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Mike Stevens | Dec 11, 2009

REPORTS LAST MONTH suggested the next generation Mazda MX-5 will be both smaller and lighter than the current model. New reports today say the new model will list fuel consumption figures of just 3.4 l/100km - compared to 8.1 l/100km for the current generation MX-5.

The massive gain in fuel economy is expected to come thanks to the new MX-5's rumoured 1000kg kerb weight - only 60kg heavier than the original MX-5 - and Mazda's new SKY-G petrol engine.

Mazda says the new Sky-G direct injection petrol engine offers significantly improved fuel economy - 15 percent greater than the carmaker’s current 2.0 litre engine - thanks largely to enhanced thermal efficiency.

The Sky-G features an all-new engine block, designed to reduce mechanical friction and produce an optimal air-fuel mix.

Mazda claims the new Sky-Drive automatic transmission improves fuel economy by approximately five percent. Whether the reported fuel figures are based on an automatic variant of the new MX-5 is unclear.

With modern safety requirements a factor, the next MX-5 is unlikely to be a great deal smaller than the current NC model, meaning that clever engineering and lightweight construction will play a major role in the next generation MX-5.

Mazda's MX-5 Superlight concept revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show weighs in at just 995kg, thanks to numerous weight-saving techniques.

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