Mazda Miata – Click above for high-res image gallery
Rumors have surfaced that the next-generation Mazda MX-5 could tip the scales at 2,200 pounds and boast an impressive 50 miles per gallon without losing a lick of horsepower in the process. And while initial reports had the Miata achieving those impressive numbers with the help of Mazda's forthcoming SKY-G engines, Best Car Japan is hearing something different from Mazda HQ.
The Japanese magazine reports that the 2012 Miata will receive a rotary mill with a displacement of 1.2 or 1.3 liters, helping the roadster drop a few pounds in the process. However, the Wankel has proven to be anything but fuel efficient, so to achieve lofty fuel economy numbers the rumored rotary would be of the hybrid variety. That sounds a bit far fetched, but the Wankel/hybrid marriage has already been consummated in the form of a Fiat 500 prototype created by FEV. The little Fiat contains a rotary that acts as a generator for a Lithium-Ion battery pack.
While it's an intriguing idea, our money is on a small, efficient four-pot with turbocharging. After all, one of the most attractive qualities of the Miata is it's diminutive price tag, and hybrids tend to add a lot of cost – not to mention weight – to the bottom line.