It might be on again/off again, but Mazda says it would welcome, not fear, the Toyota 86 Convertible if it’s eventually built.
With the coupe 86 already stealing the Mazda MX-5’s thunder, many tipped a convertible 86 would be the final nail in the coffin for Mazda’s iconic, but significantly more expensive, roadster.
But speaking exclusively to Wheels, Mazda Australia MD Martin Benders said a convertible 86 would only be a good thing and even suggested it could see Mazda build an MX-5 coupe.
“Look whether they build it or not, in many ways we would welcome the convertible 86,” he said. “I still see it as a different car to the MX-5, but if it does arrive hopefully it will inject some more interest into that segment of car which can only be a good thing for us as well.
“And we obviously need to be a bit smarted in how we operate with the MX-5. I’ll admit my eyes were opened in Europe because they’re still selling three or four thousand MX-5’s in the UK, even this late in its life. And of course the new MX-5 is going to be a good-looking thing, it’s just a matter of how we can, a bit like Mini I guess, broaden its outlook.
“At the moment the new MX-5 will just be a replacement for the current one, but there must be a way of doing more with that car. Maybe we could go the other way and build a coupe? We do a retractable hard top now, but who knows, there’s definitely other things we can do.”
Sign up here to receive the latest round-up of Wheels news, reviews and video highlights straight to your inbox each week.
Want free access to 5 years of Wheels archive content? Sign up now!