Good news American sports car buyers, Mazda finally confirms that the updates to the MX-5 Miata in Europe and Japan are coming to the United States, too. The improved roadster arrives in the U.S. this fall, but there's no word yet about any price changes.
The 2019 Miata uses a massively updated version of the existing Skyactiv-G 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that now produces 181 horsepower (135 kilowatts) and 151 pound-feet (205 Newton-meters) of torque, instead of 155 hp (116 kW) and 148 lb-ft (201 Nm) in the powerplant's previous tune. The mill's redline grows to 7,500 rpm from 6,800 rpm from the current model.
Mazda also claims that fuel economy improves but doesn't provide any specific numbers. The EPA rates the current, 2018 Miata at 29 miles per gallon combined for both the manual and automatic gearbox.
To get these improvements, Mazda's engineers took a comprehensive approach to update the engine. Each piston is now 0.95 ounces (27 grams) lighter, and the connecting rods weigh 1.4 ounces (41 grams) less. Revised intake ports and new fuel injectors atomize the fuel better than before. An updated valvetrain increases the opening angle and lift height. The exhaust manifold has a larger diameter. A dual-mass flywheel makes the throttle smoother and more responsive. A higher final-drive ratio should make the car feel quicker, too.
Gallery: 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Review (New)
Mazda engineers also took the time to make the Miata more comfortable to ride in. Drivers get a telescoping steering wheel with 1.7 inches (42 millimeters) of adjustment range. There's also a new design for the cupholders and seat levels. The team even made the doors easier to open – not the ones in the current Miata are difficult to operate. The government-mandated backup camera is now a standard part of the cabin, too.
Buyers can also get a few new options. A brown top is an alternative the currently available black and red fabric roofs. There's a new set of metallic black 17-inch wheels. Customers wanting more safety tech can get Traffic Sign Recognition and Smart City Brake Support.
Gallery: 2018 Mazda Miata Club: Review
2019 MAZDA MX-5 MIATA PACKS MORE PUNCH, FEATURES
MAZDA’S REVISED ROADSTER GOES ON SALE IN THE U.S. THIS FALL
June 20, 2018
The 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata receives a newly refined powertrain, boasting 17 percent more power and greater fuel-efficiency
An available brown soft top complements MX-5’s KODO—Soul of Motion design
Numerous customer-driven improvements include a new rearview camera and more available i-ACTIVSENSE safety equipment
The 2019 MX-5 goes on sale in the U.S. this fall
IRVINE, Calif. (June 20, 2018) – The Mazda MX-5 Miata has never been about power; it’s a car whose sole purpose is to help the driver and passenger fall in love with driving. But, a little extra power never hurts, which comes as one aspect of numerous updates for the 2019 model year.
Mazda’s engineers enriched MX-5’s SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter engine with the goals of improved response, performance, feel and efficiency. The net results are 181 horsepower at 7,000 rpm—a 17-percent improvement—and 151 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm, with a richer torque curve throughout MX-5’s entire rev range.
Speaking of rev range, redline has increased from 6,800 rpm to 7,500 rpm. Engineers were able to increase performance through several means, including:
Reducing internal mass and friction: Each piston has been reduced 27g in mass, thanks to a minimized skirt area. Connecting rods are 41g lighter than previous units.
Reducing exhaust loss: The upgraded engine carries an increased valve opening angle and valve lift height. The inner diameter of the exhaust manifold has also been increased. The net results are a 30-percent reduction in pumping losses.
Improved combustion: Reconfigured intake ports and new high-diffusion, higher-pressure fuel injectors improve the tumble and swirl of fuel in the cylinder and better-atomize fuel. The benefit is improved efficiency and torque at all rpm.
Dual-mass flywheel: Replacing the single-mass flywheel with a low-inertia, dual-mass flywheel improves smoothness and responsiveness.
A new exhaust system with richer sound quality.
New final drive ratio: The transmission’s final drive ratio has been increased from 3.454 to 3.583 in order to improve linear response to match the driver’s intentions. Gear ratios are otherwise unchanged from previous models.
As a result of numerous changes, MX-5 is quicker, more responsive and aims to be more engaging to drive, adhering to Mazda’s unique Jinba Ittai—“horse and rider as one”—engineering philosophy.
Beyond engine improvements, the 2019 MX-5 introduces an available brown canvas soft top, new black metallic 17-inch wheels, a newly telescoping steering wheel (42mm of travel), easier-to-open doors and revised door stops and revised cupholders and seat levers.
On the safety front, the new MX-5 will be sold with a new, standard rearview camera and newly available features such as Traffic Sign Recognition and Smart City Brake Support in addition to other i-ACTIVSENSE safety technologies found throughout various trim levels. In the process of gaining many new features, the 2019 MX-5 gains just 7 lbs. from previous models, owing to a strict adherence to Mazda’s “Gram Strategy” and ingenious solutions like adopting an aluminum steering shaft in place of the previous steel unit.
When the fourth-generation MX-5 launched, its development team rallied around the idea of innovating in order to preserve. The latest round of innovations aim to continue that mission.
The 2019 Mazda MX-5 will be available in the U.S. this fall, with pricing, packaging and full specifications to be announced closer to on-sale timing. Details concerning the 2019-spec Global MX-5 Cup racecar will also be announced at a later date.
Mazda North American Operations is headquartered in Irvine, California, and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States and Mexico through nearly 700 dealers. Operations in Mexico are managed by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City. For more information on Mazda vehicles, including photography and B-roll, please visit the online Mazda media center at InsideMazda.MazdaUSA.com/Newsroom.
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