Mark your calendar now: the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata will be revealed Wednesday, September 3 at an event in Monterey, California. That's the key news from a new Mazda teaser video called, “#LongLiveTheRoadster.”
“We're excited to make this official, to announce that the newest member of the MX-5 Miata family will be arriving soon,” Mazda North American Operations CEO Jim O' Sullivan said in a statement. “Along with our colleagues around the world, we continue to celebrate the MX-5's 25th anniversary and look forward to sharing even more news in the near future.”
The short video doesn't reveal anything new about the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata, aside from promising that, “It's not an evolution, it's a revolution.” The buzzy note of a sports-car engine plays in the background, but the only imagery shown is the view of a curving mountain road.
As we revealed in our August 2014 issue, the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata will most likely look like these renderings. Although pedestrian-protection safety regulations preclude pop-up headlights, in other respects the new Miata will have similar lines and proportions to the first-generation car. The car will grow slightly in width and length compared to today's NC-generation Miata, and may be a little lower overall for a sportier look. As our earlier spy photos revealed, the 2016 car will use four-lug wheel hubs compared to the five-lug design of the current Miata.
The aluminum-intensive chassis shown at the 2014 New York auto show will help the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata shed about 220 pounds compared to today's car, so we expect the curb weight of a base model with a soft top to run around 2260 pounds. That means the car doesn't need an extremely powerful engine, so it's possible a version of the 2.0-liter SkyActiv inline-four from the Mazda 3 will find its way into the Miata. The current NC-generation Miata's non-SkyActiv 2.0-liter engine makes 167 hp, and the reduced weight of the 2016 car means the new engine probably doesn't need much more power than that. A six-speed manual transmission should finally become standard (a five-speed manual is currently still offered on base models), helping improve the Miata's fuel economy as Mazda endeavors to improve its all-important Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) numbers.
After the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata goes on sale next spring, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles still plans to build and sell its own version. While that model was originally expected to be badged an Alfa Romeo Spider, it now most likely will be sold as a Fiat Abarth.
Take a look at the teaser video below, then mark your calendar to come back on September 3 for full details on the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata.