Overview: 2016 Mazda Miata

Reviews I By Winding Road Staff I December 01, 2013

This is the overview page for the 2016 Mazda Miata. Rumors, news, reviews, road tests, specifications, videos, awards, and other relevant information will all be included here as they become available.


CAR magazine has provided a rendering of what they envision the next MX-5 may look like. Additionally, the team at CAR has a few theories about what changes await the legendary two seater. 
To start with, and much to the glee of MX-5 enthusiasts, Mazda will continue its efforts to cut down weight across their model lines, which includes the Miata. To that end, the next MX-5 is rumored to weigh one approximately one tonne, or 2204 pounds.
CAR further speculates that the MX-5’s output will also get a modest bump as well, pushing output over 200 bhp for the first time. They expect to see naturally aspirated versions of Mazda’s 1.6 and 2.0-liter engines, along with the availability of a ragtop and folding hardtop roof.
Mazda has been pretty quiet about when we might get a glimpse of the upcoming refreshed roadster, but we’ll be keeping a keen eye out for anything Mazda might have on offer at next weeks Detroit Auto Show.
2014 marks 25 years of Miata, and Mazda plans to celebrate a quarter century of the beloved roadster in grand form at the New York Auto Show next month.
Mazda plans to bring 15 of its favorite MX-5 flavors from throughout its history to the New York event, showcasing everything from concepts and race cars to special edition production Miatas.
Jim O’Sullivan, president and CEO of Mazda North America, promises that among those will be the debut of the fourth generation MX-5, which promises to continue to embody all the characteristics that have helped make the Miata a motoring legend:
"The MX-5 Miata is the quintessential Mazda, and after 25 years, every vehicle in the lineup continues to feature some characteristic of MX-5: a fluid shifter, lightness on its feet, quickness around a corner, a fun-to-drive DNA. With all the whiz-bang technology and comfort amenities increasingly added to modern vehicles, MX-5’s direct connection between car and driver still remains the standard feature that puts smiles on drivers’ faces."
The fourth generation MX-5 will share its platform with an as-yet unnamed Alfa Romeo roadster, each powered by bespoke motors unique to both brands. It is estimated that about 40% of the parts will be common between the two cars, with a curb weight of roughly 2200 pounds and an output of about 170 horsepower.
Source: Autoweek
While we were hoping for a proper debut of the fourth generation Miata at this year’s New York Auto Show, when it comes to the forthcoming all-new Miata, we’ll take what we can get. And what we get is word from Mazda that the Skyactiv chassis of the newest MX-5 will be leaner, meaner, and more honest to the original intent of the diminutive sports car.
With the engine pushed further back and lower than in any previous generation MX-5, Mazda touts that with this newest Miata, "the soul of the sports car is not only revisited but reinvented." Whether or not that claim pans out, we can say that we’re excited about the 220 pound weight reduction, which should bring the total curb weight to about 2300 pounds.
Mazda reports that more details are forthcoming "at a date closer to the vehicle’s launch." We’ll be sure to keep you posted, and don’t forget to check back at the overview page for the new MX-5 for the latest updates as we have them.
– Next-Generation Roadster Returns to Fundamentals of Fun with Lighter, Stronger Body –
Apr 16, 2014
NEW YORK, April 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — With weeks, perhaps months, of bated-breath anticipation, anxiety and hope hanging in the proverbial car enthusiast air, Mazda today confirmed development details of the highly-anticipated next-generation MX-5 Miata roadster.  Making its world debut during a press conference at the New York International Auto Show (NYIAS), the vehicle’s all-new SKYACTIV®1-CHASSIS bared its sports car soul and affirmed that the future model would be lighter, stronger and with a physical footprint more in tune with its first-generation predecessor than with its heavier, larger current-day cousin.
Mazda North American Operations is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States and Mexico through nearly 700 dealers. Operations in Mexico are managed by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City. For more information on Mazda vehicles, including photography and B-roll, please visit the online Mazda media center at www.mazdausamedia.com.
"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 (MNAO).  "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."
With the fourth-generation MX-5, the soul of the sports car is not only revisited but reinvented.  With no richly layered, character line-laden sheet metal to hide beneath, the SKYACTIV-CHASSIS lays out a narrative of MX-5’s continuing story with a perfectly arranged table of contents.  This chassis is the first time SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY has ever been shown in a front mid-ship engine rear-wheel-drive design.  Also, its compact configuration showcases an engine closer to the vehicle’s center, a center of gravity which itself is lower than that of any previous generation.  And not only lower but decidedly leaner with a weight reduction goal of more than 220 lbs (100 kg), all with the goal of continuing to achieve the highest standards of body rigidity and collision safety performance.
This unwavering determination to keep the MX-5 faithful to its roots of being compact, light and fun-to-drive also is a further evolution of the brand’s Jinba Ittai signature – the oneness between a car and its driver.  An early example is that of engineers painstakingly researching the optimum driver position for behind-the-wheel excitement and comfort as further proof that a driving experience intertwined with a history of courage, creativity and conviction is the Mazda way.
More information on the next-generation MX-5 Miata will be announced at a later date closer to the vehicle’s launch.
Mazda North American Operations is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States and Mexico through nearly 700 dealers.  Operations in Mexico are managed by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.  For more information on Mazda vehicles, including photography and B-roll, please visit the online Mazda media center at www.mazdausamedia.com.
1 SKYACTIV is a registered trademark of Mazda Motor Corporation (MC).
Logo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20131205/MM28870LOGO
SOURCE Mazda North American Operations
For further information: Beverly Braga, Mazda North American Operations, (949) 727-6751; Eric Booth, Mazda North American Operations, (949) 727-6144


