Last month, we told you about the possibility that the 2019 Miata would have significantly more power courtesy of a heavily-revised Skyactiv 2.0-liter engine.
Thanks to a friendly Mazda dealer in Canada and some of the insiders at Miata.net, we now know quite a bit more about how the new Miata will make its power, as well as a few other pieces of information that will make some buyers hold onto their money and send others rushing to the dealership for a 2018 model. We contacted a representative for Mazda USA who refused to confirm the validity of the leaked document, but that’s par for the course in a situation like this.
Let’s start with the engine. The power figures are impressive–181hp at an as-yet-unspecified engine speed and 151 lb-feet of torque. These are improvements of 26 hp and 3 lb-feet respectively. The only way to increase horsepower that much without increasing torque? You have to spin the engine harder. The current car has come in for some criticism because its 6800-rpm hard redline was 400rpm below the redline of the previous-generation NC Miata. Sure enough, the documentation provided to dealers refers to the “increased rev capacity” of the revised engine.
One potential fly in the ointment: For 2019, the Miata will have a dual-mass flywheel. These are often heavier and they are always more complex. Mazda claims it’s to handle some of the noise, vibration, and harshness issues brought on by the more powerful engine. Another annoyance: Drivers who like to listen to compact discs will not be pleased to hear that the CD player is gone in the new car.
The two big changes outside the powertrain: Smart City Braking System, which is meant to reduce pedestrian fatalities at the cost of whatever drink you happen to have in your hand or cupholder at the time, and a long-awaited telescoping steering wheel. The ND’s cockpit is noticeably tighter than that of its predecessor so this is a big deal for those of us who are on the middle-to-outer ranges of human proportion. There’s also a rearview camera now for when you’re backing your SCCA National Solo Miata up to your tire trailer.
Canadian soft tops will also get an optional brown convertible top and three different colors of leather in the RF Grand Touring. Traditionally, US-market cars have had fewer color options than Canadian cars, so there is nothing to suggest that the brown top will also make it south of the border.