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2016 Mazda Miata may have Alfa Romeo 4C's amazing 240 HP engine

Will Mazda offer the Alfa's incredibly powerful engine as an option?

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It is no secret that Mazda and Fiat’s Alfa Romeo division are co-developing the next generation 2016 MX-5 Miata. The engines are secret though, and we have reason to believe that the Miata may have the Alfa Romeo 4C’s amazing 4-cylinder turbocharged engine as an option.

2016 Miata Test Mule Spotted
Contributing writers at Torque News’ were at an event recently where a Miata-bodied vehicle was making hot laps on the track. At the request of the host automaker, we will not reveal more details. Attendees familiar with the Alfa Romeo 4C who had recently driven the vehicle said the exhaust note of the test-mule Miata sounded exactly like the 4Cs. The vehicle was photographed, and I have seen the photos, but again, the automaker hosting the event asked that those in attendance not publish any pictures yet. In any case, the vehicle looked exactly like any other 3rd generation Miata (currently on sale.)

The Alfa Romeo 4C’s engine is not at all like anything the previous Miatas have seen. Although there were turbocharged MazdaSpeed Miatas in the second generation, they didn’t have more power than the 2006-2015 Miatas have, which is about 167 horsepower. The Alfa Romeo 4C’s engine makes 240 horsepower. In a Miata that would mean mid-4 second 0-60 times. Suddenly the Miata would be one of the fastest convertible cars for the dollar in the world.

Too Much Power For Miata?
It is hard for us to believe that Mazda would put so much power into such a small, yet capable, car. For one thing, it would be a car that would rival the 4C, so Alfa has reason not to allow the creation of a Mazda-branded MX-5 that will run with its current halo car in the US. Fiat and Alfa might be crazy enough to do it for their Spyder version of the upcoming car. Nothing will surprise us again after seeing the 700 HP Dodge Hellcat SRT. On the Mazda side, this simply seems like much more power than the Miata needs to fulfill its goal. The Honda S2000 had power on this scale, but was a larger, heavier vehicle. Frankly, this Miata would be a widow-maker if it packed so much power. Perhaps the plan will be for Mazda to offer the base engine in the US Miatas and the Alfa Spyder and top-spec Miatas will get the 4C engine? In Europe and other markets Alfa will likely offer a lower-powered Fiat engine in the Spyder.

Draw your own conclusions from what we have conveyed to you. Mazda is planning to reveal the 4rth generation, 2016 Miata in September (less than 2 months from now). All of our instincts and background tell us the Mazda will only pack a normally aspirated, sub-2-liter engine with about 170 Horsepower made by Mazda. If that is not the case, and the Miata is suddenly a rocket with an available 240 horsepower Italian engine, you heard it here first.

Related Stories:
2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata vs. Dodge Hellcat Challenger - which excites you more?
Mazda shows new MX-5 Miata chassis and reveals details

Main Story Image Courtesy of Alfa Romeo's media site.

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John Salley (not verified)    July 28, 2014 - 5:21PM

Don't know about the Alfa 1.75 turbo engine, but I do know for a FACT that a Miata/ Fiat Spider test mule in Detroit that had pics taken of it's turbo engine DID have the Fiat Abarth 1.4 Turbo engine in it; becaue I have the same engine in my Abarth.

The Abarth 1.4 Turbo is an absolute jewel of an engine. The head of the development team had actually transferred over from Ferrari, where he spent 10 years helping Mr. Schumaker win a bunch of World Championships. It has forged pistons and conrods (like a proper racing engine; an expense on exotics use...) and, while publicly quoted at 160 hp, actually develops 170hp. With just minor tweeks, about 240 reliable hp or so is readily available.
This engine would be VERY exciting in itself; much less the Alfa engine, which will easily and reliably develop about 300hp with a few modifications.

Jon Carpanini (not verified)    July 29, 2014 - 4:33AM

In reply to by John Salley (not verified)

Could it have been the new Abarth sports car that you saw? I have read that the new Alfa Spider that shares underpinnings with the Miata will now be an Abarth because Mr M wants Alfas to be more Italian and only built in Italy.

Riaan (not verified)    July 29, 2014 - 4:43AM

No guys.

