technology

Mazda is electrifying its range, the MX-5 will not escape the rule


Times are changing, especially in the automobile industry where electrification is a must for survival. While Porsche refuses to stuff its iconic 911 with electrons for the moment, Mazda has discreetly unveiled a two-seater coupe. It could be the next generation of the legendary MX-5.

It is at the end of a video promoting its electric strategy, aimed at investors, that we see an elegant two-seater coupé with a hardtop, but without an exhaust line.

Reported by our British colleagues on the site Coachthis coupe would be “a study model […] intended to prove that the brand remains faithful to fun-to-drive cars”, said a Mazda spokesperson.

Back in April, Joachim Kunz, head of product development and engineering at Mazda Europe, hinted that the MX-5 will be seen as completely separate from the brand’s mainstream models. “She is the icon of our brand and she is always treated in a very special wayhe confessed. It looks like we’ll have this car forever, with this size, this concept and this combustion engine. But one day, we will have to electrify it, while keeping the spirit of the model.” Knowing that the generations of MX-5 have a lifespan of about 10 years, the next should therefore not arrive before 2024 (source Coach).

Three-phase electrification

The creation of a potential 100% electric MX-5 is part of a strategic plan to phase out combustion by 2030. The objective is for 25 to 40% of global sales to be made up solely of 100% “pure juice” vehicles. ”.

This €10.3 billion plan will take place in three phases, the first of which will focus on boosting production capacity, while reducing costs. It will be a question of launching new vehicles equipped with powertrains adapted to each geographical situation. Concretely, Mazda will not market electrified vehicles where charging infrastructure is non-existent.

This is how the MX-30 was born, the brand’s first electric SUV, with a range of 200 km and specially adapted for urban use. A version with a range extender should arrive soon.

Then appeared the CX-60, a family SUV with a plug-in hybrid engine, which will also be offered in a micro-diesel hybrid version in 2023. A seven-seater CX-80 should make its appearance. In total, 13 new electrified models are planned between 2022 and 2025, including five hybrid models, five plug-in hybrid models and three electric models.

The second phase of the plan (2025 to 2027) will see the birth of eight new hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric models, but also the introduction of autonomous driving technologies via the in-house Co-Pilot concept.

The third phase takes us to 2030, when 100% of Mazda vehicles will be powered by ions, of which at least a quarter will be all-electric, while CO2 emissions will have to be reduced by half compared to 2010 (90% by 2050).

Partnerships and joint ventures

In order to succeed in its new strategy, Mazda has signed partnerships with a number of specialized Japanese companies, in particular Envision AESC, a battery manufacturer which already works with Nissan, but also Renault. Joint ventures have been established with other companies for the production of electric motors, converters and inverters.

In addition to Mazda, the entire Japanese automotive industry – apart from Toyota – seems to discover that without an electrification strategy, there is no salvation, especially in Europe where the new Euro 7 standard has been unveiled. More stringent, it provides for a 35% reduction in Nox emissions compared to Euro 6 and a 13% reduction in exhaust particles.

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