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Mazda puts the Miata on a diet

Twenty-five years after its first introduction to the world, Mazda’s Miata is set to enter its fourth generation. The third generation “NC” Miata is quite long in the tooth (it was introduced in 2005), so the enthusiast crowd is eager to see what Mazda has up its sleeve for the “ND” Miata.
 
Thankfully, Mazda has revealed a few details about its next generation Miata at the New York Auto Show. While the Japanese automaker didn’t provide a glimpse of what the production bodywork will look like, it did provide us a full look at the vehicle’s new chassis.
 
Like all of Mazda’s recently redesigned vehicles, the Miata will be built using SKYACTIV technology. The SKYACTIV-CHASSIS used in the ND Miata weighs 220 pounds less than the chassis used in the current NC Miata. Mazda is only stating that the chassis itself is 220 pounds lighter; that doesn’t mean that the entire vehicle will be that much lighter (although we can dream). Added safety features and increased creature comforts are sure to add back some more weight.

 
But Mazda’s efforts to reduce overall curb weight in vehicles like the Mazda6, Mazda3, and CX-5 leave us hope that the Miata too will shave quite a bit from its current 2,447 pound curb weight.
 
"This SKYACTIV-CHASSIS expresses a deep-dive chronicle – complete with beginning, middle and conclusion – of the passion, challenges and triumphs being poured into the next-generation MX-5 Miata," said Robert Davis, senior vice president, U.S. Operations, Mazda North American Operations.  "The dedication of the R&D and Design teams to honor the vehicle's dynamic heritage and globally-recognizable features is evident from the chassis' structural blueprint, and will undoubtedly translate into what we believe will be a remarkable production car."


2.0-liter Skyactiv four-cylinder engine
 
As for what will power the next generation Miata, we’re guessing that it will receive a tweaked version of the SKYACTIV 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that is currently used in the Mazda 3 and CX-5. In those applications, the engine puts out 155hp. However, we’re sure that Mazda’s magic can push that figure past the current engine’s 170hp rating. And we can always look forward to SKYACTIV 2 engines for a mid-cycle refresh of the Miata.

Source: Mazda



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skyactiv for all!
By fic2 on 4/16/2014 11:44:26 AM , Rating: 2
My girlfriend has been looking for a new car. The Mazda5 would be a perfect car for her but it gets worse gas mileage than the CX-5. Wondering when the Mazda5 will get the Skyactiv treatment.

BTW, there is a 184hp Skyactiv 2.5L engine now. I would assume it will be an option in the Miata.




RE: skyactiv for all!
By Beefmeister on 4/16/2014 12:05:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
BTW, there is a 184hp Skyactiv 2.5L engine now. I would assume it will be an option in the Miata.


The exhaust headers on the 2.5L engine are enormous by most standards, and space under the hood might be a problem in the MX-5.

I would expect that they will supply the 14:1 compression ratio variant on the 2L engine; needs premium fuel but produces a bit more power. It would be great if they could coax a higher max RPM out of it as well.


RE: skyactiv for all!
By Spuke on 4/16/2014 12:17:27 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
However, we’re sure that Mazda’s magic can push that figure past the current engine’s 170hp rating.
$100 says they'll just drop in the 155hp version as is and claim that's what the enthusiasts wanted.


RE: skyactiv for all!
By Beefmeister on 4/16/2014 12:46:23 PM , Rating: 2
A cynic on the internet? Surely not!


RE: skyactiv for all!
By Flunk on 4/16/2014 1:47:16 PM , Rating: 2
Seeing at the last gen motor that put out 170bhp in the last MX5 put out 148bhp in the Mazda 3 I can't see why they can't tweak the skyactive 2.0L to get at least 177bhp in the new MX5


RE: skyactiv for all!
By Spuke on 4/16/2014 1:53:32 PM , Rating: 2
I can't see why they couldn't either. I'm just saying they won't do it.


RE: skyactiv for all!
By sorry dog on 4/17/2014 4:36:12 PM , Rating: 2
Getting another 10% or more out of a NA motor that already has a pretty high power to displacement ratio isn't exactly trivial. In that case, it's likely the only way to do it is to either spin it faster, increase volumetric efficiency at high rpm, or both. Of course that means to access that extra 15hp you must wind the motor out.


RE: skyactiv for all!
By Reclaimer77 on 4/16/2014 4:10:06 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The exhaust headers on the 2.5L engine are enormous by most standards, and space under the hood might be a problem in the MX-5.


You serious? People can drop Corvette engines into the Miata just fine. I doubt the 2.5L is going to be a problem.

To the OP, you can't go wrong with Mazda. My GF just bought a '14 Mazda 3 Skyactive, and I'm kinda jealous. For the money, it blows away everything in it's class imo.


