For the last 30 years, the Mazda MX-5 Miata has prided itself on nimble handling, not prodigious power. But it looks like the roadster will receive a boost in horsepower, as well as a telescoping steering wheel, as part of an update.
Car Watch, a Japanese car magazine, has driven the revised Miata and is spilling the details. We can expect an increase from 155 to 181 hp in the car’s 2.0-liter Skyactiv four-cylinder engine, as well as a jump in torque from 148 to 151 lb-ft. Redline has increased from 6,800 to 7,500 rpm. Although the magazine drove a Japanese-spec car, we will likely see these performance changes on our version here in the U.S. as well.
Improving performance, Mazda installed stiffer valve springs and sped up the valve timing. The automaker reduced the weight of the pistons and connecting rods, and installed an enlarged exhaust port and exhaust manifold. Helping to curb noise from the engine, the Miata gets a low-inertia dual-mass flywheel. There is also a new muffler that cuts high frequency noise.
The magazine says Mazda was looking to save every bit of weight it could on the Miata, but it did allow one indulgence. For the first time, the Miata gets a telescoping steering wheel. With a range of almost 1.2 inches, the feature gives drivers a little more versatility in their seating position. To counteract a weight increase, Mazda used aluminum bits instead of steel in the upper steering column.
Recent Mazda MX-5 Miata pictured