At this point, the countdown until the launch of the all-new, fourth-generation 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata can be measured in hours until its September 3 unveiling as easily as it can in days. With the debut of such a highly anticipated model so close, the rumors about the new sports car are starting to boil over.

We recently heard that the new Miata would likely get a 2.0-liter Skyactiv four-cylinder with a six-speed manual, plus a decent drop in weight compared to the current gen. There's even the rumored possibility of a fastback coupe version sometime in the future.

Now, Australia's GoAuto is adding another dollop of speculation into the mix with the claim that there could be "potentially more engine options," according to Mazda Australia managing director Martin Benders to the website. The more potent option would still be the 2.0-liter Skyactiv with a power bump from its current 167 hp to closer to 200 ponies. The other possible powerplant option would be a 1.5-liter, naturally aspirated four-cylinder taken from the upcoming Mazda2 replacement. This version would also ditch some of the MX-5's more premium features to cut the weight and the price slightly.

"Lightweight rear-wheel drive sportscar offering great value is what we want to return to," said Mazda Australia senior public relations manager Steve Maciver to GoAuto. While such a tiny engine might sound dubious, remember that the original NA Miata performs admirably with just a naturally aspirated 1.6-liter four-cylinder. The potential small-displacement MX-5 might not make it to the US – we'd be a bit surprised if it did, to be honest – but it could still be quite an engaging driver. Besides, it's worth noting that earlier rumors had a 1.5-liter mill pegged as a possibility for the ND Miata.


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  • 35 Comments
      delsolo1
      • 3 Months Ago

      How about gearing the new Miata so your not doing over 3500 rpm at seventy miles an hour.  It would be nice to have better gas mileage on the highway than the Corvette

        Ducman69
        • 3 Months Ago
        @delsolo1

        High RPM doesn't have to be a fuel economy problem.  My Fiat 500 Turbo is geared really short, has pretty high highway RPM, and yet still does around 35mpg for me on average on the highway at 70mph despite having the aerodynamics of a barn door.


        The poor fuel economy of the Miata is purely a matter of using an old engine that really hasn't seen significant updates, and uses virtually none of the new technology available today.  


        Mercedes has a 2.0T that produces 200+hp/torque and gets 38mpg highway in the CLA, and Hyundai has the same for their Veloster Turbo which also isn't that expensive a vehicle.  


        A truly modern 1.6L to 2.0L turbo in a Miata (multiple options aren't necessary) couldn't pull that off either, with simply a "sport" or "eco" mode available that alters the throttle response and hanging RPMs and the like either for economy or crisp responsive feel.  The electronic throttles are some of the trickery that many manufacturers use to get a few extra MPG.

        audisp0rta4
        • 3 Months Ago
        @delsolo1

        Haha for reals!!! Either that or give it a 7th gear like in the Corvette. 

        With my MSM, I shift into 6th gear at 40mph around town. And if I'm not paying attention, I'll occasionally try to shift into a higher gear on the fwy...even though I'm already in 6th. 

        srlalsd1
        • 3 Months Ago
        @delsolo1

        You need to keep the miata at 3500 rpm. Below that it has no guts.

      Avinash Machado
      • 3 Months Ago

      Cool.

      EchoFro06
      • 3 Months Ago

      You think they could fit a tuned version of the 2.5L skyactive engine in there? That would be a fun car and it would one up the FR-S/BRZ

      Kelso
      • 3 Months Ago

      This car being available with multiple engines seems implausible because of the small engine bay. I would, however, be in favor of a choice of engines.

      Hamish
      • 3 Months Ago

      Could they perhaps even offer the proposed coupe with a rotary?

      I know that mad mike whiddet the red bull sponsored drifter that's previously had rx7 and rx8 drift cars has just picked up official Mazda sponsorship and is building a mx5/miata rotor drift car out here in nz. So the engineering would be done for it to fit. Obviously it'd be a less extreme version of the engine in a production engine. 

      tump
      • 3 Months Ago

      I just want a folding hardtop, stubby little stick shift, heated seats, and in Mariner Blue again, thanks. :D

      Oscar
      • 3 Months Ago

      When will Mazda finally turbocharge the Miata?

      Louis MacKenzie
      • 3 Months Ago

      1.6 took like 10 seconds to do 0-60, even with super light weight. This 1.5 would be slower than a Prius!
      Not gonna happen, unless in Europe or some place where gas and tax is super expensive and people crawl their cars in crowded cities.

        AnalogJesse
        • 3 Months Ago
        @Louis MacKenzie

        Predicting 0-60 times based on engine displacement is one of the stupidest things I've ever seen done by an autoblog commenter. 

        Brian Weir
        • 3 Months Ago
        @Louis MacKenzie

        Don't assume that a tiny engine size equals low power.  The idea that you need a huge gas-sucking V8 to get decent power is about 50 years behind the times.  As an example, the turbocharged 1.3L THREE-CYLINDER in the BMW i8 produces 228 hp before you count the 129 hp electric motor.  Combined, the i8 produces 357 hp and gets between 28 and 34 mpg combined.  I should point out that's about three times the output of the original 1990 Miata's 1.8L 118hp output.

        We haven't even started talking about Mazda's Skyactiv technology in the horsepower and fuel efficiency conversation.

          juanmj93
          • 3 Months Ago
          @Brian Weir

          Great point but It's actually an 1.5L, and yup, great point. besides that 1.5 in the new mini cooper "only" makes around 130hp and it can get it to 60 in just 7.5 seconds. 

          Not that far ago 0-60 in less than 10 was considered quick enough, remember that the Miata is supposed to favor fun instead of raw power and performance. 

      speterjr
      • 3 Months Ago

      That base trim is for Australia only,  I'll bet.  American drivers can't do without our amenities. 

        William
        • 3 Months Ago
        @speterjr

        Not just Australia. MOST markets favor lighter, smaller displacement cars and trucks. 

        We are loathe to admit it, but the most average American overconsumes on a massive scale, and feel angry and defensive when the rest of the world calls us on it. The very fact that a pure drivers car like the Miata is so often called a "chick car" or "gay car" pretty much says it all.

        Cue the backlash...

        turbomonkey2k
        • 3 Months Ago
        @speterjr

        It's more than Americans not being able to do without amenities. It's as much about padding the cars to justify a higher base price and keep them profitable.

      FuelToTheFire
      • 3 Months Ago

      Great, so it's still a sad excuse for a sports car and STILL has worse performance than your dad's V6 Accord. And they expect us to pay WRX money for that. LMFAO, no thanks.

      Matt.Shift_
      • 3 Months Ago

      1.5L probably for gas-taxed markets like china. DONT TURBO THE MIATA, DAMMIT.

      bored daily
      • 3 Months Ago

      I think technically impossible, but don't you wish Mazda would just bring the Mazdaspeed MX-5 back with Mazdaspeed 3 engine?

        Matt.Shift_
        • 3 Months Ago
        @bored daily

        no, not really at all. the miata has always been this "pure" driving car. don't mess up its natural character with forced induction. id rather see the 2.5 skyactiv in this before a turbo 2.0/1.5

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