Next-gen Mazda MX-5 design details emerge

The new roadster will hearken back to the 1989 model.

As Mazda celebrates 25 years of the venerable MX-5 (nee Miata), some details have surfaced regarding its next-generation sports car.

The fourth-generation ND chassis code, as it's referred to by enthusiasts, will feature a variation of the well received Kodo styling theme. The striking "soul of motion” design language has propagated throughout the Mazda lineup in recent years, beautifying the CX-5, Mazda3 and Mazda6.

However, the MX-5 will break the chain by eschewing the five-sided Kodo grille for an oval opening reminiscent of the 1989 Miata. The rest of the design will still be Kodo-fied while retaining the instantly recognizable profile that the roadster has maintained over the last quarter century.

The engine is expected to be a tuned, naturally aspirated version of the Mazda3's SkyActiv 1.5. A test mule disguised as a current MX-5 has been spotted at the Nurburgring, and it has been noted that the hood is a bit longer than the outgoing design. Though that's a decrease in displacement, the ND's weight is expected to drop down to around 2,094 lbs, a 400-plus pound diet compared to the current MX-5.

As previously reported, the ND platform will also underpin a new Alfa Romeo roadster, but the Italian company will develop its own 1.4-liter turbocharged engine. Both will be built in Mazda's home city of Hiroshima, but will have only 40 percent of their parts in common. The MX-5 is slated to go on sale in 2015.

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