Likely in attempts to tell the entire world to shut it about the Miata needing more horsepower, Mazda is finally giving in. The updated Mazda Miata will have 181 horsepower, a 7,500-rpm redline and a telescopic steering wheel—at least, that’ll be the case in Japan.
The current Miata has 155 horsepower and weighs around the 2,400-pound mark, meaning this would bump the car up by 26 HP. That seems weak and small in the big picture, but with a car as light as the Miata, nearly 30 extra HP is a lot of power.
Road & Track noticed the power updates after seeing a writeup by Japanese outlet Car Watch after driving the new Miata. The story listed updates to the car, which include the 181-HP figure Road & Track first reported on in March after finding U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration documents filed by Mazda. Other updates include the higher redline and telescopic steering wheel, which means a driver can move the wheel closer to or further from the dashboard.
The Car Watch Story posted on Thursday of last week, which was the same day Mazda Japan published a press release on the updated Miata. The press release confirmed all of the updates: a 15-percent increase in power from the car’s 2.0-liter SkyActiv engine, the redline raised from 6,800 to 7,500 rpm, improved fuel economy, the telescopic steering wheel and a color change for the actual wheels.
We’re referring to the Miata as “new” in this story since neither the English translation of the Car Watch story nor the Mazda press release specifically said “2019,” but it’s probably safe to assume this is for the 2019 model year.
The odd thing is, nothing has come up on the Mazda North America media website. The last mention of the production Miata on there was April 23, in a press release about Kelley Blue Book awards. There shouldn’t be anything to worry about since Road & Track found NHTSA documents about the 181-HP U.S. Miata earlier this year, but Jalopnik still reached out to Mazda USA to make sure the omission isn’t some kind of cryptic, ultimately disappointing message on the potential of a higher-horsepower Miata in America.
A representative for Mazda, naturally, said the company can’t comment on what this means for the U.S. market right now. If we do end up with bad news, we Americans should all move. There’s nothing left for us here.