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Will fifth generation Mazda MX-5 Miata go 0-60 in 4.9 seconds?

An interesting chart in Automobile Magazine has us wondering if the next Miata will be as fast as a Lexus RC F.

In this month’s Automobile Magazine (September 2015 page 81) there is a very interesting chart. The chart shows the first, second, third, and new fourth generation Mazda Miata’s 0-60 mph times. Looking at the numbers it is not hard to understand how the Miata got its hard-to-shed reputation for being a “slow” car. The first generation Mazda, a 1993, is listed as having a 0-60 mph time of just under nine seconds (8.9). The next generation ran to sixty in just under eight seconds (7.9). The outgoing third-generation the magazine tested had a 0-60 mph time of 6.6 seconds. Not bad at all. Automobile did not instrument test their new 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata test car, but estimates a 0-60 mph time of just 5.8 seconds. That jives with Car and Driver’s instrument test that pegged the car at 5.9 seconds to sixty.

As we explained in detail in our recent story, the new fourth generation car is no longer slow by any modern definition. There are no new convertible cars in the U.S. market its price that can beat the Miata. In fact, there are very few sports coupes its price in any shape or form that can beat it in any race.

What the Automobile chart shows is that each generation of Miata steps down by about a second in the 0-60 mph run. From the high eights to the high sevens, to the high sixes, to the high fives. Following that trend to a future fifth generation Mazda Miata, we would expect to see a 4.9-second zero to sixty car. About as fast at the V8-powered Lexus RC F sports coupe is now.

Main story image courtesy of Paul Strauss.


Ash (not verified)    July 29, 2015 - 5:23PM

Umm, perhaps you could get this your story right..
The ALL new ND MX-5 is the 4th generation NOT the 3rd, and as for your 'performance times', well you are REALLY showing your ignorance.
NA MX-5 (the lightest ever made) ONLY had a 1.6l engine, so it is slowest.
NB MX-5 had a 1.8l
NC MX-5 had a 2.0l, the most powerful n-a MX-5.
ND MX-5 (new one) had a DI 2.0l, and it's power to weight over the outgoing is actually less.
The 0.6 second difference is basically a gear change, have you compared ratio's, and yes the new ND is lighter that the NC Soft top.

John Goreham    July 29, 2015 - 8:42PM

In reply to by Ash (not verified)

Thanks Ash. I corrected the one-word typo. The performance times in my story are from Automobile Mag as I mentioned. I took a close look and they are reprinted here accurately. As the owner of an NC, and long-time fan, they seem right. I sort of lost you there at the end. I don't disagree with what you say in the story as far as I can tell. Thanks again.

Todd Carpenter (not verified)    August 3, 2015 - 4:42PM

In reply to by Ash (not verified)

The ND requires just as many shifts (3) to get to 60 MPH as the NC does. It has a superior PTW and creates more power across the majority of the power range. The NC's engine is only putting down 5 extra hp to the wheels (dyno-tested), and that's not until the engine is spinning over 6000 RPM.

Also, the NA was available with a 1.8 engine from 94-97.

Jason Lowmaster (not verified)    August 10, 2015 - 4:14PM

In reply to by Todd Carpenter (not verified)

Three shifts to 60? That would put it in 4th gear. That's a bit ridiculous. I'm thinking it's one less shift to 60, which isn't out of the norm for a 6 speed.

John (not verified)    October 19, 2015 - 2:42PM

In reply to by Jason Lowmaster (not verified)

It is 2 shifts to 60 for normal folks. If you're very aggressive, and don't mind the rev limiter complaining, I think I can get to ~60 in 2nd....

Nat (not verified)    December 24, 2015 - 3:11AM

Totally crazy assumption to make. BBS's MK3 GT270 conversion makes 4.9secs to 60. And yes, it has 270bhp, a massive 110bhp over the standard car. Mazda is not going to aim anywhere near these figures. Your story smacks of sensationalism and total ignorance.

John Goreham    December 24, 2015 - 11:05AM

In reply to by Nat (not verified)

OK, what do YOU predict the next gen (say 2025) Mazda Miata will do then? Here again are all the prior generation's times since 1990 to present - 8.9 - 7.9 - 6.6 - 5.9. Keen in mind that in nine years the next-gen Miata might be electric and not need to shift.

Christopher Price (not verified)    January 10, 2016 - 4:49PM

Perhaps blasphemy, but GM makes a fine engine 4-cylinder that would take the Miata under 5.0. It's the LTG 2.0 cylinder, good for at least 300 hp.

I should know, I drive it's kissing cousin the LNF in my Sky Red Line, and that gets me under the 5.0 mark with zero mechanical modification.

If Fiat can put its engine in an MX-5, why not GM too?

JT Fangio (not verified)    February 9, 2016 - 5:09PM

If your looking for superfast times, get a Porsche Turbo or, a Hyper Vette. Speed is relative. You horsepower clowns make me feel the urge to purge.
Remember, tis better to drive a 180 HP car at 9/10s than a Phallic Compensating 800HP hyper turd at 4/10s.

Christopher Price (not verified)    October 6, 2016 - 11:01PM

In reply to by Nomadd (not verified)

But this is a false dichotomy, created by car makers today. Nobody sees my Sky Red Line going slow, except perhaps in a hairpin turn. At some point, someone like Honda will come back with an S2000, or an RX-9. And both Honda and Mazda seem poised to do that.

I wouldn't put it past Mazda to make a cabrio version of the RX-9 either.

The whole affordable-auto industry thought after 2009, nobody would buy a fun car again. The industry misunderestimated the amount of oil fracking in America, and the amount of time it would take for autonomous cars to get real.