Nobuhiro Yamamoto, programme manager for the new Mazda MX-5, says the ND-generation MX-5 is capable of being fitted with a removable hard top - just like the first and second-generation models before it.
Speaking with TMR at the launch of the MX-5, Yamamoto wouldn't be drawn on whether Mazda itself would provide the solution, proposing instead that it would be left to a third party supplier to design and manufacture the hard top.
"We have future-proofed the MX-5 to have a hard top facility," Yamamoto said through an interpreter.
"There have been inbuilt points so that a hard top may be fitted. I imagine a third party would be able to come up with a top quite easily, but we have made the provision."
He then pointed to the small covers on the car's shoulders under which the fixing points lie. But for those hoping for a metal hard-topped version of the new MX-5, Yamamoto poured cold water on that idea.
"There won't be a coupe," he said.
"The concept of the MX-5 is a two-seater, open top car, so that doesn't fit with the car's principles."
Those principles are based on “jinba ittai”: horse and rider as one. Yamamoto spoke passionately about the enjoyment of the car, and the sensations generated as you drive it.
"We build cars that are for drivers, and are exciting to drive," he said.
When asked whether that meant self-driving cars sit against the company's vision, Yamamoto's response was straighforward:
"There will be no autonomous Mazdas."