Mazda has been teasing us with tidbits on the long-awaited fourth generation Miata for quite some time now, but it looks like the wait is nearly over. We saw the chassis and drivetrain pictured above at the New York Auto Show earlier this year, which promises weight reduction, a revamped multilink rear suspension, and a bump in power among various other upgrades. What we didn’t see was a proper debut of the complete car – or even a promise of when that might be.
But all that is about to change. In just two short months, all will be revealed at three simultaneous global events in Japan, Spain, and here in the US at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, the latter of which is part of a precursor to the enthusiast-operated event known as Miatas at Mazda Raceway, which will be held on September 5-7. The next-generation roadster will be on display alongside an array of heritage, concept and motorsports MX-5s.
In the meantime, Mazda offers us a taste of what the driving experience of the new MX-5 will sound like, complete with turbo noise:


As always, don’t forget to check back at the overview page for the new MX-5 for the latest updates as we have them.

Update: Mazda Unveils the All-New 2016 MX-5 

After months, perhaps years of anticipation, Mazda has unveiled the design of the all-new fourth generation Miata.
Stay tuned for more details as we have them, but in the meantime, check out our gallery of photos and the rather extensive press release, which is actually quite short on specifics regarding the new roadster. We’ve gone ahead listed the most relevant official specs offered for the JDM version of the car here:
Body type
Open-top sports car
Seating capacity
2 persons
Overall length x width x height
3,915mm X 1,730mm X 1,235mm
SKYACTIV-G direct-injection gasoline engine
SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual transmission
Front suspension
Double wishbone
Rear suspension
Electric Power Assisted Rack & Pinion Steering (EPAS)
Brakes (front/rear)
Ventilated discs / Solid discs
All-New Mazda MX-5/Roadster
Joy of the Moment, Joy of Life
– Appealing to the senses and sensations through which people enjoy cars –
The significance given to maximising the Jinba Ittai and “Lots of Fun” experiences means that Mazda did much more than simply develop a compact sports car. Rather, the MX-5 was made to be looked at, to perform and respond faithfully to the driver’s will, to deliver a pleasing tactile experience, to emphasize the owner’s character, and to enjoy with friends.
Just having an MX-5 makes life more pleasant and more colorful. Mazda built the MX-5 with the hopes that it would become a presence that transcended its existence as a mere car. To carry on the MX-5’s rich tradition while more purely than ever embodying the essence of what appeals to the senses and sensations through which people enjoy cars, the development team made every effort to further evolve the product. Particular effort went into advancing the following three elements.
First was to create a design that would set anybody’s heart pounding with excitement. Just one look at the fourth-generation MX-5 should get one’s pulse racing. Sitting in it should bring a smile to the driver’s face and instantaneously spark an urge to take the top down and go for a drive. And it should become a cherished part of the owner’s life as time passes. These joyful attributes are what the development team aimed to express in an even purer state with the fourth-generation MX-5. In pursuit of them, they worked to add greater depth to the KODO design language, to embody beautiful proportions that make the occupants stand out and look even better, and to make the open-air roadster experience all the more enjoyable. Specifically, development focused on the following.
• Beautiful proportions that make the occupants stand out and look good.
• A deeper expression of the KODO design language that conveys agility.
•   Body surfaces that richly express the Japanese sense of contrast between stillness and motion.
•   An interior design that melts away the boundaries between the inside and outside of the car.
•   A snug feeling cockpit with symmetry and a singular axis that enables concentration on driving.
The second element is to deliver a driving experience that will captivate any driver. For every generation of the MX-5, importance was placed on appealing to the senses and sensations through which people enjoy cars, rather than focusing merely on sheer performance. With “sensation” as the keyword for the fourth-generation MX-5, development efforts focused on making the car even more enjoyable to control and faithful in its response. When driving in typical daily situations, the car responds directly to the driver’s will, as though it were extension of the driver’s own body. When enjoying a sporty run along winding roads, it responds faithfully to the driver’s actions in pleasingly light fashion. Every effort went into further refining these attributes to realize the ultimate Jinba Ittai driving experience that will captivate any driver. Specifically, development focused on the following.
•    The latest SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY and Mazda’s “gram strategy” combine to significantly reduce weight by more than 100kg over the third-generation model.
