Despite the PRHT's availability, some are still yearning for a proper fixed-head coupe.

We are just days away from the official unveiling of the next-generation 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata on September 3, and it's fair to say that the mouths of enthusiasts are watering in anticipation for the latest version of this iconic roadster. Hard facts about the new droptop aren't easy to find, and in the absence of further disclosure from Mazda officials, the rumormill is in full swing, including word that a long-awaited hardtop coupe model will figure into the new generation's plans.

According to Automotive News, Mazda has a staggering number of updates planned for essentially its entire range in the coming years. The company's strategy often amounts to a one-two punch with some updates coming one year and more following the next. It's an interesting tactic that should keep the brand in the headlines with all of the changes.

In terms of the Miata, that tactic means going on sale sometime next summer as an all-new ragtop model that returns to its roots with a similar size and weight as the original (Autoblog sources indicate that there will be a substantial weight drop versus today's NC Miata, but we don't expect a return to NA or even necessarily NB featheriness). A 2.0-liter Skyactiv four-cylinder and six-speed manual should provide a decent jump in performance, too.

The vaguer news arises about a year later,when the publication's sources say Mazda will bring out a MX-5 coupe with a fastback design. This isn't to be confused with a power folding retractable hardtop option (PRHT) – the runaway success of the folding lid on the current generation means we expect a similar unit to be available when the new generation first goes on sale. Despite the PRHT's availability, some buyers are still yearning for a proper fixed-head coupe bodystyle, and apparently Mazda may be listening. With the death of the RX-8, Mazda doesn't have a hard top sports car in its lineup, and this would seem to be an easy way to get one.

The Mazda3 will get an exterior refresh in the second half of 2016 to coincide with a new Mazdaspeed3.

In similar style, the Mazda6 and CX-5 are also getting back-to-back updates. Both are rumored to get revised interiors in 2015, plus slight visual updates to the outside of the crossover. Then, more changes for them both will come the following year, says Automotive News.

Even bigger changes may be in the works for the Mazda3, which is still new on the market. AN says the 3 will get an exterior refresh in the second half of 2016 to coincide with a new generation of the Mazdaspeed3. That hot hatch is speculated to use a 2.5-liter turbocharged Skyactiv engine packing over 300 horsepower and possibly even all-wheel drive for the first time.

The nearly here next-gen Mazda2 will arrive later this year, but a performance-oriented model with a modified 1.5-liter Skyactiv powerplant is expected, too. AN says the model will feature a less-restrictive intake and exhaust among its changes.

Finally, AN says that the Mazda5 minivan will be axed in 2015, and the as-yet-unconfirmed CX-3 subcompact crossover will bow next June as a 2016 model. That model had previously been rumored to not be a US offering.

These changes certainly sound like they are coming very quickly, but keep in mind the brand is on an engineer hiring binge. All of those people have to be working on something, right?


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 45 Comments
      Ross B
      • 3 Months Ago

      How about a mazdaspeed MX-5?

        Larry Litmanen
        • 3 Months Ago *Edited*
        @Ross B

        Hey why not, but that means making the car longer and heavier, also may require a modification to logo..............i know how about a horse or maybe something that looks like a bow tie. Great idea you got there, Mazda will be the only game in town.


        Send me your Linkedin i will hire you asap.

      Recardo M
      • 3 Months Ago

      stick that 2.5L turbo in the Mazda6 for the upper trims, paying $30k+ for a 2.5L with 185~hp is a hard sell for me.

        Jmaister
        • 3 Months Ago
        @Recardo M
        amen to that.
        Matt
        • 3 Months Ago
        @Recardo M

        Everyone else has their base engine in $30k trims, how does 280 hp and $33k+ sound?  I still have an '05 V6, $25k loaded when new.

      rmt_1
      • 3 Months Ago

      When there's news about Mazda, I'm now always of two minds about it. If the news is about the MX-5 Miata or about any of Mazda's standard cars or crossovers, then I tend to believe the story will be generally accurate. However, if the news has anything to do with Mazdaspeed, for the past few years, then the story will usually be nothing more than a cross between wishful thinking and rumor-based speculation with no proof of accuracy. Until Mazda releases official news regarding Mazdaspeed, I'm going to have to sadly believe that Mazdaspeed has been mothballed, if not killed, by Mazda. After all, if Mazdaspeed was still active, then where are all of the spy photos of prototypes and test mules being run around "The 'Ring" or any other track? The only spy photos I've seen of Mazdas lately are of the next-gen Mazda 2, the face-lifted CX-5, or the new Miata and nothing from Mazdaspeed.

