Mazda MX-5 Could Get Turbo Or MPS Variant
With two naturally aspirated powerplants already confirmed to be available on the new ND Miata, it seems that Mazda may be actually considering a much higher-powered MPS version of the tiny roadster sometime in the future. This information comes straight from Mazda’s head of global PR, Kudo Hidetoshi, who told the Aussies from Motoring that either a larger-displacement engine or turbocharged version are under consideration for a future, top-of-the-line MX5/Miata.
"We will have this ND-series model for maybe ten years, which gives us plenty of time to make many variants," said Hidetoshi. "And yes, a turbocharged or MPS variant is one of the options we will definitely consider." Since Mazda is currently prioritizing lightweight materials and other strategies that don’t necessarily involve turbocharging in order to increase the efficiency of its cars, turbocharging the Miata may seem a bit far-fetched at first glance. The little roadster has always been known for its fantastic chassis and handling, but not for a torquey engine that leaves others in the dust a traffic lights.
On the other hand, Hidetoshi continued and said that "[Generally speaking] turbocharging is preferable, even to a V6 now. We can use a lighter engine with the same or more power, and achieve [the] emissions and fuel consumption we need." Whether the model will get a larger four-cylinder or a turbocharged version of its current 2-liter Skyactiv engine remains to be seen, but the real good news is that the MX/Miata is pretty much officially confirmed to finally get an MPS version.
Click past the jump to read more about MX-5’s future possible versions.
Why it matters
While a turbocharged MX-5/Miata MPS with, say, 200-plus horsepower and over 221 pound-feet of torque would make a lot of sports-car aficionados happy, I have a feeling that some Miata purists out there may frown at the idea. Who would ever say "no" to more power, you ask? Well, let’s just say that Miata and Lotus fans in general aren’t big on burnouts and/or straighline oomph but on impeccable handling on the twisties and a linear throttle response, instead.
That said, a turbocharged version would also keep the overall weight down compared to a larger four-cylinder or even a V-6, and would retain its near-perfect front-to-rear weight distribution. Plus, the ND Miata hasn’t been launched in all markets yet, so Mazda has plenty of time to test customer waters with the 1.5- and 2.0-liter versions of the model. Personally, the only downside I would see in this arrangement would be the throttle response, with the turbo lag to likely be the main culprit as far as a different driving experience will go.