How Does A 181-Hp Mazda MX-5 Miata Sound To You?

Rumor

Sounds about right...

Since the dawn of time, or at least since the first Mazda MX-5 Miata rolled into the hearts of driving enthusiasts, armchair racers (and perhaps some actual racers) have begged Mazda to give the Miata more power. It’s not that it really needs more power to be fun, it is already so rewarding because of how amazing it is at, well, everything. But when something is good, we always want more power.

On March 2nd we reported that the 2019 Mazda Miata might get that long-awaited power bump based on filings with the NHTSA, but now internal Mazda documents came to light with juicy details reaffirming the 181 horsepower figure, including the expected powertrain revisions and the output they will generate. While we don’t know where exactly in the rpm band the 2.0-liter SkyActiv-G will make that 181 hp or its 151 lb-ft of accompanying torque, Road & Track quotes the document saying that there will be “increased rev capacity”. While we are all in favor of going straight to 8,000+ rpm, we’ll be satisfied with anything north of its current 6,800-rpm redline.

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Aside from that tune, some of the mechanical revisions are “ultra-light” pistons, lighter connecting rods, new crankshaft, larger, high-flow intake and exhaust, revised camshaft and a dual-mass flywheel to handle the extra power. Personally, I’d spend my money on a lower, firmer suspension and stickier rubber, but that’s even easier to fix through the aftermarket, so this is a big win for weekend racers. Than again, it’s a shame Mazda engineers weren’t more inspired by the Flyin’ Miata guys. The powertrain isn’t the only item on the update agenda, and the Canadian-sourced document lists a variety of revisions to their trims, as well as some choice features to make life easier and safer.

For safety, Mazda’s Smart City Braking System will auto-brake for pedestrians and for convenience, the steering wheel will now telescope and a rearview camera helps you back up without hitting things. Anything that makes the Miata more practical is fine, but answering the call of enthusiasts for more power is even better, so we're eager for the news to become official and see for ourselves what an extra 25 hp does for this already brilliant machine.

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