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