2016 Mazda Miata MX-5 Specs and Review – The MX-5, released as the MX-5 Miata in North America and as the Roadster in Japan, is a lightweight two-seaterroadster with a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout. Manufactured by Mazda in Hiroshima, Japan, the model debuted in 1989 at the Chicago Auto Show. The MX-5 was conceived as a small roadster – with light weight and minimal mechanical complexity limited only by legal and safety requirements; technologically modern and reliable. The MX-5 is conceptually an evolution of the small British and Italian sports roadsters of the 1960s such as the Triumph Spitfire, MG MGB, Datsun 2000, Fiat 124 Sport Spider, Alfa Romeo Spider, and particularly the Lotus Elan. (wikipedia) 2016 Mazda Miata MX-5 Specs and Review.
The fourth generation Mazda MX-5 Miata that debuted in Monterey a few weeks ago was lightweight, but also light on details. The automaker flat out refused to talk numbers or specs. Today, at the 2014 Paris auto show, Mazda finally lets us know what’s beneath the roadster’s hood.
The automaker tells us that the next MX-5 will be equipped with a 1.5-liter Skyactiv-G, four-cylinder gasoline engine in many global markets, but that all 2016 Miatas sold in the U.S. will be powered by a larger 2.0L Skyactiv-G. Both of these mills will feature gasoline direct injection, high compression, and specific tuning for the new MX-5.
2016 Mazda Miata MX-5 Specs and Review
2016 Mazda Miata MX-5 Specs
The 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata is one of the most hotly anticipated cars of the year, and enthusiasts have been patiently awaiting concrete facts on the upcoming roadster. Now, Mazda has announced that while 2016 Miatas in other markets will be powered by a 1.5-liter engine, all U.S.-spec Miatas will be sold with a Skyactiv-G 2.0-liter I-4. Output figure on either engine have yet to be announced, however. (2016 Mazda Miata MX-5 Specs and Review)
Mazda said the engine will be “ultra-high compression,” and come mated to a Skyactive-MT six-speed manual transmission. Output figures are to be announced at a later date, but even if U.S.-spec power is around the outgoing 2.0-liter’s 167 hp and 140 lb-ft of torque, it should feel like plenty thanks to a weight reduction of as much as 300 pounds. The roadster will indeed be the shortest Miata ever at 154.1 inches. It is, however, wider than the original at 68.1 inches, with a longer wheelbase of 91.1 inches.
According to Motoring, the fourth-generation MX-5 will weigh just 1,020 kg—or about 2,250 lbs. That’s in Japanese spec, of course, so things may change before it makes it to the U.S.—assuming the report is correct. The number is very believable, however, as Mazda has claimed a 100 kg (220 lb) weight savings for the new car over the outgoing third-generation MX-5, which commonly weighs around 2,450 lbs, depending on trim.
But what about power? The report claims the engine will displace 1.5 liters, bear the Skyactiv badge, and generate just 128 horsepower. That’s a decrease of 39 horsepower from the current model, and a rise in the pounds-per-horsepower figure, despite the overall weight loss.
How much of a difference is this power output, if it should hold true? The third-generation car, assuming 2,450 lbs curb weight and 167 hp output, rates 14.67 lbs/hp; the 2016 MX-5, at the reported specs, would rate a rather more portly 17.57 lbs/hp.
While power and acceleration are far from the only things that matter to the MX-5, or its fan base, as MX-5 owners ourselves, we’d have liked to see power a bit closer to the 150 hp mark from the factory, if not higher.
2016 Mazda Miata MX-5 Review
The 2016 MX-5 Miata might be all-new, but if Mazda has done it all right, it’s going to be a classic on arrival. For 25 years, the Miata has conjured up memories of what it used to be like to drive modest, genuine sports cars, while converting a new crowd to the top-down joys of a simple, back-to-basics roadster.
And now, re-engineered on a completely new platform, Mazda is attempting to do it again — to bring the Miata up to some modern safety, efficiency, and tech expectations, all while preserving that delicate sweet spot that makes it different than anything else on the market.
At about 154 inches, the new Miata is actually a bit shorter than the outgoing car; yet it becomes somewhat wider, at around 68 inches, and its wheelbase grows to 91.1 inches. The proportions aren’t that much different, but the more you take in the MX-5 Miata’s new design the more you notice the greater sensuality in the sheetmetal and details. It’s definitely a little less subtle than the current car — and perhaps a little more contemporary — something that most shoppers will probably like.
The MX-5 Miata borrows from Mazda’s latest ‘Kodo’ design philosophy, evolved from the Mazda 6, Mazda CX-5, and Mazda 3, and made a little more pert. Compared to its predecessor, the Miata has a more curvaceous beltline, as well as a hoodline that now bows dramatically downward at the front, resulting in a crisp, open front-end design that does without the black-plastic snout of those more family-oriented models. Sculpting in the hood streams sideways into the beltline, which wraps into a tail that’s a continuation of neat, conservative Miata tradition, only a little more aggressively sculpted down below. And new LED lamps bring a modern finish to it.
Inside, the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata adopts a design that keeps its low seating, with a prominent center console separating the driver and passenger areas, as well as big, cockpit-style analog gauges and a horizontal, shelf-like instrument panel that helps keep the interior from feeling too confining. Air vents and climate controls keep with the classic round look, for the most part, while there’s a new infotainment system that, as in the Mazda 3, stands up above the low-set dash.
(2016 Mazda Miata MX-5 Specs and Review) What’s under the hood is some of the old and some of the new. Mazda’s 2.0-liter ‘SkyActiv’ direct-injection four-cylinder engine and a short-throw six-speed manual gearbox should provide the sort of high-rev zippiness — as well as surprisingly good fuel efficiency — that has made the Miata essentially a class of one over its quarter-century on the market. Mazda hasn’t yet announced the availability of an automatic transmission, and power figures aren’t yet out — although we expect the numbers to meet or more likely exceed the 2.0-liter engine’s 155-horsepower and 150 pound-foot ratings in Mazda’s other products. (2016 Mazda Miata MX-5 Specs)
With a completely new structure (to be shared with Alfa Romeo, and likely to underpin a new Alfa Spider), the Miata loses more than 200 pounds compared to the current/outgoing version, which should place its curb weight around 2,200 pounds. And that’ll make its power-to-weight ratio very good — likely around the six-second mark to 60 mph and maybe even a bit better.
The MX-5 Miata has never been a car for straight-line performance, though. We’re expecting nothing but top-notch steering, nimble handling (go-kart-like isn’t just a cliche here), and the sense that the chassis could handle far more power than what the engine lays down. The Miata has always been a car that you don’t have to break laws and speed limits to enjoy, and we don’t expect that to change.
Arrival of the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata is likely in the first quarter of 2015 — just in time to plan for a long summer of top-down driving next year. Check back here for more details as they’re announced, including full specifications, pricing, fuel economy ratings, and features. (via thecarconnection)
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