A prototype of Mazda's next-generation MX-5 has been spied testing in the US this week, sporting noticeably different dimensions to that of the current model roadster.
Though clothed in the bodywork of the current NC-generation MX-5, inserts between the doors and the front wheel arches appear to show a slight increase in wheelbase.
The bulging headlamps of this test mule also suggest that the front overhang will be longer, perhaps to satisfy European pedestrian impact requirements.
However, it's important to note that this particular car was spotted outside a Chrysler facility, a sure sign that it's the prototype for the upcoming MX-5-based Alfa Romeo underneath all that Mazda bodywork. The frontal overhangs for the new MX-5 could very well be quite different.
Beside's Mazda's pledge to strip more weight out of the MX-5 (a kerb mass of around a tonne is the target), not much is known about the new roadster.
Downsized engines are expected, perhaps even augmented with a turbocharger. Alfa's version will use a Fiat-supplied engine and transmission, most likely a derivative of the existing 125kW turbocharged 1.4 litre MultiAir engine.
But what won't change is the MX-5's focus on fun, undiluted RWD dynamics.