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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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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.


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