to hear: that the Miata goes electrical. It comes up each time anybody talks about Mazda in our newsroom. And we get quite a lot of feedback right here saying the identical.

So clearly, this comes as nice information to us. We’ve been begging for it for years, and it’s lastly right here (effectively… in 2026).

Nonetheless, Mazda is being cagey right here by utilizing the phrase “electrified.” It is a little bit of a weasel phrase within the automotive business, to make automaker electrical automobile efforts look extra superior than they’re. PHEVs don’t actually lower emissions as much as they claim, as we’ve seen in multiple studies, and traditional hybrids nonetheless get 100% of their vitality from gasoline, and thus don’t actually help an entire lot in getting us off of fossil fuels, which is required within the face of local weather change.

We’re positive {that a} hybrid Miata might be extra enjoyable than a gasoline model, so long as Mazda doesn’t deliberately sluggish it right down to really feel extra like a gasoline automobile… as it did with the MX-30.

However we’re additionally positive {that a} correct all-electric Miata could be much more enjoyable than the hybrid, and less complicated too as a result of it doesn’t have to suit two powertrains into the identical automobile.

Whereas weight is actually a priority, and so is value, these each will be solved by utilizing a smaller battery. As a lot because the market appears to assume it wants huge vary numbers on each automobile, the Miata isn’t a automobile you’re going to take the household on a roadtrip in anyway, and quick charging could be adequate to permit folks to get out and stretch their legs each from time to time.

As a Tesla Roadster proprietor myself (I really like small cars), folks usually ask if I want the automobile had extra vary, or Supercharging functionality, and my reply is: the automobile is so tiny that I wouldn’t take it on a roadtrip anyway, and albeit, I’d reasonably have a lighter battery than extra vary.

So Mazda may make use of this selection – a smaller, cheaper, lighter battery, mounted low within the automobile, with an engine within the rear (and thus no driveshaft tunnel, saving weight and complexity and inside area).

It most likely gained’t be 2,400lbs, and it most likely gained’t be $30,000 (at the least within the manufacturing numbers Mazda would doubtless goal), however I’ve religion that Mazda may get within the ballpark of these two numbers, whereas providing a very distinctive and improved driving expertise from the basic Miatas.

I gained’t maintain my breath, trigger I nonetheless doubt we’ll see it, however I’d like to be stunned.

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Alex Lorel

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