Report: 2016 Mazda Miata Could Still Spawn Turbo Variant

2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Front Three Quarter In Motion 07

A new report from Motoring covers a discussion with the program manager of the 2016 Mazda Miata (ND) regarding the future of a higher-performance MX-5 variant, and whether or not it will include turbocharging. In an interview with Motoring, Program Manager Nobuhiro Yamamoto discussed the future of the Miata during its expected ten-year lifespan. Earlier this year, closer to the initial debut of the car, Mazda’s global Public Relations boss Kudo Hidetoshi made the comment that “A turbocharged or MPS variant is one of the options we will definitely consider.” Yamamoto elaborated on the previous comments, saying a turbocharged Miata was not officially in the cards right now, but considering the long life cycle of the roadster, either a turbo or high-performance variant is possible. “Since the lifespan was mentioned at 10 years, it is kind of long years, so thinking on what Kudo-san said was just a possibility of having such a variant given the long lifespan,” Yamamoto told Motoring.

2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club Side Profile In Motion 01

When Motoring asked Yamamoto on whether or not a naturally aspirated high-performance variant could exist, Yamamoto said, “If you could achieve what we want, to which is great response, very light and powerful with great performance feel with natural aspiration, then we don’t need a turbo,” Yamamoto told Motoring. “But if we want more power because we don’t get satisfied with natural aspiration then we may think about the turbo.” Motoring speculates the high-performance Miata to utilize the upcoming 2.5-liter Skyactiv turbocharged engine making its debut on the upcoming CX-9 and the future Mazdaspeed3. We would be surprised to see such a large engine in the Miata given its focus on light weight and nimble handling, and instead think that a smaller turbo four-cylinder is more likely if such a model ever comes to fruition. While the Mazda MX-5 Miata has historically been naturally aspirated, Mazda created a short-lived turbocharged variant in the early 2000’s. The NB Mazdaspeed featured a turbocharged engine that pushed out a respectable 180 hp and allowed the boosted roadster to crack off the 0-60 mph run in 6.2 seconds. Much speculation is also focused on the future of the Fiat-branded Miata variant, tentatively called the Fiat 124, which could include one of Fiat’s many turbocharged engines. Already, Fiat has confirmed the production of an Abarth variant, and could feature closer to 200 hp from an unknown turbocharged engine. Stay tuned to hear more about the future of the ND Mazda MX-5 Miata and a possible higher-performance variant.

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