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Mazda News: Next Miata Could Be Electrified


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Mazda has an internal debate going on as to whether to electrify or not the next generation MX-5 Miata.  One of the major concerns is keeping the car light weight. The current car in base form tips the scales at just 2,345 lbs. and is incredibly well balanced, so adding batteries and electric motors could upset that balance. 

Electric motors can be compact and powerful though, adding torque in places where gasoline motors are weak.  In order to provide that power, they require dense and heavy battery packs. Still, if power can be added to the 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces 181 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque, it might make up for the weight increase in a straight line.

Why do this? It's not like the MX-5 is a huge seller. It doesn't contribute to Mazda's overall volume in such a way that it should require efficiency tuning to meet fuel economy standards. Just 8,971 Miatas passed through Mazda dealerships in 2019.  The answer is in image. Mazda wants to maintain the appearance of being eco-friendly. They feel that the preference of people who enjoy driving sports cars could be changing, so Mazda needs to think about the direction society is going. The next Mazda MX-5 isn't due until 2022 or so, so Mazda still has some time to decide.

Mazda is committed to the original formula that made the Miata an icon though, and any electrification will have to happen with the thought of maintaining lightness as a priority.


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Rock on Mazda! :metal:

Totally agree with them while I just do not get or see any real value in their Sky Active Engines, I do agree that they need to keep the Eco Green stuff going and they could do this by adding electric motors, super capacitors to make a hybrid Miata as well as look to the denser solid state batteries that should be out in 2022/23 for a pure ev auto.

This is the RIGHT thinking for them and they should be exploring this option now for the next generation Miata.

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Stupid idea.  Strays from formula.  Adds complexity.  Adds weight which will need to be taken out elsewhere...unless Mazda decides to ruin the car.

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"electrified" can be a mild hybrid with a 20 hp electric motor added on to the current engine.  Doesn't have to be a full hybrid like a Prius or a plug-in or anything.   I think the problem is adding cost, the Miata's best chance to sell is low cost, if these start costing $35k for a base model then people aren't going to buy them.

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Mazda will need to go through Chevy levels of  thought process and engineering to create a new electrified Miata.

What I mean by that is, Chevy re-organized, rethought, re-did the Corvette and got it to be a new thing, but also managed to keep Corvette dynamics intact. Price, performance, and image on the new C8 are unmistakably Corvette.

Mazda Miata means small, low to the ground,  lightweight,  tossable and fun to drive little roadster that is relatively cheap to buy and to own. 

Mazda needs to keep those qualities and an all electric Miata  will definitely have  some of those qualities but all electric also eliminates  a lot of those qualities too.

Skateboard platform is a must. 

Heavy battery is a must too.  Weight reduction should be a priority.  Expensive lightweight materials should be avoided in order to keep price down. But...EVs arent profitable just yet.  Ford says they will make money on the Mustang Mach-E. Tesla for whatever reason is barely producing a profit here and there....

Mazda is in a pickle.  Going back to the Corvette, a huge factor as to why Corvette makes money for Chevrolet and GM is because the tooling for the V8 engine in it is paid for by the massive amounts of pick-up trucks and SUVs GM sells.  Also, any new technology or electronic gizmo on the Corvette will eventually get passed down to the other GM vehicles so GM could take a slight hit on certain Corvette parts knowing that they will eventually make it up down the road with the other vehicles sometime in the near future.

Although it seems like a logical  direction to take for the Miata, it may not be a viable business case for it. Unless Mazda partners up with another manufacturer  to share battery tech and light weight materials with...possible even do some skateboard platform sharing as well...

 

 

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Any extra weight can be used strategically.  As in the Teslas, with the battery mounted low in the floor, it lowers the center of gravity in the car and helps with handling. I don't know how they do that with a front engine / RWD vehicle, but it can't be insurmountable. 

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MX-5 has a 50/50 weight distribution.
I've never seen a 'center of gravity' analysis that provided any data WRT handling, but I'm confident any differences within the same vehicle are negligible. However, adding -say- 500lbs to a 23xx lb car (esp of this definition) will unquestionably be a detriment to handling, not an asset.
Partial electrification is probably preferable.

