It's finally official. Mazda on Wednesday upped the zoom-zoom baked into its MX-5 Miata for 2019. This fall, when the 2019 MX-5 Miata hits dealerships, it will boast 181 horsepower—a 17 percent increase over 2018, Mazda said.
A number of engineering upgrades allowed for this increase in power. Internally, Mazda reduced the weight of the pistons by 27 grams while also trimming the connecting rods by 41 grams. Mazda also fiddled with the camshaft so it produces greater valve lift and a larger valve opening angle. This, coupled with an increase in the inner diameter of the exhaust manifold results in a 30 percent reduction in the force required to move the intake and exhaust valves up and down.
While the increase in power is a plus, it's joined by another positive outcome: improved fuel economy, Mazda said.
We don't have official EPA figures just yet, but Mazda says the car will outperform the current 28 mpg city, 35 highway, 29 combined achieved with the 2018 MX-5 with the optional automatic transmission.
Tap into that added power and Mazda said you'll also find a more adventurous redline: from 6,800 rpm last year to 7,500 rpm for 2019. While you're playing in the increased rev range, your ears may pick up on another change. There's a brand-new exhaust system that Mazda says provides a richer sound.
The 2019 Miata has improvements in the cabin as well. Those with a bit more... girth to their figure will appreciate the new telescoping steering wheel. Outside, the MX-5 now offers a brown soft top and the new black metallic 17-inch wheels, while automatic emergency braking is a new option. Mazda also said doors are easier to open, but we've never really noticed a problem there.
Mazda has yet to announce pricing for the updated 2019 MX-5. The car will be made available starting this fall, but the automaker hasn't announced pricing. Along with those numbers, Mazda will also roll out an updated version of the MX-5 Cup race car.
Slow car fast just got quite a bit faster.