The Mazda MX-5 Miata is one of the most affordable roadsters on the market but it has always favored nimble handling over big performance numbers.
The model currently has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine which develops 155 hp (115 kW) and 148 lb-ft (200 Nm) of torque. While that’s not bad considering the car weighs around 2,332 lbs (1,057 kg), it’s less powerful than the Fiat 124 Spider which has a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder developing 160 hp (119 kW) and 184 lb-ft (249 Nm) of torque.
Help could be on the way as Road and Track has unearthed a VIN filing which suggests the 2019 MX-5 could receive a major power boost. According to documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the model will have a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 181 hp (135 kW). If that figure pans out, it would be an increase of 26 hp (19 kW) and a jump of nearly 17 percent.
It remains unclear how Mazda will achieve this boost in performance but the publication notes the documents don’t mention a turbocharger or supercharger. Mazda has also said the MX-5 won’t receive the new SkyActiv-X engine so it is possible engineers have made significant changes to the current SkyActiv-G unit.
Nothing is official but the magazine says common aftermarket upgrades – including a new intake, exhaust and ECU – only add around 12 hp (9 kW). However, companies such as BBR have tuned the engine to produce up to 225 hp (167 kW).
Mazda declined to comment on the VIN filing but the current MX-5 is reaching middle age as the car was introduced in September of 2014. As a result, we can expect to see a facelift relatively soon and this would be the perfect time to introduce an upgraded engine.