Mazda has updated its mid-term agenda, accelerating plans to adopt electrification in the coming years in light of increasingly stringent emissions regulations. While this sounds like an announcement every other automaker has made or is about to make, something else caught our attention. Although not mentioned in the press release, the accompanying video shows a mysterious sports coupe. what’s this? A “vision study model” for now.
Posted on Mazda Japan’s official channel, the 36-minute long video features President and CEO Akira Marumoto talking about the automaker’s initiatives to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. The last five minutes of the video reflect Mazda’s vision for the future. And the first thing you’ll notice is the MX-5 ND. Previous generations of the beloved Miata also appear before the white coupe is shown.
While we’re tempted to say this is an early look at the fifth-generation MX-5, we might be getting ahead of ourselves. After all, the painfully beautiful 2017 Vision Coupe concept never made it into a production car. But what if this is the next meta after all? The concept describes a coupe with a fixed metal roof, something that has happened before as the NB received a true coupe derivative in Japan where only 179 units were sold.
Logic tells us that those butterfly doors are exclusive to the concept as the later production car will have the regular setup. With zero details shared by Mazda, we can only speculate as to what this concept might offer. It has rear-wheel drive proportions with a short rear end and a long hood that accommodates the longitudinally mounted engine.
The Japanese automaker has committed to keeping the RWD + ICE formula alive for the next-generation Miata. However, some form of electricity is expected to meet the stringent emissions regulations we mentioned earlier. The bulging fenders are an MX-5 trait while the rounded taillights split in half make us think of the current ND.
Overall, the concept gives us the impression that it looks small enough to be a Miata rather than something more sophisticated than a RX restoration. The rotary engine is officially returning in 2023, but to serve as a range extender rather than just in a sports car application. Let’s keep in mind that an interesting MX-5 test mule was spotted a few months back, so a new sports car is definitely on the way.