Everyone's favorite low-horsepower sports car is getting an update for 2019. The refreshed Mazda MX-5 Miata is nearly here and it's becoming clear that more power is on the menu. According to Road & Track, the 2019 Miata will produce 181 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque.

That's a hefty bump over the current 155 horsepower offered up in the 2018 MX-5 Miata, though torque will only increase by 3 lb-ft. It's not yet entirely clear if the increased output arrives courtesy of a reworked version of the existing 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, or if the updated Mazda roadster will have a new motor.

Rumor has it, however, that the engine will spin faster than its current 6,800 rpm redline and feature lightweight pistons and connecting rods, as well as a new crankshaft. Additionally, the intake and exhaust ports will be larger, and the camshaft will be more more aggressive. Finally, a new throttle body will make proper use of the revised intake and exhaust ports. That information leads us to believe it's the same engine with several updates.

Mazda has cooked up more than just a power upgrade for its ND-generation MX-5. According to the R&T story,  Mazda will also add Smart City Braking. Through a laser mounted in the in or near the rearview mirror, the system detects a potential front-end collision and applies the brakes to avoid or reduce the severity of a potential crash at speeds up to 19 mph.

Another new feature is the addition of a telescoping steering wheel. Considering the cramped nature of the Miata cockpit, this is a welcome upgrade. Perhaps this will open the door for larger folks to give the wonderful little machine a try.

More people driving Miatas would lead to happier drivers. We don't have any science to back that up, but it sounds right.