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Yes, the battery on a skateboard platform does reduce center of gravity,  like what Tesla does is a must, it improves that handling ten fold so having a front engine, RWD, 50/50 weight distribution is a moot point with a  BEV skateboard platform.

BUT...a Miata is NOT only about nimble handling, its about TOSSABLE handling  on a car that weighs very little. A BEV IMMEDIATELY NEGATES that out of the box....using conventional materials  for the frame and body...I guess that would be steel...  

High strength steel is stronger lighter than steel but more expensive, aluminium and carbon fibre and titanium and other more exotic light weight materials  to offset the heft of the battery just augments the cost of construction which augments the price the consumer has to pay and that also NEGATES what the Miata is all about...

That problem is not insurmountable by any means, but when you factor in cost and price versus the weight quotient, then THAT is when Mazda engineers  have to think like Corvette engineers and how to solve those obstacles.

Even Corvette engineers augmented the weight of the Corvette as compared to the last generation. OK...that weight gain was more to do with the dual clutch transmission than anything else, but like I said, the aluminium frame that the Corvette uses was done with cost effectiveness BECAUSE that technology was passed on down from the C6 Z06 to the Z07 and the Cadillac CT6...

Carbon fibre bits and pieces here and there were also time tested with new ways of fabricating it to bring down cost and GM figures the C8 will sell in large amounts (for Corvette standards) and the fibre glass parts have just about been perfected today in which GM KNOWS how to manufacture fibre glass on the very very cheap and so forth (V8 tooling shared with other GM vehicles).   THAT is how GM kept the C8 base Corvette at 60 000. But have you guys noticed?  The options on the C8 QUICKLY move the price tag needle waaaaay waaaaay up, to recuperate monies from all that tech...

Mazda, as compared to Chevy, is in very knew territory regarding building a very niche sports car, and now using more or less expensive technology to build and sell in low numbers  and try to make a profit on them. The Miata simply cant sustain a "Z51 3LT" trim package that sells for 100 000 which is what...a 40% price increase over the base C8 Vette?   That would make a possible Miata the price of a base Corvette.  Yikes for the Miata...

PS: There WAS a time when Corvette was not making money for Chevy and GM too... 

Ill stick to my point of view and say that the Miata going electric may not be a viable business case. Unless like what @smk4565 says,  a mild hybrid system and not full out BEV  with a minimal addition of low weight materials to keep costs down might help with the weight thing and the price of it all.

 

 

Edited by oldshurst442
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I don't think it would be wise for them to invest so much into what is already a low volume vehicle with excellent fuel economy for a fun car.  Better to attempt EV CUVs first where their fuel economy has not been near top of class as of late.

 

 

 

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Tesla Model 3 lateral G : .95

2014 Challenger SRT : .94

Of course there’s a LOT more to handling, but I don’t believe center of gravity has any bearing outside of dedicated competition/ instrumented testing. Maybe if the engine/trans was mounted on the roof on one car...

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1 hour ago, balthazar said:

Tesla Model 3 lateral G : .95

2014 Challenger SRT : .94

Of course there’s a LOT more to handling, but I don’t believe center of gravity has any bearing outside of dedicated competition/ instrumented testing. Maybe if the engine/trans was mounted on the roof on one car...

How about a test that combines a few things involving handling.. MT's figure 8.

Model 3: 24.9 sec w/ all-season tires

Model 3: 24.3 sec w/ summer tires

'15 Hellcat: 24.7 sec. 

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I see more fun in an AWD skateboard platform Miata that allows for electric drift of the auto and with Torque vectoring you truly can dial up the fun factor. 

I believe many who have not been in a Torque vectoring EV will realize how much fun it adds to the driving dynamic.

I can see a 3,000lb AWD Miata EV with Torque Vectoring that will be a blast to drive as is the current one today.

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9 minutes ago, oldshurst442 said:

that should have be written as C6 Z06 , C7 and the Cadillac CT6. 

Come on Olds, get your writing right! :P 

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18 minutes ago, dfelt said:

I see more fun in an AWD skateboard platform Miata that allows for electric drift of the auto and with Torque vectoring you truly can dial up the fun factor. 

