The Miata may get mocked for its “dainty” looks and relatively low power output, but you can’t ignore its extremely lightweight design and impeccable manners with regards to handling. Whereas the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is a blunt instrument, the Miata is a surgical tool.
Complaints about power should subside slightly with the arrival of the 2019 Miata, which will bring a rather hefty increase in horsepower compared to the current car. Mazda has worked its magic on the SkyActiv-G 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine to make it more efficient and eager to rev. The pistons and connecting rods are now lighter and a new low-inertia dual-mass flywheel has been installed. In addition, Mazda has introduced higher-pressure fuel injectors and the intake ports have been massaged to improve overall efficiency. Oh, and Mazda has also installed a new exhaust system to help the engine belt out more melodic tunes.
In the end, Mazda was able to increase power from a “meh” 155hp to 181hp. Torque has only increased slightly from 148 lb-ft to 151 lb-ft. Almost as impressive as the horsepower gain is the fact that the engine redline has been increased from 6,800 to 7,500. Oh yeah!
For those that still harp about the Miata not having at least 200hp horsepower under the hood or balk at Mazda for not installing a turbo (like on the second-generation NB Mazdaspeed), remember that the Miata is a crazy-light vehicle. In base trim, the ND Miata weighs just over 2,300 pounds. We expect acceleration and overall performance to increase across the board — the current car does 0-60 in about 6 seconds, and this more powerful 2019 model could drop those numbers under the 6-second mark.
Other changes for the 2019 model year include new 17-inch black metallic wheels, a brown soft top option, and a standard rearview camera. Traffic Sign Recognition and Smart City Brake Control will also be available as options.
Pricing hasn’t been announced for the 2019 Mazda Miata, which is scheduled to go on sale this fall. However, it shouldn’t stray too far from the 2018 Miata, which starts at around $26,000.