Mazda preps MX-5 2014 revamp

Posted by Shane McGlaun

Defining the ideal sports car clearly depends on individual tastes. Some auto enthusiasts demand loads of horsepower, while others tend to focus on lightweight chassis and first-class handling.

The latter strategy is what Mazda has traditionally followed with the Miata/MX-5, which has been on the road since the 1990s - wthout a massive amount of horsepower.

Instead, the the MX-5 is lightweight with world-class handling, allowing the little car to handily terrorize other sports cars both on and off the track.

The MX-5 is set for a refresh in 2014 and an initial rendering of what the vehicle is expected to look like, along with a few relevant details, recently turned up online.

Based on the above-mentioned image, it seems as if the MX-5 will be equipped with a revamped front end that looks more like the Mazda RX-8 than previous iterations of the MX-5.

However, it is probably worth noting that the rendering is not an official one released by Mazda. Rather, the image is the work of an artist who took cues from the styling Mazda favors on other vehicles. Other than the expected styling refresh, Mazda is clearly sticking to the tried-and-true platform which has made the MX-5 one of the best-selling sports cars around for decades.

The 2014 model is expected to continue as a two-seater with a folding roof and rear-wheel drive (the folding roof on current generation MX-5 is more like a hardtop convertible than the Miata's of years past). The vehicle will also likely lean heavily on Mazda's new green and efficient push by packing a 1.3-liter turbocharged Skyactiv engine under the hood. This engine has less displacement than the current MX-5 4-cylinder engine, but would produce roughly the same power with 167hp, thanks to turbocharging.

Even more important to the MX-5 and sports car faithful is the recent confirmation from Car & Driver that assures us the 2014 version of he vehicle will be even lighter than the current iteration by some 200 to 300 pounds (for a total of 2200).