Mazda MX-5: No High Performance Models In The Works

Mazda has reportedly declared that its sticking firmly to the traditions that built the MX-5 roadster into the icon it is today.

That means no high-performance version is in the works, so the 2.0 litre four-cylinder naturally-aspirated model may be as ‘hard-core’ as the fourth generation MX-5 ever gets.

The 2.0 litre model produces 115kW/200Nm in overseas markets (the Australian model will likely match this figure), while the smaller 1.5 litre engine is good for 96kW/150Nm.

Speaking with Top Gear UK, Mazda’s Nobuhiro Yamamoto outlined a list of reasons why the Japanese carmaker has no interest in winding up the power of its famous sports car.

“It’s important not to get hung up on numbers,” Mr Yamamoto said. “Not on power, or torque. No, what is more important is the feeling. The driving experience and feeling is more important than power. In my mind it just has to be fun to drive.”

Mr Yamamoto said the MX-5 should always meet a list of five key criteria. This list includes an open-topped, two-seat design with 50:50 weight distribution and a compact body.

The fifth criteria is price, and Mr Yamamoto said adding more power and performance would push the price beyond a number Mazda was comfortable with.

Price is certainly one of the all-new MX-5’s key attributes in Australia, with Mazda announcing a starting price of $31,990 when the new model arrives late this year.

Mr Yamamoto said turbocharging is not earmarked for a future MX-5, nor was it considered for the two engines that power the new model.

Away from the MX-5, Mr Yamamoto also expressed his desire to see a rotary engine in a future Mazda product, and believes the Japanese carmaker should have another crack at the Le Mans 24-Hour.

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