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October 10, 2023

Is This The Next-Generation "NE" Mazda MX-5?

After showing it off virtually last year, Mazda could be ready to show off what could be the foundations of the next-generation MX-5 at the inaugural Japan Mobility Show (aka Tokyo Motor Show).

Although officially Mazda hasn’t mentioned what new concept car it’ll bring to the show (relying instead on this shadowy teaser showing its taillights), the overall shape does match the Vision Study Concept which they showed virtually last year (bottom).

The Mazda Vision Study Concept carries all the traits shown in the current ND MX-5, albeit in coupe form from the peaked front fenders, low cowl, and wide hips. Remarkably, it makes do without the signature Mazda logo at the back, opting instead to spell out, “Mazda”—a trend also seen in other brands like Lexus. For the Japan Mobility Show, Mazda might show a convertible version or perhaps something with a retractable roof ala the current RF.

Previously, the Mazda Vision Study Concept was shown to be an all-electric sportscar with a T-shaped battery pack and butterfly doors. While these may not make it to production, it does show what a potential future created by “love of cars” could bring. After all, Mazda has confirmed that the upcoming fifth-generation MX-5 (codenamed NE) will be electrified in one way or another.

Lending further credence to the Vision Study Concept being a future MX-5 is backed up by what else Mazda’s showing off at the Japan Mobility Show. The entire pavilion will be centered its iconic sportscar with a first-generation model on display as well a two-thirds scale model for children, and of course, the updated fourth-gen ND.

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