If anybody knows anything about lightweight sports cars, Mazda does. As the creator of one of history’s most popular lightweight sports car – the MX-5 Miata – Mazda understands the objective of building a car that takes into account weight and efficiency better than anybody else. After all, for a speedster like the MX-5, it only weighed 2,300 pounds in its first generation.
It is through their understanding of this principle that Mazda was able to transfer their understanding about the intricacies of the MX-5 to build the vehicle that they’re entering into the 2010 LA Design Challenge – the MX-0.
Taking into account the theme of this year’s LA Design Challenge of emphasizing the need for minimizing the use of the planet’s resources while building a car that’s efficient, lightweight – no more than 1,000 lbs – comfortable, and safe without sacrificing the design elements that would make it attractive to consumers, Mazda is basing the MX-0 on the ideology of the MX-5, albeit using parts that are lighter and simpler than the ones found in the Miata, all while not compromising the car’s overall performance.
Mazda is envisioning the MX-0 as a vehicle that is powered by high-torque electric motors with an off-the-charts power-to-weight ration, resulting in a vehicle that comes with unrivaled power and balance, able to fly off the block and perform seamless cornering. A vehicle, suffice to say, that isn’t so much used for driving as it is for flying.
Through the low volume use of energy and minimal use of raw materials to power it, the MX-0 figures to be a car that’s made for the future, a future that puts great importance on sustainable, inexpensive composites with clean-running powertrains, resulting in a car that’s not only good for the masses, but even better for the environment.
Press Release after the jump.
adjective: having no measurable quantity or magnitude
noun: the lowest point or degree
Mazda’s long-time commitment to low weight is driven by the belief that effortless cornering and acceleration should be at the heart of every car we design. Our featherweight icon — the MX-5 Miata, tipped the scales at a little over 2,300 pounds in its first generation. Starting with the MX-5 as a benchmark, the design team has carried out a systematic process of reduction and consolidation. In this process, we have redesigned each component in the MX-0 to carry out the functions of several MX-5 components, effectively replacing a multitude of MX-5 parts with fewer, simplified ones. Innovative lightweight materials have been used extensively to obsessively lower weight.
Aimed at the global market of 2020, and with projected volume of 500,000 units annually, the MX-0 would have positive effects on the world’s environment and economy by way of less energy consumption and minimized use of raw materials. High-volume, automated manufacturing of sustainable, inexpensive composites coupled with clean-running drive trains are the key to both low weight and high-volume production.
Zero mass = maximum speed:
At the heart of the MX-0 is its purpose as a driving beast. Its ultra-light mass is pushed by high-torque electric motors. High power-to-weight is where a Mazda comes alive. Impossible acceleration and instant cornering is the result. It’s more like flying than driving. Zero hindrance. Driving bliss.