The Miata is a delightful machine that is the poster child of the slow-car-fast mindset. Every auto enthusiast loves it, but a fair contingent of the car's fans also agree that it wouldn't hurt to have a bit more horsepower. It appears that the Japanese automaker is listening because the 2019 MX-5 Miata may get a bit more juice under its hood.
Automakers have to file documents with a number of regulatory bodies before a vehicle comes to market. Hidden in a VIN document filed with NHTSA is a section that shows the 2019 Mazda MX-5 will be sold with a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder making 181 horsepower instead 155 horsepower we're used to. That's a heck of a power jump, 17 percent in fact.
Right now, the MX-5 comes equipped with a SkyActiv-G inline 4-cylinder engine that produces 155 horsepower and launches this lightweight car to 60 mph in about 6.0 seconds. It's quite an enjoyable driving experience for so little power. Pushing the output up to 181 horsepower, however, would really kick things up a notch.
How Mazda plans to make that extra power is unknown. It likely wouldn't arrive from a simple tuning change. It may include camshafts and a new intake manifold. Mazda has said it doesn't plan to turbocharge this engine.
The horsepower bump is a bold plan but one that could pay off. We already love the Miata with 155 horsepower. We're ready to fall in love again, and more deeply, when it comes packing 181 horses.
And then we'll eventually complain that it doesn't have 200 horsepower.