Mazda Execs discuss Turbocharged MX-5 Miata
Mazda has not ruled out using a turbocharger to boost the performance of the new ND Miata, but it won’t be in 2016. For those not familiar with the Miata’s history, a turbocharged engine was used in the second generation, MazdaSpeed Miata. The new 2016 MX-5 Miata has just launched with new vehicles only hitting the dealer lots in recent weeks. Already, there is buzz about the possibility that the 155 hp engine might get a boost – later.
Speaking about the new Miata to Australia’s Motoring.com, Mazda global PR boss Kudo Hidetoshi said in February: “A turbocharged or MPS variant is one of the options we will definitely consider.” Another executive from Mazda, program manager of the ND, Nobuhiro Yamamoto, later emphasized he thought the Miata had plenty of power to achieve its mission and invited anyone who thought otherwise to “drive another car.” Recently, Yamamoto clarified that there is no divide between his statements and Kudo Hidetoshi’s. Yamamoto said, “Kudo san talked about this in terms of a 10-year lifespan, but when I was asked the question right after the launching of the ND, I said ‘we have no plan to have a turbo at that point in time’. That is what I meant.” He went on to add, “If you could achieve what we want, to which is great response, very light and powerful with great performance feel with natural aspiration, then we don’t need a turbo. But if we want more power because we don’t get satisfied with natural aspiration then we may think about the turbo.”
So there you have it. The design chief still talking about a turbo for future versions of the ND (fourth-generation Miata). However, he kept talking and said “Once you put a turbo the car gets heavier, you have to add an intercooler and the reliability of the engine. If you think about all those elements you may think a turbo is not a good idea.” All true. However, there is another way to get more power. Maybe drop in the Mazda 2.5-liter engine tuned for about 190 hp.
Main story image courtesy of Patrick Rall