We all know Mazda recently unveiled their new MX-5 Miata to the world. In short, it looks fantastic and it is over 200lbs lighter than the current NC-generation Miata. All should seem right with the world, but what about those of us who yearn for a faster Miata, something that will really set our trousers ablaze?
The standard Miata is a great little thing. Made out of sheer joy, the the Miata’s best trait is probably the simplicity of its experience. I wouldn’t for a single instant suggest that Mazda should change the basic Miata, no. But that doesn’t mean they cannot offer a hotter version under the Mazdaspeed nameplate.
Let’s be honest, the Miata isn’t all that cheap for what it is. Pricing starts around $24,000 and goes up to touch $30,000. If people are willing to pay that much for the basic Miata, then a Mazdaspeed Miata, with much more serious performance, should have no trouble selling in the mid $30,000 range.
Yes, I know Mazda had a Mazdaspeeed Miata back in the early-mid 2000s, but with only 178hp, it wasn’t really the firecracker that it needed to be. In fact, the current NC Miata with the 2.0L engine offers a similar level of performance. The car I’m talking about here is something we haven’t seen in a factory Miata before… genuine speed, and no need to ever again have to add the caviat “but it handles great” when describing it.
I want to see Mazda strap a turbo or a supercharger onto the 2.0L Inline 4, and I want to see something in the range of 250-280hp from it. The new base Miata supposedly weighs only around 2200lbs, so add a little to that for the extra parts and lets figure the Mazdaspeed is around 2400lbs. That’s quite a nice power to weight ratio in a joyus little roadster like this.
Personally, I would prefer a supercharger over a turbo because it would retain the rev-happy feeling of the standard Miata, not to mention that lovely whine. A turbo would be nice as well, but it would bring all of that easy midrange torque, which might make it feel too laid back for a sports car.
Having significant power to play with in the Miata’s light package, with an upgraded suspension and wider tires of course, would make the Mazdaspeed Miata quite an appealing proposition for around $35,000. It’d be a true sportscar competing against good, allbeit more compromised BMWs, Ford Mustangs, Subaru WRXs, and Nissan Zs. As a second car it’d be a no-brainer, and it’s one heck of a cheaper way to have a midlife crisis than a Porsche Boxster.
Oh and look, it would seem that Mazda has already been toying with this idea, so let’s get our hopes up!