God bless the blogosphere. All it takes is one throwaway remark for something to become a widely reported rumor heard ’round the world.
Autocar, a UK magazine that is fond of publishing sketches, conjecture and other wild-ass rumors in the best tradition of Fleet Street, published another piece on the upcoming Mazda MX-5 that included this paragraph
A diesel option is being considered, but the lightweight and high-revving capabilities of a petrol engine are more desirable to Mazda. There are also concerns over the market viability of a small diesel roadster, which might prove difficult to sell.
And that should be it, right? Autocar themselves basically debunked this ridiculous notion. Nope! Not wanting to be left behind in the race to
the bottom to “get it first” the blogs picked it up en masse and reported it as fact. A Google search for “MX-5 Diesel” returns 2,200 results, which is 2,200 too many.
It should be obvious that this rumor is absolute bovine manure. A diesel engine is heavier than a gasoline engines, does not rev as freely and has a completely different character. It is everything that Mazda does not want in a lightweight sports car. Aside from the characteristics of the engine itself, the car would have to be engineered to carry a much heavier engine from the get-go, something that would have a negative impact on weight and handling targets.
A diesel may have been briefly considered at some point in the development process, but believe me, it is not happening. If it does, we won’t see it in North America. We’re more likely to see an army of automotive bloggers who aren’t ruled by the all-mighty click before we see an oil-burning MX-5.