In the U.S., your 2016 Mazda Miata comes in one flavor only: with a 2.0-liter inline four packing 155 horsepower. But in other markets, that’s the big gun. The base car uses a 1.5-liter four with 129 horsepower and just 111 pound-feet of torque. Obviously the bigger-engined Miata will be quicker, but how much quicker?

According to this head-to-head track test by the UK’s Auto Express, a lot quicker. It’s three and a half seconds quicker around the course, to be specific. Is it worth spending a few extra “quid” on the 2.0-liter motor? I’d say it is.

Interestingly enough, at the end tester Steve Sutcliffe says he thinks the 1.5-liter, non-Sport model base car, which had softer dampers, was the better of the two to drive on the street.

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Whatever. I need BRUTAL TRACK SPEED in my Miata, not softness. Spring for the 2.0-liter engine—if you think you can handle it!

Hat tip to Carscoops


Contact the author at patrick@jalopnik.com.