The sporty Mazda Miata may not be at the top of many "green car" lists, but the 2016 model will nonetheless be the first vehicle to incorporate parts made from a new bioplastic developed by the automaker. The plastic is based on plant-derived materials instead of petroleum, and doesn't need to be painted.
Mazda hasn't released technical details on the composition of the plastic, which was developed in partnership with the Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, although it is described as being exceptionally weather-, scratch- and impact-resistant.
It's also reportedly highly moldable, as durable as traditional ABS plastic, and can be dyed to achieve "a deep hue and smooth, mirror-like finish of a higher quality than can be achieved with a traditional painted plastic." By eliminating the need for paint, Mazda says that it will reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds.
The new MX-5 Miata will feature interior parts made from the material, although subsequent models will also use it in some of their exterior components.