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Next Gen Miata (Ibuki/NC)

dtran2149dtran2149 Posts: 81
edited March 23 in Mazda
Wanted to get people's opinion about the new Mazda Miata concept (currently dubbed Ibuki). So what does everyone think? I think the styling's very fresh and not like much on the road today; however, it could also seem a little less personable (I guess the headlights are less "cutsy"). As far as the mechanics, it should be interesting to see how much RX-8 influence the car exhibits. Looks like a more modern interpretation of the first generation car.

Comments

  • The more I look at my wife's 2002 Silver Miata the more I realize it's a beautiful car from all angles: front, rear, side, and every quarter view. Even from behind the wheel it's a georgeous car; I love the gentle rise of the fenders and the slight bulge in the hood. The proportions are perfect and it's just the right size for San Francisco -- we scamper into parking spaces while SUV drivers weep with envy.

    I admit there's room for improvement, especially under the hood, but the Ibuki is a step backward. It's new but not improved. It represents change for the sake of change, not change for the purpose of making a better car. I understand Mazda needs to do something to improve sales of the Miata and take back some of the market share lost to the S2000 and MR2, but the Ibuki is not going to do it, IMHO. For my part, I'm saving for a decent down payment on a 2004, fearing the worst.
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    MR2 has only had a few thousands sales this year. Miata seems to be having the most problems with the upscale competition from Honda and BMW.

    Mazda should think more about adding value to the car instead of messing up its looks.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Ibuki looks like a pill. Really, it does, look at the profile. Semi-circular front, straight body, semi-circular back.

    Completely unimaginative. They sprinkled concept headlights (that would never make production anyway) to make a very boring design slightly intertesting.

    I hate it. I'd buy a used '99 or something else instead. I don't really like the bug-eyed MR2 but I'd actually prefer that over the Ibuki, too.

    At least they say it'll be lighter.

    -juice
  • I do wonder if the new design is a little sterile. It is definitely less curvaceous than the 2nd generation model and isn't as well rounded as the 1st generation model. That being said, the longer wheelbase that places the wheels closer to the ends of the car are interesting. And I like the aggressive wheel arches.

    I hope it doesn't produce a bath tub seating effect like the Audi TT convertible. I like the lower sides on the doors (nice place to put the left arm while driving).

    What are the anticipated events/timeline for the concept? Is there a regular bulletin or news source that is pretty good when it comes to updates?

    Also, how correlated is the latest concept with the reality of the next generation Miata. Could it be that we are chasing bunnies down a trail?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Here is what they need to fix:

    * more legroom
    * less weight
    * that's it!

    I like a short wheelbase for quick turn-in. A longer one might make it seem lazy.

    What I heard was that Mazda will show 2-3 concepts off the RX8 platform and test reaction to them to determine the next Miata's styling direction.

    So I guess it's good that you like the platform, and you should see at least one more styling variant before they decide what the final product will look like.

    -juice
  • thelthel Posts: 767
    NC should be one thing to increase sales...CHEAPER!!!!

    Remember when the Miata was a sub-$20,000 car? People could afford to buy them as a 3rd car. Mazda should ditch some of the expensive extras like fancy rear-view mirrors, etc. and just give a bare-bones sports car.
  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    The car really hasn't been redesigned since its introduction. the 99 model year saw the Miata get new headlights but thats been thats been it as far as changes to the exterior of the Miata go.

    With Mazda concepts I wasn't too happy with the photo's of the Mazda 6 when I first saw it. It looked a Saab to me. It grew on me though. Now its my favorite looking car on the road. When I first saw spy shots of the Mazda 3 I wasn't too happy with it either. I kinda like it now although I haven't seen the finished product yet. When I see the finished product I'll make my decision on wether I don't like 3 or not.

    Lastly, Mazda really doesn't really put out TV commercials for the Miata(I think they should it would increase sales I think.) I do see some Miata's around though. I really like the looks of the 99+ Miata. That car is a Japanese classic.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I remember very well, the original 1990 Miata started at $13,800.

    Of course, none actually sold for that little, they had markups.

    I doubt Mazda would mind if demand were that high again.