I believe many who have not been in a Torque vectoring EV will realize how much fun it adds to the driving dynamic.

I can see a 3,000lb AWD Miata EV with Torque Vectoring that will be a blast to drive as is the current one today.

Ill be a hypocrite  and say no to that bolded part.

Why hypocrite?

Because I did not mind and wanted fully for Corvette to go mid-engined and therefore changing the Corvette's technical identity. 

This will very much alter what a Miata is suppose to be.  

Tadge Juechter said of the C8 that the Vette is still a two seater, V8, RWD sports car and that its visceral Corvette driving characteristics are still intact not changing that formula at all to what all other Corvettes were in the past while retaining that relatively affordable price point with room for golf bags for storage. And that was important to maintain for the C8.

Well, the Miata is suppose to be a more reliable,  Japanese version of a British roadster sports car. And THAT means small, short, low to the ground, and very light.  And the Miata has never really veered of that standard.  

To make it 3000lbs is a NO-NO...

AWD with torque vectoring emulates and imitates RWD and light weight toss-ability,  Ill give you that, but 3000 lbs is still 3000 lbs. You feel that weigh tossing around a sports car in the curves.  Especially a roadster. 

So a big NO to 3000 lbs!!!  

AWD, electric motors with torque vectoring doesnt really mess up with the British roadster sports car image just as how the C8 Vette retains that same driving dynamic that all Corvettes and its owners seem to enjoy....

But, no amount of technology could get around that 3000 lb gorilla...

Weight saving materials is a possible answer, but that drives up the cost and price. Not a good thing for a Miata. 

Not a good thing for a Corvette either.

An all carbon fibre and titanium this and aluminium that underbody bringing the Vettte's weight closer to that ideal 3000 lb super car weight would make the Corvette Z51 with not even 500 horsepower an even more European sports car killer, but then that 60 000 dollar price tag would have to be kissed good-bye...

The price tag would be more in line of what people feared the Vette's BASE price would balloon up to. 

 

8 minutes ago, dfelt said:

Come on Olds, get your writing right! :P 

Its that senility versus virility thing again...

 

Edited by oldshurst442
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35 minutes ago, dfelt said:

I can see a 3,000lb AWD Miata EV with Torque Vectoring that will be a blast to drive as is the current one today.

No way it will be as fun as RWD.  Look at many high performance awd supercars, take a look at NSX.  The awd might help them to get going from standing still much faster, but when it comes to handling, the bias is always to the rear wheels, even in the car like NSX that has torque vectoring.

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8 minutes ago, ykX said:

No way it will be as fun as RWD.  Look at many high performance awd supercars, take a look at NSX.  The awd might help them to get going from standing still much faster, but when it comes to handling, the bias is always to the rear wheels, even in the car like NSX that has torque vectoring.

Nobody says that Mazda engineers and tuners cant and wont make an AWD, torque-vectored electric Miata RWD biased...

If that is what you are saying, that supercars with AWD torque vectoring are tuned to be RWD biased. 

Because I know that these AWD torque vectored supercars ARE RWD biased...and Mazda could just do the same. 

It aint pure RWD...and Ill agree with you if you are saying torque vectoring is still NOT a 100% RWD equivalent though.  But it does emulate it quite nicely Ill retort back. 

Edited by oldshurst442
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5 hours ago, oldshurst442 said:

Ill be a hypocrite  and say no to that bolded part.

Why hypocrite?

Because I did not mind and wanted fully for Corvette to go mid-engined and therefore changing the Corvette's technical identity. 

This will very much alter what a Miata is suppose to be.  

Tadge Juechter said of the C8 that the Vette is still a two seater, V8, RWD sports car and that its visceral Corvette driving characteristics are still intact not changing that formula at all to what all other Corvettes were in the past while retaining that relatively affordable price point with room for golf bags for storage. And that was important to maintain for the C8.

Well, the Miata is suppose to be a more reliable,  Japanese version of a British roadster sports car. And THAT means small, short, low to the ground, and very light.  And the Miata has never really veered of that standard.  