RE: skyactiv for all!
By Beefmeister on 4/16/2014 4:50:52 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You serious? People can drop Corvette engines into the Miata just fine. I doubt the 2.5L is going to be a problem.


Pretty serious. The older Mazda 3 couldn't even fit the 2.0L Skyactiv engine because of the size of the exhaust headers. It was released with modified headers to fit, and had to be run at lower compression.


RE: skyactiv for all!
By Reclaimer77 on 4/16/2014 6:11:09 PM , Rating: 2
Can I have a link where you're getting this information? It's a damn 4 banger, how big could the freaking headers possibly be!


RE: skyactiv for all!
By Beefmeister on 4/16/2014 8:56:42 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Can I have a link where you're getting this information? It's a damn 4 banger, how big could the freaking headers possibly be!


Just for example: http://www.autoguide.com/manufacturer/mazda/2012-m...

"One thing absent from this production engine is the 4-2-1-exhaust manifold, designed to allow the engine to run at an even higher 13:1 compression ratio. As it turns out, the SkyActiv engine was never intended for the current Mazda3 but was rushed into the product cycle. That header, however, wouldn’t fit and so it had to be left out at the expense of some power and torque."

The header design is a huge part of the ability of this engine to run at 13:1 compression (14:1 in Europe with premium fuel) without knocking. They are long, and large calibre, and even bigger in the 2.5L variants.


RE: skyactiv for all!
By Shawn on 4/16/2014 12:26:08 PM , Rating: 2
The Mazda 5 will probably be last on the list to get it. It seems like it's a low priority for them. It was also one of the last cars to get the "smiley" redesign so it will probably be one of the last to get the new redesign as well.

I specifically looked for a 2010 model when we were looking for Mazda5's for the wife last year. Found one with low mileage and certified preowned warranty. It was the last one without the ugly redesign and it matches my 2008 MS3. It's quite nice for a mini minivan.


RE: skyactiv for all!
By fic2 on 4/16/2014 1:34:13 PM , Rating: 2
One of her priorities is mpg. Will probably end up with a Mazda3 hatchback.


RE: skyactiv for all!
By Jeffk464 on 4/16/2014 1:11:21 PM , Rating: 3
Miata, just by a Subaru BRZ


RE: skyactiv for all!
By lockheed2266 on 4/16/2014 6:54:02 PM , Rating: 2
Except that the current 8 year old Miata has a much more sophisticated suspension setup and is cheaper (double wishbone and multi-link vs McPherson on the BRZ), and it's beating the 86 twins on the national autocross level.


RE: skyactiv for all!
By Samus on 4/16/2014 7:28:57 PM , Rating: 3
The CX-5 is a great car (I own one and can contest) but it has its quirks.

First of all, it isn't a bargain. Like all Mazda's, there is little negotiating room. But they are premium cars, more so than Nissan or Mitsubishi equivalents, and completely on-par with Honda, Ford, and Toyota while being more fun.

However, I don't get my rated fuel economy (even after installing the European tune for 14:1 compression ratio on premium fuel) and the vehicle is incredibly fragile.

This winter, my washer pump broke and needed replacing under warranty. It froze and cracked, likely an insufficient washer fluid/water mix from factory.

Also disturbing, is the windshield situation on these vehicles. Mazda uses thin glass to save weight, and there are hundreds of complaints on NTSB and NHSTA to push for a recall. Not that it will help, I've been driving around with a cracked windshield for weeks on a 4 month old car because the backorder log is currently 9 weeks from Mazda USA to deliver to dealers, once you are on the list.

There are no aftermarket windshields yet, and no, it isn't replaced under warranty. Hopefully my insurance will cover it. The windshield from Mazda is $380 without installation, or about double what Ford charges for their "Autoglass" brand that is in my experience practically bulletproof (I never replaced the windshield on my Mountaineer or Focus and owned both for over a decade.)

The windshields all crack the same way, at the center in a vertical line. Either the chassis is putting too much stress on it or the glass is just too thin. I have various nicks and even a gouge from some dirt left by the wipers. Somehow still DOT approved!

Needs a recall.


RE: skyactiv for all!
By villageidiotintern on 4/16/2014 9:12:00 PM , Rating: 2
I have the 2006 six-speed with a cracked windshield and I am positive it is chassis flex causing it. Because flogging!


RE: skyactiv for all!
By spamreader1 on 4/19/2014 4:40:17 PM , Rating: 2
Yup, still a "chick car", even if it is fun to drive. I don't see how mazda will ever shake it. I'd buy one for my wife, (and even drive it if she's in the car too) but never one for myself...There's just some kind of un-manliness about them.


RE: skyactiv for all!
By Spuke on 4/21/2014 2:05:55 PM , Rating: 2
I have no idea where the chick car thing came from as Miata's have been raced heavily during their entire existence. Great cars when setup for track use. IMO, they totally suck straight from the factory though.


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