    -juice
  • Mazda seems to be going in the right direction and moving with the market and the way car desiging have been flowing. Gone are the days of the MGB's, Fiat's and Alfa's. All thoues cars had nice lines, especially the alfa. The car in resembeling new roadsters like the lotus elise 111s, BMW Z4 and toyota mr2(although the new pontiac solstice is susposed to cave curvy lives that flow together.). I feel the direction mazda design is taken is a good one. I think the car looks like more of a guy's car now. I also like the interior, with all the metallic acents and the cut down windshield. For preformance, no one cam be certain right now. When i drove the miata a few months ago i didn't feel like it needed more power. keep in mind people, this car is susposed to remind you of a 1960's roadster. the car wasn't fast by any means, bet i felt like i was driving fast. One step mazda could take for preformance would be to put the new mazdaspeed's miata engine in the Ibuki to please the folks who want more power. Two things i personally want in the 3rd generation miata are anti-lock disk brakes and more supportive seats (posobly recaro's as an option) In all, i think the new Ibuki Concept is a step forward in desing and preformance for mazda.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Take a cue from the Elise and add lightness. Don't add a bunch of luxury, that's not the point of a Miata. Go back to Bob's original concept and just refine it using 15 years of advancements in weight efficiencies.

    -juice
  • thelthel Posts: 767
    If I had it to do again, I'd get a base stripped model with no options at all except maybe the 6cd changer and maybe the suspension / sport package. I have an 02 LS and the leather, 16" wheels (with crappy Bridgestone instead of Toyos I might add), Bose stereo, power windows, power locks, etc. in a car this tiny is pointless.

    The only thing I really like about my LS that would be missed in a base is the 6-speed tranny....that is a lot of fun!! :D
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'd drop leather and power locks in a second. I never lock it - why bother? They'll just slash the top if they want to get in.

    Leather is hot in summer, cold in winter, slippery all the time. If it were heated it would be better, but even then I'd prefer heated cloth.

    Drop the cup holders, too.

    Keep the performance features: rear LSD, 6 speed, VVT, sport suspension, etc.

    The one thing I'd sacrifice weight for is the stereo, even then don't go too crazy, just a basic good setup.

    -juice
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    were the performance features and the ABS.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    How about offering a stripped, lightweight model meant for the track with basically nothing but performance options. I could add the radio myself. Heck, nowadays people install their own MP3 or satellite systems pretty often anyway.

    No leather, no radio, no power equipment, no cup holders. Sound fun?

    -juice
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    not unlike the Opel Speedster.
  • thelthel Posts: 767
    Mazda recently made a version just as you described. The called it a club sport I believe. They only mad a limited number of them for 03 however.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Cool, maybe I'll pick up a used one in a couple of years. The '02 that I tested was way too luxurious! :-)

    -juice
  • thelthel Posts: 767
    I'm not sure, but I think that the club sports also came with no AC or power steering. I think I can still count on 1 hand the number of times I've felt compelled to use the AC on my 02 that I've had for about 15 months.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    DC's summers are hot and very humid. It's funny, I'll actually have the top down and still use the A/C a few times each summer.

    But I think I could live without it if I had to.

    -juice
  • thelthel Posts: 767
    You could always just drive the Subaru I suppose.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    On days where the humiture is 110, yeah.

    When is Mazda showing the other concepts? I heard they would show several directions to get feedback on which ones the public liked most.

    -juice
  • Today's mail brought the February issue of Automobile magazine which includes a two-page spread of the Ibuki (pp 34-35).

    Their design guru, Robert Cumberford, lauds Mazda for making "highly necessary changes" to the Miata as it is "high time for it to be refreshed". He feels that the Lotus Elan "has been interpreted twice by Mazda. That's enough." While he does criticize its Audi TT profile, he loves the flat top of the hood and trunk. He thinks the unframed windshield is "an old, unworkable idea whose time has come".

    Here's one last quote: "From the subdued sensuality of Miatas 1 and 2, the Ibuki has become a more rigorously geometric, almost architectural, shape. It still looks fast, it still looks like fun . . ."

    Now, I understand that occasionally one needs to forget the rules and ignore the lessons of the past in order to start anew: Rembrandt and Beethoven come first to mind. But that's not enough to change my opinion. It's an ugly car and I don't like it. It's too large to be a pill; it must be a suppository.

    After reading Mr. Cumberford's article, my first reaction was to look again at the cover, thinking this must be the April (Fool) edition.

    Here's to subdued sensuality,
    PoorRichard
  • revdrluvrevdrluv Posts: 417
    Haha! Well I actually think the Ibuki is very cool. They would never put a car like that into production that is so out of line with the Mazda lineup. But as a styling exercise I like it.

    The current Miata design is looking a little dull these days. If they make the next have the front end of the 6, like all the pics I have seen, I think it will lose favor to newer more exciting alternatives. The Ibuki is definitely too far out to replace the Miata, but they need something a little more compelling than what ppl are projecting.
This discussion has been closed.