Miata Now Has Electronic Regenerative Braking

Mazda announced a refresh for the MX-5 Miata sports car today for European markets, outlining new trim levels and standard safety equipment. The car hasn’t changed much, save for one thing: the inclusion of the company’s i-ELOOP and i-stop kinetic recovery and stop-start systems, which will now be standard on all European MX-5 models.

Mazda’s i-ELOOP tech has been around for awhile, but this is the first time we’re seeing it included in the MX-5. It works by converting the car’s kinetic energy into electricity as it decelerates, rather than lose it to heat as the car uses its brakes to come to a stop. It then stores that energy in a dedicated capacitor, which in turn powers the car’s electronic systems. Mazda has a great video explaining the entire process:

This system means the engine-driven alternator doesn’t have to work as hard to power the car’s electronics, which Mazda claims can result in a five-percent improvement in efficiency. And in case you were wondering, no, this doesn’t mean the Miata is now a hybrid. The system only helps power the car’s electronics — it doesn’t assist with propulsion.

Mazda hasn’t specified how much weight its i-ELOOP system adds to the Miata, or how it’ll affect drivability or the car’s fun factor. But knowing them, we’re sure the car will be just as enjoyable, even with the system in place.

Mazda declined to comment on whether the 2020 model-year Miata will be receiving the i-ELOOP system in the U.S., though we should receive news on updated trim levels and pricing for the car soon.

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