Remember Mazda is building the new Alfa spider. So its a mazda body with Alfa engine. Since this is Alfa test mule driving around. The Mazda miata and Alfa spider wont share the same engine

Nik (not verified)    July 30, 2014 - 6:24AM

The s2000 has the same wheelbase length as the Miata, so it is not a much larger vehicle. If Mazda or Fiat want to sell big they should put this engine to their roadsters. 240hp is not that much when as you said the Hellcat makes triple that.

Alex (not verified)    July 30, 2014 - 8:58AM

I don't remember where but I read the Miata 2016 will have a Turbocharged Skyactiv-G 2.0L.
Mazda has been avoiding turbocharged engines in the last series of vehicles, but also a new Skyactiv-G 1.3L is under production for the Mazda 2.

Jon Carpanini (not verified)    July 30, 2014 - 11:05AM

I really wish there was another way to meet these stricter emissions standards that wouldn't rob us of the character of NA engines. Even Ferrari and Maserati are going down that route now. Are the days of engines like the deliciously high revving Honda VTEC and Ferrari V8's behind us forever?

charles (not verified)    July 30, 2014 - 6:29PM

I have no problem wit Fiat working with Mazda,but NEVER WITH VW.I HATE VW.And would never buy any vehicles from them.

John Goreham    July 30, 2014 - 8:58PM

In reply to by charles (not verified)

I'm glad we got that straight! :) Thanks Charles, my feelings are not as strong as yours, but I would prefer to see Mazda not work with VW. Fiat is really a brand I have come to respect recently. Sergio and his team seem to be making all the right moves (except all the turbos in the Ferraris!)

charles (not verified)    July 30, 2014 - 10:53PM

In reply to by John Goreham

You are welcomed my friend.I think you are right about Sergio and his team.I have always loved Italian cars.I would always go and look the new Ferraris in the show rooms years ago.I cannot own one yet,but it is my intention if it is God's will in the near future.I had 2 Alfas in the pass, and never had to visit TONY for repairs,but only to make them go faster hahah.I will order a 4C when they become available.I at present drive a Maserati Grand Sport and a Fiat 500 Abarh that I have none a lot of modifications to,and is now very fast. I also have a Range Rover Sports that I will trade for the New Maserati SUV when it becomes available.My reason for hating VW is because they wanted to buy Alfa when it was down and out,and Sergio said NEVER would that happen.I love Alfa,but would never buy one from VW.All the best my friend.By the way what do you drive?

John Goreham    July 31, 2014 - 9:36AM

In reply to by charles (not verified)

Thank you for asking. Where I live it snows - a lot. So I have a 2007 Highlander V6 AWD with a set of dedicated Blizzaks for winter. This is my daily driver all year round and I keep it in great condition. It is one of the best all-around vehicles I have ever owned. Due mostly to my prior career and situation, I am also lucky enough to own a fun car. I have a 2010 Lexus IS 350 C convertible. I drive it mostly top-down and try to keep it perfect. If rain is forecast I leave it home and I drive it only on perfectly dry winter days mainly so I don't have to winterize it and store it. I was luicky to find the Lexus Pre-owned with only 3K miles and I bought the extended warranty, so it is not a risky car for me to own financially. Before the Lexus I had a 2007 Mazda Miata Grand Touring as my fun vehicle. There was a time when I considered trading the Lexus up for a Maserati convertible (pre-owned). That was my ultimate dream. However, the roads are so bad now in New England, I have decided not to pursue that. My current plan is to rethink my vehicles in about 2 or 3 years when my boys start to drive and maybe move to very inexpensive, safe vehicles for about 5 years. I think about my cars and my next cars daily. Thanks again for asking. You are the first reader in my 3 years of paid auto writing who ever asked.

charles (not verified)    July 31, 2014 - 11:03AM

Hi Buddy, was curious about what you drove because you kind of liked FCA's achievements so far.I highly recommend the used Maserati convertible, when you are ready it should be much cheaper.I love mine and think it is the best looking car on the road,even better than Ferrari.hahha.All the best and good luck.

sam (not verified)    May 9, 2015 - 2:11PM

by larger vehicle I think they mean on weight. 2800 give or take 50 for the s2k and 2300 for the new miata with the same hp. Hands down to honda on that car 15 years old.