Mazda confirms 2016 Miata engine, most get it wrong
Mazda has confirmed to Torque News directly that the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata will not be an underpowered lightweight when it hits the North American market in about 18 months. Rather, it will have the same approximate power to weight ratio as the Gen3 car, and will have a new engine just for picky Americans. European and Asian market customers, who settle for less of everything material in life, will get an under-powered 1.5 liter engine.
Mazda Confirms New Engine
This morning after word leaked accidentally at the Paris Auto Show, Torque News communicated directly with Mazda. Our Mazda contact is one of the best in the business and confirmed from the road that the indeed the new MX-5 Miata will have a 2.0-liter SKYACTIV-G (as in gasoline) engine. Mazda calls the engine “Ultra-high compression and lightweight.”
Other outlets are taking this to mean that the new Miata will use the same engine, at the same state of tune that the 2.0-liter Mazda3 uses. As a long-time Mazda fan and enthusiast, I would not count on that. That engine presently makes 155 horsepower. While that is not a bad number to use when figuring out the power to weight ratio of the next-gen Miata, my personal guess is that the Miata’s engine will be slightly different and will produce more power than that. The outgoing Miata has 167 horsepower. It seems to me likely that the new engine will fall in between 155 and 167. If I had to guess, I would say 160 hp. Exhaust changes alone might bump up the number, as would a switch to premium fuel. Mazda3 cars now use regular fuel and the Miata now uses premium.
As evidence to support this, Mazda is also mentioning that the new Miata will have its own “SKYACTIV-MT” manual transmission. If the transmission is specially tuned, should we not also assume the engine will be breathed on a bit? Keep in mind that the Mazda 2.0-liter in the Mazda3 will be in its fourth year by the time the Mazda Miata launches as a 2016 model. Engines gain horsepower over time as automakers tweak this and that.
More 2016 Miata Details
The new Miata will also use electric power-assist steering. Its length and width are confirmed as well at 3,915mm and 1,730mm. The car will have the lowest center of gravity of any Miata to date. Touring fans will be happy to know that the cars will have both modern infotainment and also active safety. The excellent Mazda MMI is part of the infotainment system, and I could not be happier to hear that as a former owner of a Miata.