The current Mazda Miata isn't going to win many drag races or horsepower competitions, but its simplicity and light weight make it one seriously fun car to drive. And the next Miata may get even lighter thanks to the use of carbon fiber.
, the head of the Miata program Nobuhiro Yamamoto said "the size is right. But in the future lightweight materials will be very important and will be used in this car. Now carbon fiber is very expensive, but we have in development affordable carbon fiber, so the MX-5 will be lighter in the future."
And while the company would be able to save a significant amount of weight by using carbon fiber, building a lighter car will also allow it to use a smaller engine.
"It's a simple concept," said Yamamoto. "The vehicle weight gets lower, there's a smaller engine, smaller tires. It's a lightweight sports car."
Reducing the size of the engine would, of course, also aid in weight savings.
The biggest question, however, is how extensive the use of carbon fiber will be. As Yamamoto said, it's an expensive material to use. Will the carbon fiber be limited to trim pieces and smaller components, or will its use be more extensive? And how will it affect the car's price?
Regardless, a lighter Miata sounds like a better Miata. And if it actually happens, the next Miata will probably be a lot lighter.