Next-Gen Mazda Miata Reportedly Gaining Skyactiv-X Hybrid Setup

·2 min read
Photo credit: Chris Doane Automotive - Car and Driver
Photo credit: Chris Doane Automotive - Car and Driver

Earlier this year, Mazda confirmed to Car and Driver that the venerable MX-5 Miata would gain some form of electrification when the next generation arrives. Now a report from Autocar sheds more light on the next Miata’s powertrain, with the publication claiming that the next roadster, expected to debut midway through this decade, will be powered by the firm’s novel Skyactiv-X engine with a mild-hybrid setup.

Photo credit: Chris Doane Automotive - Car and Driver
Photo credit: Chris Doane Automotive - Car and Driver

Skyactiv-X first debuted for the European market in late 2019 under the hoods of the Mazda 3 and CX-30. Mazda had promised that this engine family would soon be available stateside, but its arrival was delayed in early 2020 and we haven't heard any updates about its status in the U.S. since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Skyactiv-X features spark-controlled compression ignition, a complex technology that boosts both efficiency and performance.

If Mazda is able to finally certify the Skyactiv-X engine in the United States, the next Miata will likely continue with a four-cylinder engine, now with a small supercharger added on to squeeze air into the cylinders when the engine is using spark-controlled ignition. However, with Mazda’s pledge to electrify its entire lineup by 2030, the Miata will presumably feature the belt-driven mild-hybrid system found on the most recent versions of the Skyactiv-X available in Europe.

Mazda says that the 2.0-liter four-cylinder Skyactiv-X produces around 30 percent more torque than the 2.0-liter Skyactiv-G unit that currently powers the Miata. The original Skyactiv-X also returned impressive fuel economy figures on the European test cycle, and could be even more efficient with the mild-hybrid system. A manual transmission is expected to remain an option. More details on the next generation Miata should emerge in the coming years.

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