•      Front-midship engine rear-wheel-drive configuration achieves an ideal 50:50 front-rear weight distribution.
•   The engine is located closer to the vehicle’s center, the hood, trunk lid, front fender and front and rear bumper reinforcements are made of aluminum, and the weight of the soft top is reduced. These combine to realize a lower yaw inertial moment and a lower center of gravity.
•   The pedals, controls, meters and all equipment are optimally positioned to enable the driver to maintain a straight posture and drive comfortably.
•   The height of the hood is lowered and the A-pillars and windshield header are moved rearward and made thinner to create a panoramic view with greater visibility of road conditions and peripheral movement.
•      SKYACTIV-G direct-injection gasoline engines are oriented longitudinally and specially tuned for the MX-5.
•   New six-speed manual and automatic transmissions are also specially tuned for the MX-5.
•     New lightweight yet highly rigid suspension fully leverages the know-how of SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY, with a double-wishbone suspension in the front and multilink suspension in the rear.
•    The brake system is designed to maximize controllability and deliver reassuring effectiveness, plenty of braking power, and an optimized posture when braking.
The third element is a pleasantly refreshing roadster experience that anyone can enjoy. It embodies the feeling of openness only possible with an open-top lightweight sports car, a feeling that can quickly lift anybody’s spirits anywhere and at any time while enjoying a drive with the top down. To achieve this, development focused primarily on the following.
• The MX-5 is designed to be beautiful even with the top down.
• The interior is designed to maximize the pleasure of driving with the top down.
• The soft top can be operated easily while remaining seated.
• Wind control makes the drive pleasurable when the top is down.
• Headrest speakers enhance the enjoyment of driving with the top down.
In addition to the three aforementioned elements, the fourth generation further evolves the pleasure of adapting the MX-5 to reflect the owner’s character. Furthermore, satisfying the demands of the day are Mazda’s latest-generation Human-Machine Interface (HMI) and Mazda Connect*, Mazda’s next-generation car connectivity system that efficiently links the driver to the car and the outside world. A human-centric perspective was adopted in the pursuit of developing advanced safety performance based on the Mazda Proactive Safety philosophy to appeal to the senses and sensations through which people enjoy cars and enable the driver to fully enjoy the driving experience.
*The name Mazda Connect is used in Japan, US, Canada and Mexico. The system is referred to as MZD Connect in other markets.
A design to set the heart racing
For the fourth-generation MX-5, the development team was not going to be satisfied with a mere facelift. Nor were they prepared to aim for a design that simply accommodates current trends. Mazda’s only desire was to satisfy its vision of how an open-top lightweight sports car should look. It had to light a fire of excitement in the hearts of all those who relate to the stance Mazda assumed in developing the model over the past quarter century, and who were anticipating the launch of an even purer embodiment of Mazda’s open-top lightweight sports car.
Mazda’s first thought in aiming for the ultimate MX-5 design was to create beautiful proportions that make the occupants stand out and look good. True to its Japanese name – Mazda Roadster – the basic form of the MX-5 makes those riding in the car the stars when seen with the top down and windows lowered. As such, the packaging engineers assigned to the development team worked closely together to examine a wide variety of elements related to achieving a beautiful design when the top is down, and also to emphasize the driver’s seating position and embody beautiful proportions that best convey the satisfaction and exhilaration of driving the MX-5. This resulted in refinements such as moving the cabin a little toward the rear to create the appearance that the occupants are sitting at the body’s midpoint and lowering the hip-point of the seats in conjunction with the new design’s low center of gravity.
Based on these proportions that make the occupants stand out and look good, the development team took on the challenge of adding greater depth to the KODO design language and fully expressing all they wished for in the new design. This includes embodying KODO design’s characteristic stance with an expression of stability that makes the vehicle appear as though it is firmly gripping the road surface and creating an image of agility that makes the MX-5 appear ready to move instantly in any direction. The fine craftsmanship of Mazda’s renowned clay modelers creates contours that cause reflections off the body’s surfaces to change in a stunning fashion as the car moves. It makes the car look alive while at the same time creating a sense of emotional attachment that evokes a desire to stroke the surface with the palm of one’s hand. In addition, the lines travelling from the headlamps, peaking at the front fenders and converging in front of the rear tires before sweeping upwards over the rear fenders, create a sense of motion at varying speeds. Reminiscent of Japanese calligraphy, this represents the Japanese sensibilities bred into the MX-5.
