The rumors of Mazda developing a more powerful MX-5 Miata were true. Japan’s Car Watch had the opportunity to drive a prototype for the updated roadster, and the magazine divulged all the details. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder now packs 182 horsepower at 7,000 rpm rather than 155 hp at 6,00 rpm in current form. Torque grows a little bit to 151 pound-feet from 148 pound-feet in the existing model.
To achieve such a significant power bump, Mazda overhauls the powertrain. New pistons are 0,95 ounces lighter, and the connecting rods weigh 1,4 ounces less. To breathe better, the Miata’s engine has a larger diameter throttle body, bigger exhaust valves, and wider exhaust piping. These improvements let the redline rise to 7,500 rpm from 6,800 rpm. In addition to more power, the tweaks also are supposed to improve thermal efficiency and lower emission.
While the engine is the heart of a sports car, it’s not the only important thing. Mazda’s engineers install softer suspension bushings at the back, which allegedly improves steering feel. Inside the cabin, drivers get a telescoping steering wheel for the first time in the Miata. There aren’t, though, any major aesthetic changes, but some minor tweaks are the availability of a caramel brown top, tan leather interior, and bright finish for the wheels.