Mazda turns the MX-5 into an accessible car for drivers with disabilities

The Mazda MX-5 is one of the least practical cars you can buy. Despite this, since its launch in the late eighties, it is the world’s best-selling two-seater sports car for the fun and sensations it provides. Now Mazda has wanted the Miata to reach everyone without any limit: thus it has become an accessible car for drivers with disabilities.

Normally, manufacturers choose their models larger and with greater capacity to adapt them and that are accessible to people who have a physical disability. Nobody could imagine the possibility of carrying out this process in a small two-seater sports car: Mazda has done it by creating a variant named ‘self-empowerment’ (SeDV), which is available for some of their models.

Mazda MX-5 ‘self-empowerment’

The Mazda MX-5 ‘self-empowerment’, presented at the beginning of October in Tokyo, remove barriers that a capable person would have when operating the pedals of a standard vehicle. The exterior is the same, but with a host of add-ons inside, Mazda has shown how a driver can drive a Miata with just their hands—no feet. Its goal is that they can “move and act of their own free will” in any type of vehicle.

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With the SeDV option, the Mazda MX-5 is only available with the six-speed automatic transmission. The manufacturer has incorporated some new parts that influence the operation of the vehicle. The first of these is a control handle located next to the center console and next to the parking brake. This lever replaces the accelerator and brake pedals. How does it work? The driver has to pull on it to speed up and push on it to slow down.

Adapted for everyone

The second is a rotary knob that is located on the steering wheel to be able to operate it with one hand. In addition to steering, every action that influences the operation of the Mazda MX-5 has been configured so that it can be performed with one hand.

The modifications are not only focused on the operating system. The driver will have an auxiliary seat to get on and off to facilitate his entry and exit to the car. At the same time, he will be able to store the wheelchair in the passenger seat where a cover is available for this function. And finally, The Mazda MX-5 can be configured to circulate like a traditional car (with pedals) or to do without them: this way everyone can use the ‘self-empowerment’ version.

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Mazda MX-30 and Mazda CX-5

This version is only available, for now, in Japan for the soft top version and for the RF: it is priced at 339,400 yen and 365,900 yen, respectively. Or what is the same: 2,300 and 2,500 euros, based on the current rate.

The SeDV version will also be available, as we said, in other models such as the Mazda MX-30 and the Mazda CX-5. They are joined by the Flair Wakgon, a kei-car based on the Suzuki Wagon R.

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