Mazda dismisses Miata/MX-5 rumors image

Widespread reports that the a new generation of the beloved 2-seater would be unveiled at next month’s Chicago Auto Show turned out to be unfortunately inaccurate.

When will the new Miata/MX-5 make its first appearance? Mazda officials aren’t talking but well-placed sources suggest it’s more likely the new model would be ready to make its debut sometime around the end of 2014 or perhaps early in 2015. Think somewhere between the upcoming L.A. Auto Show and next year’s Chicago event.

“It’s not true, ” said Mazda’s chief US spokesman Jeremy Barnes. “File that under the heading of ‘Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet.”

Specific details about the car are also being kept under tight wraps but Mazda has made it clear the next-generation won’t bring a radical departure from the original formula. If anything, it’s almost a return to the concept that made the first-generation convertible so appealing, one reviewer at the time dubbing the then-new Miata, “the best British sports car the Japanese have ever made.”

Don’t expect it to be the fastest, or the quickest in and out of a corner, for example, but it will have a unique link between man and machine. The new car, Mazda has suggested, will be a fair bit lighter than the current model, which weighs in around 2,400 pounds (1,090 kg). The Japanese maker has been targeting an average mass reduction of around 100 kilograms – 220 pounds – on each of its redesigned models. That would make it just slightly heavier than the 2,100 pounds the first-gen Miata weighed in at.

It has also been widely reported that Mazda would like to deliver as much as a 30% increase in fuel economy – which could mean highway ratings of as much as 37 mpg (6.35 l/100 km). It will also help to have two new SkyActiv powertrains available for the next-generation Mazda Miata/MX-5, including both a 1.5-liter inline-four and a more potent 2.0-liter engine, both naturally aspirated.