The aim for the interior was to create a cockpit design that brings a smile to the face and gets the heart pounding just by looking at it, or by simply sitting in the driver’s seat. One example is how the body panels wrap around to extend right into the door trim and thereby dissolve the visual boundaries between the vehicle’s interior and exterior. When sitting in the cockpit, the driver sees a ridge line that extends in powerful fashion from the upper part of the door trim to the top of the front fenders. In addition to providing a feeling of open space as only possible with an open-top body, the lines emphasize a feeling of oneness between driver and car. The design also attempts to heighten the pleasure of driving an open-top sports car by enabling the driver to experience the change in the surrounding environment in real time. When sunlight filters through the trees, for example, or as light reflects as the sun sets. Careful attention paid to the shape of the door trim and to making the quarter windows more compact aims to actively control the flow of air that reaches the cockpit. The result is a pleasant cockpit environment with just the right amount of wind blowing in when driving with the top down. In addition, positioning the tachometer and small-diameter steering wheel on the same axis creates perfect symmetry between the round air-conditioning louvers to the right and left of the meter cluster. This serves to establish a single axis throughout the cockpit, while at the same time creating a pleasantly tight feeling to the cockpit that enables the driver to concentrate on driving. With special attention to every detail, Mazda focused on building the MX-5 to transcend its existence as a mere automobile and become a sports car that owners will truly love.
While paying due respect to the British as the pioneers of the genre and to the first-generation MX-5 as the car that rebuilt it in the modern age, the design aim for the all-new MX-5 was to create the ideal image of a Mazda lightweight sports car. Every inch of the MX-5 reflects this desire and the pleasure it intends to give to all who drive it.
History of the Mazda MX-5
A perpetual quest for driving pleasure that all can enjoy
Mazda announced the first-generation MX-5 at the Chicago Auto Show on February 9, 1989. At that time, virtually no open-type lightweight sports cars were available. The segment, which had blossomed in England in the latter half of the 1940s, gained popularity thanks to the agile handling, characteristic style and affordability of such vehicles. But after the 1960s, the market focused more on safety and comfort, and the cars in this category had all but disappeared. The aim of the engineers and designers at Mazda who produced the first-generation model was simply to bring back a fun-to-drive lightweight sports car for people around the world like themselves – people who just love cars and love to drive. To build a car that satisfies this passion for driving, they developed the MX-5 based on the principle requirements that it would combine a lightweight, compact open-top two-seater body with a front-midship-engine rear-wheel-drive configuration, a 50:50 front-rear weight distribution, a low yaw inertia moment and an affordable price. The simple, familiar nature of its compact sports car styling, the light feeling and faithful, linear response Mazda defined as Jinba Ittai, along with the open feeling it offered resonated with car lovers around the world. It soon won a number of awards, gained widespread popularity, and fan clubs big and small began to spring up worldwide. The second-generation model was revealed at the Tokyo Motor Show in October 1997, the third-generation model debuted at the Geneva Motor Show in February 2005. Production reached 900,000 units in February 2011and the MX-5 broke its own Guinness World Record as the world’s “best-selling two-seater sports car,” a title it had first achieved in May 2000.
Please look forward to the all-new MX-5. Merely looking at it will make any car lover happy. All drivers, from beginners to those with racing experience, will be able to enjoy the best drive of their lives. Putting the top down and enjoying the refreshing feel of the breeze will bring a smile to anybody’s face. All drivers will experience a world of driving pleasure as only the MX-5 can offer.
Reference display vehicle (Japanese specification)
Major specifications (values show development targets)
Body type
Open-top sports car
Seating capacity
2 persons
Overall length x width x height
3,915mm X 1,730mm X 1,235mm
SKYACTIV-G direct-injection gasoline engine
SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual transmission
Front suspension
Double wishbone
Rear suspension
Electric Power Assisted Rack & Pinion Steering (EPAS)
Brakes (front/rear)
Ventilated discs / Solid discs

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