To make it 3000lbs is a NO-NO...

AWD with torque vectoring emulates and imitates RWD and light weight toss-ability,  Ill give you that, but 3000 lbs is still 3000 lbs. You feel that weigh tossing around a sports car in the curves.  Especially a roadster. 

So a big NO to 3000 lbs!!!  

AWD, electric motors with torque vectoring doesnt really mess up with the British roadster sports car image just as how the C8 Vette retains that same driving dynamic that all Corvettes and its owners seem to enjoy....

But, no amount of technology could get around that 3000 lb gorilla...

Weight saving materials is a possible answer, but that drives up the cost and price. Not a good thing for a Miata. 

Not a good thing for a Corvette either.

An all carbon fibre and titanium this and aluminium that underbody bringing the Vettte's weight closer to that ideal 3000 lb super car weight would make the Corvette Z51 with not even 500 horsepower an even more European sports car killer, but then that 60 000 dollar price tag would have to be kissed good-bye...

The price tag would be more in line of what people feared the Vette's BASE price would balloon up to. 

I doubt other than the Boomers which are mostly dead now and the Silent Generation which seems to be a big portion of current Miata buyers and those of us crazy enough from the X generation to be into auto's that the bulk of future buyers will not notice the difference of 23XX lbs or 3000 lbs in an awd Torque vectoring RWD bias ev Japanese roadster.

Its that senility versus virility thing again...

ROFLMAO, that is just me teasing you young one! :P 

 

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5 hours ago, dfelt said:

I see more fun in an AWD skateboard platform Miata that allows for electric drift of the auto and with Torque vectoring you truly can dial up the fun factor. 

I believe many who have not been in a Torque vectoring EV will realize how much fun it adds to the driving dynamic.

I can see a 3,000lb AWD Miata EV with Torque Vectoring that will be a blast to drive as is the current one today.

Absolutely NOTHING close to what a Miata has been since 1991.  It is admirable that Mazda, despite ever-growing government interference, has carried the torch... MX-5 Miata has stayed true to its original mission.  What you propose is a complete and utter disaster.

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      The result is a more airy, minimalistic design that does more to involve the driver and passengers in the driving experience while offering exceptional functionality when it comes to storage solutions. It is also brimming with subtle yet obsessive details such as backlit speaker grilles, curved screens with hidden storage and, like the exterior, orchestrated lighting features.

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      It is no secret that General Motors has big ambitions in the electric car space, we talked about back in March. But our chance to see to see the first fruits of this, the Cadillac Lyriq had been delayed due to COVID-19 pandemic. But tonight, Cadillac finally revealed the Lyriq in show car form.
      "Show Car" is important in this context as Cadillac is finalizing various parts of the Lyriq's design - various reports say the design is 80 to 85 percent production ready. This may explain why Cadillac isn't launching the model until late-2022. The design is quite out there with a large pattern grille, vertical LED headlamps, fastback roofline, and rear lights that wrap around the pillars. Moving inside, the center piece is a curved, 33-inch display that features driver information and infotainment. There is also a dual-pane head-up display that can display different information - the nearest one can show speed and direction, while the further one can issue alerts and navigation.
      Cadillac hasn't released any power figures on the Lyriq, only saying that it will offer two drivetrain versions; rear-wheel drive with a single electric motor and all-wheel drive with two electric motors. A new modular platform for electric vehicles promises a low-center of gravity and a near 50/50 weight distribution for the all-wheel drive version. Range is targeted at over 300 miles. Cadillac says the production model will offer DC fast charging.
      Source: Cadillac
      Press Release is on Page 2


