While the outgoing 2018 Miata had 155hp, around the same as the previous NC Miata, the 2019 Miata will have 181hp, a noticeable increase, and making it the most powerful Miata engine in the model’s 29-year run.
Let's start from the new Mazda Miata's power boost.
Although sales have dropped over the last year, Mazda may have an ace up its sleeve coming into the 2019 selling season. The 2019 Miata will have the most powerful engine in the little roadster's history. The new car gains a sizeable 26hp over the previous model year, making it more powerful than any engine installed in the previous three generations.
Changes to the Mazda Miata's Engine
The power increase and higher redline come as a result of multiple redesigns in the engine-- higher-tension valve springs, which are more reliable at higher engine RPM, lighter pistons and connecting rods, and a better-balanced crankshaft. In addition, the throttle body will be opened up more, the valves will be redesigned, and even the muffler will see small changes to work with the higher redesign.
Making a Good Car Better
The ND Miata has proven that it can be a hot seller in the past, and many see the car as a return to Mazda’s original engineering philosophy for the Miata--lightness and balance which have made the car legendary, and allow the driver to throw the little roadster around intuitively.
This is what drove sales of the first generation to over 400,000 units from 1989-1997, and the newest generation is a masterful new take on this formula. It’s lighter and smaller than the previous generation, and the new model’s popularity reflect these improvements.
The Power We've Been Wanting for the Miata
However, in a number of reviews of the outgoing model, a common critique was that the Miata’s 2.0 liter powerplant was a bit underpowered. Mazda’s response has typically focused on reducing weight, and so this additional horsepower comes as a surprise to those who expected reductions in curb weight. A 14 percent increase in horsepower is more than a small difference; if the power bump comes with a decrease in the car’s already feather-light chassis, the Miata will be an even more enticing drive--and seriously quick.
Please also see Torque News' senior reporter John Goreham's earlier take on this subject discussing what Torque News expected back in April of 2018 and titled Mazda Reportedly Planning Important Miata Changes For 2019- What We Expect.
Which of these changes do you welcome the most? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.