At the 2015 Chicago Auto Show, Mazda unveiled its Accessories Concept Miata to light fanfare, but the big news isn’t what the concept had on it, it’s what Mazda mentioned almost as an aside with the concept. Mazda finally announced the output of the 2.0-liter Skyactiv-G engine that will power the 2016 MX-5 Miata. And prepare to be disappointed.
Despite Mazda claiming that the Skyactiv-G engine would be specially tuned for the Miata, alluding to the fact that it would have more power and torque than the one that already powers the base CX-5 and Mazda3, it actually is less powerful than both. It produces and underwhelming 155 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque – the same horsepower as the Mazda3, but 2 pound-feet less than the 3. How on Earth Mazda plans to sell the 2016 MX-5 with such a polarizing look and less power than the 2015 model baffles me. I can only hope that Mazda has another trick up its sleeve, like maybe the introduction of a version that uses the 2.5-liter Skyactiv-G engine, which has 184 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque.
I can go on for hours whining about all of this build up about the U.S. specifications only to find out it’s exactly what we all were thinking was not possible. But, it is now fact, the base Mazda3 is more powerful than the MX-5. I know, the MX-5 is 200 pounds lighter than last year, but remember there are also rumors that Mazda is basing this weight loss on the hardtop model versus the soft-top. Additionally, unless the MX-5 has a seriously reworked this version of the 2.0-liter, we are in for even more disappointment, as it this is a very wheezy engine.
But, let’s talk about this concept that Mazda debuted, which just added to my disappointment. It carries a set pf BBS 17-inch wheels, a gloss-black body kit that includes a front air dam, side sill extensions, a rear bumper skirt and a lip spoiler, lightweight Brembo brakes with red calipers, and a carbon-fiber luggage rack. Oh, and that body kit is nothing new, as we already saw it on the MX-5 Global Cup Car. The only part that really stood out to me was the Ceramic Metallic paint job.
Not too much to see for all of that build up.. That seems to be a trend for Mazda as of late.