Rumors that the Mazda MX-5 Miata will be getting more power have been circulating for quite some time. But this morning, we got official confirmation that they’re no longer rumors. And if you’re an enthusiast that suddenly feels compelled to send the folks at Mazda a nice fruit basket, you’re not alone.
To recap, here’s what we know. The 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata will be packing a SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter engine good for 181 horsepower and 151 lb-feet, and will rev all the way up to a lofty 7500 rpm. To help it get there, the engineers shaved weight off the pistons and connecting rods, upped the pressure on the injectors, gave it a more free-flowing manifold, and swapped the formerly static unit for a dual-mass flywheel. That means pumping losses from the sprightly little mill have been improved by a whopping 30 percent, which translates to a 17 percent improvement in output over the outgoing engine’s 155 ponies.
Since the heaviest version of the MX-5, the RF hardtop, tips the scales at around 2,500 pounds, drivers are sure to feel the extra poke when hurling the venerable little roadster through the bends. There’s also a new exhaust system, which has been tuned to deliver a throatier report. To round out the improvements to the greasy bits, buyers who opt for the automatic — if you absolutely must — will get a new final drive ratio designed to improve throttle response. Tellingly, no changes have been made to the manual gearbox, because it’s basically perfect already.
Along with these refinements, there will be a telescoping steering wheel, new 17-inch black metallic wheels, a brown soft-top option, a backup camera, and integration of Mazda’s Smart City Brake technology, which can automatically stop the vehicle if it appears a collision is imminent.
You can expect to find the 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata at your local AutoNation dealer, this fall, and we’ll have a test drive review posted just as soon as the company lets us get our greedy little mitts on it. Until then, check out our reviews of the standard MX-5 and the even-sexier RF hardtop. Spoiler alert: We loved them both.