It’s hard to believe eight years have passed since Mazda introduced the fourth-generation MX-5 Miata (ND) at the 2014 Paris Motor Show, but that’s abundantly clear today as spy photographers have snapped a mule for the next-generation roadster.
Caught undergoing testing in Germany, the mule doesn’t look too remarkable at first glance as it’s wearing the body of the current model. However, a closer inspection reveals extended rear fenders, which suggests the car has a wider rear track.
There isn’t much else to see, but the mule confirms development is already underway and the production model should arrive in the next few years. Details are unsurprisingly scarce at this point, but the MX-5 Miata is expected to continue using a rear-wheel drive platform that is focused on fun.
Also Read: Mazda Official Confirms Next Gen MX-5, Says It Will Continue With The Same Recipe
However, the car could adapt to the times and come equipped with a Skyactiv-X powertrain. That remains to be seen, but Skyactiv-X engines promise petrol-like performance with diesel-like efficiency.
This is possible thanks to Spark Controlled Compression Ignition technology, which “uses a spark to ignite only a small, dense amount of the fuel-air mix in the cylinder. This raises the temperature and pressure so that the remaining fuel-air mix ignites under pressure (like a diesel), burning faster and more completely than in conventional engines.” While that might not sound too exciting, it promises to increase power and torque, while also reducing fuel consumption by 20-30 percent.
There have also been rumors about the MX-5 gaining mild-hybrid technology and that wouldn’t be too surprising given increasingly stringent fuel-economy standards.
We should learn more in the coming months and years, but the next-generation MX-5 Miata could arrive as early as 2024, potentially as a 2025 model.