Mazda engineers have revved up the MX-5 Miata's 2.0-liter SkyActiv engine to 181 horsepower for 2019, a 17 percent increase over the current model, which should add some zoom-zoom to the world's best-selling sports car.
The 2019 MX-5 also gains a distinctive brown soft convertible top as an alternative to the usual black fabric roof. A telescoping steering column is a long-overdue improvement that we welcome for 2019.
To get more power from the same displacement, the Miata's redline has increased from 6,800 rpm to 7,500 rpm, a change made possible by lighter pistons and connecting rods.
And new high-diffusion, higher-pressure fuel injectors along with revised intake ports improve the tumble and swirl of fuel in the cylinder and better-atomize fuel, which improves efficiency and torque throughout the rev range.
The SkyActiv engine seems zippier thanks to a new low-inertia dual-mass flywheel that improves the motor's smoothness and responsiveness.
Mazda has been renowned for its careful muffler tuning that ensures the Miata's soundtrack backs up the car's sporty handling, but they say they found room to improve the 2018 exhaust system for 2019, producing a richer sound quality.
Unfortunately, there is no word on upgrades to Mazda's atrocious infotainment system or its control knob that sits right behind the shifter where the driver can accidentally bump it with the shifting hand.
Look for the 2019 Mazda MX-5 to arrive in dealers this fall, when pricing, packaging and full specifications will be released. Information on the 2019-spec Global MX-5 Cup racecar will also have to wait.