Mazda News: Next-Gen MX-5 Specs & New SkyActiv Gen-2 Engine

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

We’re always eager to cover the latest and greatest from our favorite underdog automaker, Mazda. So imagine our joy when we got not one, but two major bits of Mazda news to cover this week. As you continue reading, you will learn everything we know about the next-gen Mazda MX-5 Miata, as well as the upcoming next-gen SkyActiv-G engine.

Next-Gen Mazda MX-5 to Get SkyActiv Treatment

1989 Mazda Miata

That’s right, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their iconic MX-5 Miata, Mazda is going to tune their next-gen roadster with the critically acclaimed SkyActiv technology. According to UK automotive blog, Autocar, the next MX-5 will get a new 1.5L SkyActiv-G engine… The same one that’s currently in the Mazda3. That means we’re looking at 99bhp for the base model, although there are rumors that a higher displacement 2.0L engine will also be offered for slightly more punch.

There’s also a strong possibility that the engine will be tuned to offer more power and torque than that of the Mazda3, so don’t quote our exact numbers here.

As far as design goes, the next Mazda MX-5 is projected to pay homage to the original 1989 model with the return of their distinct oval grille. They will also likely use a lengthened wheelbase, although it may or may not make it into production since that was originally a requirement set by potential partner Alfa Romeo, who may be prematurely backing out of the deal. So, we’ll see.

Either way, we’re sure to learn more about the next Mazda Miata at the Japanese automaker’s 25th anniversary celebration of the MX-5 at the New York Auto Show later this year, so stay tuned until then.

SkyActiv-G Generation 2

SkyActiv Powertrain

We’ve spent a lot of time praising Mazda’s SkyActiv technology suite, which is a collection of technologies – from chassis to powertrain – that enable Mazda to produce highly efficient vehicles without all the flash and flair of a hybrid or EV. Key in that suite of technologies is, of course, the SkyActiv-G engine, which is a lightweight and high compression engine that allows Mazda’s vehicles to achieve incredible fuel economy.

But, never one to rest on their laurels, Mazda is on the verge of launching the next generation of their SkyActive engine – the SkyActiv-G Generation 2. Mazda is taking a completely different path from almost any other automaker in that they have no intention to build hybrid cars. Instead, they’re improving petrol-powered technology to the point where they don’t have to.

In fact, the Japanese automaker claims that their next-gen SkyActiv-G petrol engine will surpass pure electric cars with a 30% increase in efficiency.

How?

In short, they’re taking diesel technology and applying it to their petrol engines, using an even higher compression ratio and a new technology called homogenous charge compression ignition, or HCCI for short. Taken together, these technologies will allow their engine to drop CO2 emissions down to just 80g/km, which is truly phenomenal. By way of comparison, the electric power required to charge the Nissan Leaf equals out to roughly 81g/km of CO2 emissions.

Of course, this is all still theoretical at this point since we haven’t actually seen the new engine in action, but we’re very excited, and if there’s anyone that can pull it off, it’s Mazda.

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