Screw the iPhone 6 unveil because September 3rd, 2014 is the day this month we'll remember. A day where the heavens will open and bestow the greatest gift that can be bestowed: The 2016 Mazda Miata will arise to save you from the burden of weighty, boring automotive conveyances. This is everything we know about it.
The current Miata, aka the NC to us Miata nerds out here in Miatadom, has been around since 2005. I was 18 when it debuted and, like me, it was fresh faced with no worries or cares at all.
Amazingly, the Miata (which they then tried to just call MX-5 but everyone still called a Miata because it's a Miata and we ain't no fools over here Mazda. It's a Miata) still feels like a living object in a world of heavy, uncommunicative, shit box appliances.
The new Miata promises to take that to an extreme by being lighter, smaller, and quicker than the already lithe current Miata, a car that you can slide by suggestion and induces smiles with every shift of its tight little gearbox. Here's what we know about our new answer to every question.
What's under the hood?
The powerplant of the Miata has always been an afterthought. It's not a Challenger Hellcat. It's not about power.
The Miata is about a feeling, a way of life, a state of being. Sure, you can throw a V8 under the hood or turbo the hell out of it, but the original vision is a car that is in total balance with itself. It's a Zen experience. The car is representative of its own design philosophy, which is called Jinba Ittai. In Japanese, Jinba Ittai is a horse and man as one. That's the Miata.
But to answer my own question, we're hearing that the new car should have a 2.0 liter SkyActiv engine with similar power to today's car. There's also a chance that the new Miata is going turbocharged. The preview video of the car on some mountain roads has a distinct sound that only a turbocharger can provide. There's also the curious case of the mule that was found at port with a distinct little turbo under the hood.
Still, don't look for power to exceed the 200 mark. That's not zen.
What's under that engine? Like, the chassis, what's the deal there?
The new Miata will be lighter. Considerably lighter. Talk has the new SkyActiv chassis helping the ND generation Miata get its weight down to a spritely 2,100 pounds. That's Lotus territory, which is what a Miata has been known to evoke.
A lighter Miata means more response from the engine, even better handling, and a feeling of oneness so strong that Miata/Man marriage will be the subject of an upcoming Supreme Court decision.
2,100 pounds? Damn son! That's light.
For sure. It'll also do that without being made of carbon fiber. See, a Miata is the sports car of the everyman. It doesn't have them there fancy lightweight materials. It'll lose weight through ingenuity and by not having any of those lame extras that add weight to lesser cars.
It still has a manual transmission, right? Right? RIGHT??
Duh. A Miata without a manual transmission is not a Miata. The car is about simplicity, and there's nothing simpler than rowing your own gears. Mazda makes some of the slickest shifting manuals in the biz (My 96 Miata is a religious experience).
There is an automatic option in the current Miata and I'd expect that to continue. Maybe it'll be similar to the slick unit from the Mazda3 and Mazda6, one of my personal favorite autos in the business.
Still a roadster?
Of course! It appears that mules are running around with a softtop, but we'd be shocked if the power retractable hardtop didn't still make an appearance. But the coupe, now that's the good shit.
Wait, what? A fixed roof coupe? Well steal my hat and call me Susan!
Well, ok then Susan. Rumor has it that a fixed roof Miata, a car that has been rumored for years, is apparently coming to fruition. The Miata coupe, if it becomes more than a rumor, will be a fastback design, like a mini Jaguar F-Type coupe... without being an F-Type.
What will it look like?
Well, this render just came out today, and it's apparently from someone within Mazda. It's not totally real, but it's probably our best look at the new Miata yet. We likey.
How many monies will I need to spend?
Expect pricing to remain the same. The Miata costs about $24,000 for a base model now. I'd expect that won't change.
When can I see it?
Tomorrow night. It'll debut tomorrow evening at an event in Monterey, California. It might leak out before then. Oh golly, it might leak out before then.