Next Mazda Miata could go carbon fiber

The next Miata will be even lighter.

The fourth-generation Miata isn't exactly a heavy-weight, but Mazda is planning a significant weight reduction for the next-generation of the roadster, due out sometime after 2021.

In order to achieve that goal of less weight, Mazda won't shrink the Miata's footprint but rather rely on lighter materials, such as carbon fiber.

"The size is right,” Nobuhiro Yamamoto, program manager for the MX-5 Miata, told Autocar. "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 because there will be less weight to haul around, the next-generation Miata will be able to use smaller engines. It's been reported that a three-cylinder engine could be used in the next Miata, although there has been no word if that mill would use turbocharging technology.

"It's a simple concept,” Yamamoto said. "The vehicle weight gets lower, there's a smaller engine, smaller tire. It's a lightweight sports car.”

The current Miata launched just last year, so don't expect to see a carbon fiber version for quite some time. Autocar reports the next Miata won't launch until 2021, but we suspect it will be 2023 or later until a new version of the popular roadster arrives.

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