      LYRIQ Show Car Leads Cadillac Into Electric Future
      The brand’s first all-electric vehicle introduces a new era in luxury, technology and zero-tailpipe-emissions performance Cadillac’s introduction of its electric portfolio begins today with the debut of the LYRIQ show car — a dynamic, modern and fully electric luxury crossover. 
      The propulsion system and supporting technologies position Cadillac to be a leader in electrification, connectivity and automated driving, all delivered with thrilling performance and a new threshold in technology integration.
      “Led by LYRIQ, Cadillac will redefine American luxury over the next decade with a new portfolio of transformative EVs,” said Steve Carlisle, executive vice president and president, GM North America. “We will deliver experiences that engage the senses, anticipate desires and enable our customers to go on extraordinary journeys.”
      The LYRIQ is based on GM’s next-generation, modular electric vehicle platform and driven by the Ultium propulsion system, allowing Cadillac to deliver customers a variety of range and performance options. With range being one of the biggest factors when it comes to selecting an EV, we’re designing LYRIQ to offer beyond 300 miles of range on a full charge, based on internal testing1. Performance and technology highlights include:
      Charging options that fit a variety of preferences for home, the workplace and on the road — including DC fast charging rates over 150 kilowatts and Level 2 charging rates up to 19 kW2. Rear-wheel drive and performance all-wheel drive configurations. The latest version of Super Cruise3, the industry’s first truly hands-free driver assistance feature, available on more than 200,000 miles of compatible highways and recently enhanced to include automated lane change. New technologies such as dual-plane augmented reality-enhanced head-up display and remote self-parking. The brand’s most seamless and adaptive technology interaction with the driver and passengers, including the latest Cadillac user experience, which is showcased in a 33-inch-diagonal advanced LED screen the spans the entire viewing area of the driver. “LYRIQ was conceived to make every journey exhilarating and leverages more than a century of innovation to drive the brand into a new era, while rewarding passengers with a more personal, connected and immersive experience,” said Jamie Brewer, Cadillac LYRIQ chief engineer. “To do this we developed an architecture specifically for EVs.  It is not only an exceptional EV, but first and foremost a Cadillac.”
      LIBERATING PERFORMANCE
      Some luxury EVs today feature adapted traditional internal combustion engine architecture, that is not the case with LYRIQ. Cadillac’s all-new, modular EV platform on which the LYRIQ is based is the foundation for its liberating performance. With a dedicated EV architecture, its design eliminates significant physical constraints associated with adapting electric propulsion within a conventional vehicle architecture, for an optimized design that supports greater driving range, an engaging driving experience and a new interpretation of passenger space.
      Within the LYRIQ, the Ultium battery system is a structural element of the architecture, integrated in ways that contribute to ride and handling, as well as safety. In fact, the lower center of gravity and near 50/50 weight distribution enabled by the placement of the battery pack results in a vehicle that’s sporty, responsive and allows for spirited driving.
      Additionally, the LYRIQ is driven primarily by the rear wheels, with a performance all-wheel drive option available. The placement of the drive motor at the rear of the vehicle contributes an even greater feeling of balance and agility — attributes that affirm Cadillac’s longstanding commitment to satisfying performance. It also enables the system to channel more torque to the pavement without wheelspin for exhilarating acceleration and greater cornering capability. Vehicles equipped with performance all-wheel drive go a step further, with a second drive unit placed at the front of the vehicle, which allows for a significant amount of tuning flexibility, enhancing vehicle dynamics and performance for drivers.
      ALL-NEW ULTIUM BATTERY SYSTEM
      The Cadillac LYRIQ is powered by GM’s new Ultium battery system, which offers approximately 100 kilowatt-hours of energy to deliver stirring performance.
      Ultium’s state-of-the-art NCMA (nickel-cobalt-manganese-aluminum) chemistry uses aluminum in the cathode to help reduce the need for rare-earth materials such as cobalt. In fact, GM engineers reduced the cobalt content by more than 70 percent, compared to current GM batteries.
      The advanced battery chemistry is packed in large, flat pouch cells that enable smart module construction to reduce complexity and simplify cooling needs. Additionally, the battery electronics are incorporated directly into the modules, eliminating nearly 90 percent of the battery pack wiring, compared to GM’s current electric vehicles. 
      When it comes to charging, LYRIQ offers quick and convenient charging options whether at home or on the go. With DC fast charging, the LYRIQ can charge at rates over 150 kW. 
