Mazda rolls out specs and info on 2014 MX-5 Miata
Mazda has unleashed specifications for the 2014 re-do of the MX-5 Miata roadster. The tiny little sporter will see some weight loss, styling improvements, and a better engine; all without losing its rear-wheel drivetrain and working man's price point.
While Mazda hasn't released photos of the 2014 Miata to show styling, it's expected that it will follow the look of the concept shown last year - the "Kodo design language." As the photo rendering suggests, cues will be simple lines and a more robust-appearing front end. The clipped rear and rounded fast top will remain, it appears, but the nose will extend somewhat and have more stylized logo and grille work to match current Mazda trends.
The car will also be losing weight for the new release, shedding about 300 pounds to put it in the 2,200 pound range at the curb. This weight loss may translate to better handling and speed, though the diminutive sports car is lightening to the point where it may become too feathery. Weight distribution will likely remain good, though, helping to keep the Miata's feet on the ground and hold the car's enthusiastic handling.
The rear-drive will remain, as it's an extremely important part of this car's overall appeal to most drivers. Under the hood will be a 1.3-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder from the Skyactiv family of Mazda's new engine designs. Output will roughly match the current 2.0-liter four cylinder, at around 167 horsepower, but will likely see a significant fuel economy boost with the smaller displacement and better burn of these newer engines. The RJC (Automotive Researchers' and Journalists' Conference of Japan) gave this engine the 2012 Technology of the Year award. The transmission that will appear in the 2014 MX-5 Miata also won an award from RJC.
That trans is the Skyactiv-Drive automatic trans, a 6-speed gearbox with a lot of new refinements. A manual option (also in 6spd) will also be offered and will, truthfully, likely be the more popular option amongst enthusiasts.
The MX-5 Miata will compete against the Scion FR-S, the new Subaru BRZ, and older Miatas in the landscape. The Scion has not seen the kind of "fandom" that the Miata has, but the Subaru has the potential to compete on that level, given time.
The price tag on the 2014 MX-5 Miata is expected to be in the $25,000 range and it will likely debut in late 2013.