On Sept. 3, 2014, the zoom-zoom brand will cap off the 25th anniversary of the world's favorite roadster by introducing the all-new 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata. Of course, as befitting a global icon, the reveal will be held simultaneously at locations in the United States, Japan and Spain, and while the brand has made no mention of it yet, expect live-streaming opportunities a-plenty.
Now, as Miata maniacs no do doubt remember, the exposed SKYACTIV chassis of the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata was displayed earlier this year at the New York International Auto Show. There, the automaker promised the new version "would be lighter, stronger and with a physical footprint more in tune with its first-generation predecessor," aided by a weight-reduction goal of at least 220 lbs. and a bit of the brand's more expressive "Kodo" design language. Not much else is known about the car at this stage, although it will almost certainly boast a SKYACTIV-ated powertrain, too. Just note the emphasis on "almost."
Most rumors have the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata powered by a heated-up version of the standard four-cylinder SKYACTIV engine in the current Mazda3, with that 2.0-liter unit retuned for more output than the 155 hp and 150 lb.-ft. of torque it provides in the Mazda compact. And remember, with the current Miata engine rated at 167 hp and 140 lb.-ft. of torque, and the new model losing a few hundred pounds of curb weight, it actually wouldn't take much of a motor massage to get better performance in the next-gen car with the ostensibly less-powerful engine.
However, there is a small section of the auto blogosphere that believes/hopes the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata could end up with an Italian powerplant under the hood, courtesy of a partnership with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles that is expected to lead to some sort of Miata-based roadster for the latter group. For example, there's the 1.4-liter MultiAir turbo in the current FIAT 500 Abarth, which benefits from 160 hp and 170 lb.-ft. of torque.
Until we find out for sure, gearheads can try to guess for themselves by listening carefully to this video.