2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata
Now here’s a report from Top Gear that, first of all, has nothing to do with a loud belligerent ex-TV-show-presenter, but that still has us torn. Pertaining to the all-new Mazda MX-5 Miata sports car, which already is a staff favorite here at Car and Driver, the crew over at Top Gear uncovered that there is not, in fact, a faster version of the two-seat roadster in the works. With rumors swirling of a spicy Mazdaspeed-branded Mazda 3, the news is surprising, to say the least.
2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata
It would appear as though the U.S.-market Miata’s 155-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder is it, power-wise.
On the one hand, we’d never argue against a fine-driving car like the Miata getting more power; on the other hand, you have to admire Mazda’s ballsy fixation on getting the Miata’s driving experience just right, even if that means selling a car with just 155 horsepower in a world prowled by Hellcats and Veyrons. Apparently, Nobuhiro Yamamoto, the program manager for the 2016 MX-5 Miata, agrees with the latter sentiment, telling Top Gear at the Goodwood Festival of Speed that his plucky little sports car isn’t about performance numbers at all. In Yamamoto’s words, “What’s very important to me is the feeling, and that you are happy driving it. I don’t want any more power or torque for the MX-5, but the sensation is important.”
You can read Yamamoto’s full statement over at TG, but the gist is that a higher-performance Miata, much like the turbocharged Mazdaspeed Miata sold from 2004–05, comes saddled with too many compromises to the basic Miata ethos to pass muster today. Add power, and the balance of the car’s power and handling shifts; add power, and the price goes up; add power, and you stray away from the lighthearted, fun roadster concept. For now, the Miata will remain exactly what it wants to be, something we’re very okay with. We should also point out that Yamamoto missed one key point in his remarks to TG: The current Miata, despite its meager power, is the quickest ever, hitting 60 mph in 5.9 seconds in our testing thanks to its low curb weight. If you want more, perhaps try sticking it out for the next-generation Subaru BRZ/Scion FR-S, which assuredly will pack more than 155 ponies and are rumored to be developed on MX-5 bones.