I’m not afraid to admit I’m wrong (though I tend to be right nearly every single time without fail. So there.). When I saw that Mazda had asked Jalopnik readers for their thoughts on the next MX-5, I oscillated between sheer terror (at the prospect of reading a bunch of keyboard jockeys telling engineers how to do their jobs, i.e. every press launch) and total Schadenfreude.
The next MX-5 is more than likely “locked in” past the point of no return. Styling, engineering and powertrains are all but locked in, and not a damn thing can be done to change them, even though the next MX-5 will have to be tweaked a bit to become an Alfa Romeo. That’s a shame. Mazda might be wise to listen to some of the suggestions put up by Jalopnik’s readers.
It turns out that I wasn’t alone in feeling apprehensive. Reader “tobythesandwhich” composed a brilliant satire
Well this can only end badly. Suggestions WILL Include:
-No safety features whatsoever. People don’t really hurt/die from car crashes. It’s a government cover up to try and control us
-Must have at least 600hp and a turbo AND supercharger
-Must be able to go off road and scale mountains
-Must cost less than $5000. Because everything that costs more than that enters V6 Mustang territory
-Must get at least 400mpg while maintaining constant aggressive driving
-Must have pop-up headlamps, reverse opening hood, and give fuck-all about Pedestrian Safety Regulations
-Must have an interior decked out in leather on leather on leather while having a 40000 watt stereo system that we’ll still end up bitching about because it weighs more than 2lbs
-Must have a Manual Transmission with no less than 100 Gears. Us Jalops love to shift. And if you even consider offering an Automatic for the sake of keeping the model alive I (And the Jalopnik community) swear to god we will kidnap the families of the Designers. Then burn their houses down and fornicate their wives while wearing their slippers and robes.
Feel free to chime in Jalopnik. I know this is what you want.
In the end, most of the suggestions seem to be firmly grounded in reality, life experience and prior ownership – the kinds of things that auto journalists aren’t usually brimming with, even if they have owned a Miata or three.
Among the suggestions listed were a la carte optioning (a big yes, as anyone who has tried to order a CX-5 or Mazda3 can attest to), classic styling and enough room for a 6’2″ individual, wearing a helmet to clear the “broomstick test”. All of those, plus say, an inch more leg roof (tilt/telescoping wheel perhaps) would go along way to increasing comfort without making the car much larger or heavier.
Rather than catalog every single good idea, you might as well go and read the thread. My personal theory is that Mazda thought they could get some free publicity by “empowering” Jalopnik readers by “engaging in a conversation” about the next MX-5. Then they could promptly ignore all the suggestions, since the car was a done deal, and wait for the praise to roll in. Hopefully there’s still time for them to listen.