      Matt
      • 3 Months Ago

      Too bad if they are really getting rid of the 5, a SkyActiv powertrain would make it quite the people hauler.

        icemilkcoffee
        • 3 Months Ago
        @Matt

        A Skyactiv diesel even better. Too bad they seem to have given up on the diesel altogether.

      artso06
      • 3 Months Ago *Edited*

      This article has little substance but - Is the speculated "fix-top" a variant of an mx-5 or just the new "rx-x" (since there is no more rotary)? Portfolio wise it could make sense...CX -> SUV's, Numbers -> sedans, and MX -> Sports car.

      no can brah
      • 3 Months Ago

      Go Mazda! The little company that can.

      I love my Mazda3 in the world of bland Toyotas and Hondas.

        Larry Litmanen
        • 3 Months Ago
        @no can brah

        I drove Mazda3, my bro has it. Love the way it drives and handles. 

        BB79826
        • 3 Months Ago
        @no can brah

        If you have a, like, 2005 Mazda3, I'd agree. But the current Mazda3 and Mazda6 are no more compelling than a new Corolla or Accord, respectively. I know, cuz I owned an old Mazda3 and drove the new blandified one. I currently own a 2014 Mazda6, too. A great car, sure, but a sport sedan it ain't.

      BipDBo
      • 3 Months Ago

      I'm waiting for a MazdaSpeed5.
      I need 300 hp, AWD, short throw shifter and sliding doors to get the kids to soccer practice.

        BipDBo
        • 3 Months Ago
        @BipDBo

        Oh, now I see that they are axing the 5.  That sucks.  It's the most efficient and affordable minivan, and the only one available with a clutch pedal.

          Teleny411
          • 3 Months Ago
          @BipDBo

          You need 300 hp to get the kids to soccer practice?   

        AnalogJesse
        • 3 Months Ago
        @BipDBo

        Just get a '13 or '14 WRX hatch. 

      Andrew Beck
      • 3 Months Ago

      That's sad. A diesel Mazda5 on the new platform was my dream car.

        dd
        • 3 Months Ago
        @Andrew Beck

        I agree, Mazda should make a new version of the Mazda5 about the same size with Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna. Just put the SkyActiv diesel engine in it, then it's a winner.

          Vinooz
          • 3 Months Ago
          @dd

          I think the size was right - they just needed a better powertrain. Odyssey and Sienna are megavans not minivans. 

          icemilkcoffee
          • 3 Months Ago
          @dd

          vinooz is right. The other minivans are becoming maxivans nowadays. It makes no sense for Mazda to join them. The Mazda5 should stay a minivan.

      beanrew
      • 3 Months Ago

      I'm no analyst or market research pro, but I can't help but thing a hard top, coupe, option would be a success, and very attractive. 


      Can't wait to see the new design language on the beak of the new miata, and perhaps a mpg bump?


        360_AD
        • 3 Months Ago
        @beanrew

        I have seen it. And I think public opinion will be 50/50. It will be controversial and the comments section will be set ablaze. You will see in a couple weeks.

          BB79826
          • 3 Months Ago
          @360_AD

          Well, oh mysterious one, we saw it like 5 days after you posted it, and pretty much no one thinks it's a controversial design. Nice prediction, Miss Cleo.

      Ducman69
      • 3 Months Ago

      Amen, a simple hard top would be lighter, more compact, cheaper, and more reliable against creaks and moans five years down the road.   


      I'd much prefer one, and just give us a more efficient small turbocharged powerplant.   If the Mercedes CLA can get 38mpg with 200hp and gobs of torque on tap, there is no reason we couldn't get the same economy and power out of a smaller Miata.

      SpikedLemon
      • 3 Months Ago

      I wonder if the 5 will continue in Canada. (similar as the Kia Rondo)

      Jaybird248
      • 3 Months Ago

      As owner of a '91 NA, I'd say the new ND will have to go some to match my car's classic style.  I do hope the new look moves away from the chubbiness of the NC.  Waiting in anticipation till next week.  How come no spy pics of the new body? We had them of the C7 and the Mustang way in advance of their reveal.

        icemilkcoffee
        • 3 Months Ago
        @Jaybird248

        I have an NA too. Let's face it- that rounded jelly bean design language is outdated. You can't build something like that today. New cars have sharp creases and edges. Rounded blobs are out of fashion.

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