Given how engine regulations play out in the next decade, the Miata may have to resort to turbos.
If there are two words you don’t ever want to combine in the presence of Mazda Miata ND program manager Nobuhiro Yamamoto, it’s “turbo” and “Miata.” But according to Motoring Australia on their exclusive interview with the manager earlier yesterday (Aug. 8, 2015) in the ten-year life-span of this particular Miata, we may very well see Mazda resort to turbos. According to Yamamoto, “It’s not a conflict. Since the lifespan was mentioned at 10 years it is kind of long years, so thinking what Kudo-san said was just a possibility of having such a variant given the long lifespan.”
When further queried how Mazda would satisfy those who want an MPS (Mazda Special Performance) model of the Miata, Yamamoto replied that if such increased power can be had without turbos and just N/A, then no turbos would be needed. But if that power comes at a sacrifice to N/A, then turbos would definitely be considered.
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Contrary to popular belief, this isn’t the first time Mazda has considered turbocharging the Miata. In fact, they have in the past, but only on JDM models. In 2004 at the end of the run of the NB Miata, Mazda released a special Mazdaspeed MX-5 Roadster Turbo. Its turbocharged engine made about 180 HP and could reach 60 MPH in 6.2 seconds and a top speed limited to 126 MPH. Keep in mind, the 2.0 liter model of the 2016 Miata hovers around that performance at considerably less power (155 HP/148 lb-ft.)
But if Yamamoto’s words ring true when he introduced the NC model back in 2005, he’ll try his darndest to never touch forced induction AT LEAST for the next 24 years when in his mind the Miata becomes a classic. Here are his thoughts on the legacy the 1989 Miata must leave.
"“One day I had the chance to see a concert by a renowned musician. As I sat there enjoying nostalgic Japanese song from my past, the composer commented, “25 years is long enough to know if something is good or bad, but it takes 50 years to become a classic.” With that, I could contain myself no longer and the tears came streaming down my face."