The latest version of the Mazda MX-5 Miata could be in for a power boost.
The Miata has never been a car that concerned itself too much with power. Power to weight, sure, but the focus on that ratio was always more on the weight side of the equation rather than power. This is apparent when you look at the engine output over the years: 2001’s Miata had 152 hp, 2003’s had 170 hp, 2008’s had 167 hp, and current 2015 version has 155 hp.
Mazda has always considered the Miata to be more than just an engine and tunes the power output to ensure the car’s handling is always at the forefront. It’s for this reason that the Miata continues to win award after award and maintains a special place in the hearts of true drivers everywhere.
And we’re not saying that’s all about to change, but according to recently unearthed documents, the Miata’s world is in for a bit of upheaval.
According to VIN documents filed with the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on Feb. 27, 2018 (and discovered by the fine folks over at Road and Track), the Miata’s engine power is in for a serious upgrade, going from 155 hp to 181 hp. That’s a 17 percent increase and a big jump for a 2.0-L engine that’s not getting a big turbo or supercharger.
The VIN documents obtained state explicitly there won’t be any engine shenanigans here, and the 2.0-L engine the Miata has become famous for will remain as naturally aspirated as the day it rolled off the assembly line.
The current largest power output from a 2.0-L SkyActiv-G engine is 162 horses on the Mazda 3. According to Road and Track, it’s possible to give that number another 12 horses if you upgrade the intake, exhaust, and computer with aftermarket parts, but getting it over 180 hp requires new camshafts and intake manifolds—two upgrades that would add some serious weight to the Miata and fly in the face of the car’s ethos.
But if anybody can perform some feat of automotive wizardry, it’s surely Mazda. We await the new Miata with baited breath.