The 2015 Mazda Miata Chassis Reveals Next-Generation Changes
The Mazda MX-5 Miata, one of the most iconic sports cars from the last 30 years, will debut its fourth-generation model next year, and the new build offers a lot to be excited about. We got our first glimpse at the 2015 Mazda MX-5 Miata at this year’s 2014 New York Auto Show. Even though we only saw the new SKYACTIV chassis Mazda is incorporating, it tells us a lot about how the new Miata will look and feel compared to the current 2014 Mazda Miata.
Thanks to higher quality materials and new approaches to construction, the forthcoming Mazda will be almost 200 pounds lighter than the outgoing model, tipping the scales at between 2,000 and 2,200 pounds. With less weight comes improved fuel economy and enhancements to braking and handling. Also, since the new model will be lighter, it will offer greater amounts of power without drastically changing the engine design.
The third-generation Miata placed the engine’s center of mass behind the axle to provide better balance. The fourth generation build that is on the way will push the engine back even further so it will sit behind the center line of the front axle. This minor change will improve balance even more, reduce the risk of over steering and open up new potential for the body design.
Exact technical specs have not been released yet, but the chassis we saw in New York appears to be slightly longer than the outgoing model, a change we would expect considering the new engine positioning. This extra room would improve the feel of the vehicle on the highway and add more stability when cornering.
Electronic Power Steering (EPS)
One of the goals of the Skyactiv platform is to improve fuel efficiency in all models, and electronic power steering is a big part of that mission. Some believe this technology diminishes the driving experience in a roadster like the Miata, but given the new build’s light weight and the new configuration of the assist motors, we don’t expect that drivers will experience any problems with vague handling.