      ARTFULLY INTEGRATED TECHNOLOGY
      Envisioned to make interaction with its technologies more intuitive and rewarding, the LYRIQ’s partnership with the driver and passengers is simultaneously energizing and artful.
      Upon approach, the LYRIQ recognizes the driver and initiates a “greeting” with a choreographed lighting sequence, while also preparing the cabin for the journey, including seat, mirror and climate system adjustments. Once inside, the LYRIQ offers Cadillac’s highest level of driver information, infotainment and connectivity integration, for a more seamless and rewarding experience.
      A 33-inch-diagonal advanced LED display artfully integrates a single, large screen that spans the viewing area for the driver and incorporates driver information details, infotainment controls and camera views. This new display has the highest pixel density available in the automotive industry today and can display over one billion colors, 64 times more than any other vehicle in the automotive industry, providing a stunning in-vehicle experience unlike anything seen before from Cadillac.
      Additional technology and interactive highlights include:
      Battery and charging monitoring conveyed by easy, at-a-glance graphics. The system identifies the vehicle’s energy needs at home and on the go, according to owner preferences, while also monitoring and forecasting energy consumption and providing charging suggestions. New dual-plane augmented reality-enhanced head-up display employs two planes: a near plane indicating speed, direction and more, and a far plane displaying transparent navigation signals and other important alerts. The latest version of Super Cruise, the hands-free driver assistance feature, including automated lane change.3 Supervised remote parking that uses ultrasonic sensors to help the LYRIQ park itself in parallel or perpendicular parking spaces — whether the driver is inside or outside of the vehicle.4 SENSE OF SOUND
      LYRIQ’s technology also addresses sound in two important ways: Blocking unwanted sounds and making the most of the sounds passengers want to hear.
      For the first time, Cadillac will introduce a new road noise cancellation technology, which takes active noise cancellation to the next level by introducing more microphones and accelerometers, which improve noise cancellation abilities. With this new system, Cadillac’s performance and audio engineers can target the frequency range of tire cavity noise, reducing the noise level in the vehicle and allowing for a quieter in-cabin experience.
      The Cadillac LYRIQ builds on the brand’s exclusive partnership with AKG. “With LYRIQ we wanted to deliver a sound experience that would transport the driver from a vehicle into a recording studio,” said Hussein Khalil, Cadillac lead audio design release engineer. “With the AKG sound system, we are able to deliver this experience along with the quality and reliability luxury customers expect.”
      At launch, LYRIQ will offer a 19-speaker AKG Studio audio system that delivers exceptionally crisp and precise sound reproduction, enabling drivers and passengers to enjoy their favorite music.
      NEW FACE OF CADILLAC
      Cadillac’s first electric SUV makes a bold design statement that introduces a new face, proportion and presence for the brand’s new generation of EVs. It’s a forward-looking vision unconstrained by the needs of a traditional internal combustion engine and driveline.
      “The LYRIQ represents the next iteration of the iconic brand’s styling, enabled by electrification, as only Cadillac can express,” said Andrew Smith, executive director, Global Cadillac Design. “Inside and out, LYRIQ is a thoughtful integration of design and technology and is intended to make every drive an occasion.”
      Defined by taut lines and clean surfaces, LYRIQ is assertive and modern, characterized with a low, fast roofline and wide stance that emphasize agility and convey confidence. Additional details such as a flow-through roof spoiler express the careful attention paid to aerodynamics to optimize efficiency on the highway.
      A distinctive “black crystal” grille in the front is one of the LYRIQ’s most unique and expressive design elements. It is also a dynamic feature, as it is part of a dramatic lighting choreography that — along with bold vertical, slim LED signature lighting — greets the owner upon approach. At the rear, a split taillamp design incorporates slim LEDs that are also integrated into the lighting choreography.
      Inside, the LYRIQ’s new electric vehicle architecture opens up possibilities in vehicle spaciousness and design; and Cadillac designers used this as an opportunity to rethink how to use the space and where to locate various interior elements.
      The result is a more airy, minimalistic design that does more to involve the driver and passengers in the driving experience while offering exceptional functionality when it comes to storage solutions. It is also brimming with subtle yet obsessive details such as backlit speaker grilles, curved screens with hidden storage and, like the exterior, orchestrated lighting features.
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