Mazda MX-5 update detailed – 2.0L jumps from 160 to 184 PS; lower emissions, improved active safety

Mazda has officially announced details of the improved MX-5 roadster for the 2019 model year. As we’ve previously reported, the product update gives the larger 2.0 litre engine option a significant power bump, and also introduces numerous other revisions and added features.

The 2.0 litre SkyActiv-G naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine has been completely reworked for improved top-end performance, with Japanese publication CarWatch detailing the changes that include uprated valve springs as well as pistons that are 27 grams lighter. The latter is due to a shaved-down dome as well as valve reliefs repositioned to be closer to the edges of the piston skirt.

Elsewhere, the connecting rods are more compact and feature shorter and thinner bolts to shave 41 grams, while the positioning of the crankshaft counterweights have been optimised. The throttle body also gets a 28% larger opening for an increased intake of air, and the intake side gets a larger valve diameter and improved tumble flow. There are larger exhaust valves and exhaust manifold runners, too.

Mazda claims that these changes reduce rotating masses and intake and exhaust losses, and shorten the combustion period. As a result, the company has been able to raise the rev limit from 6,800 rpm to 7,500 rpm – the same as on the smaller 1.5 litre unit. Peak power has also jumped from 160 to 184 PS, now made 1,000 rpm later at 7,000 rpm, while maximum torque has risen from 200 to 205 Nm, still at 4,000 rpm.

That’s not all, as it’s claimed that torque has been increased across the entire rev range, with top-end torque in particular boosted by as much as 15%. Mazda has also made improvements to the sound of the engine, removing material from the muffler’s internal structure and also tweaking it for less high-frequency noise.

Changes have also been made for the 1.5 litre version, with updates to the intake ports, pistons, fuel pump and injectors reported. This has again resulted in increased torque throughout the rev range, as well as a minor output increase to 132 PS at 7,000 rpm and 152 Nm at 4,000 rpm.

The upgrades also mean that both engines now comply to the new Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) and Real Driving Emissions (RDE) test cycles, and meet the latest Euro 6d Temp emission regulations. Improved throttle response has also been claimed for the two engines.

Mazda MX-5 update detailed – 2.0L jumps from 160 to 184 PS; lower emissions, improved active safety

In other news, the MX-5 finally gets autonomous emergency braking with the inclusion of the Advanced Smart City Brake Support (SCBS) system at the front and SCBS at the rear. You can also get Driver Attention Alert (DAA), traffic sign recognition and a reverse camera for the first time on the roadster.

Other minor tweaks include the addition of telescopic steering adjustment (previously omitted due to the extra weight) in addition to the existing tilt adjustment, along with cruise control and a colour TFT LCD multi-info display. Rounding off the changes are a new tan interior option, a brown roof for soft-top models as well as black instead of gunmetal alloy wheels.

The 2019 Mazda MX-5 has already gone on sale in Japan in soft-top and RF folding hardtop guises, with first deliveries expected on July 26. European buyers, on the other hand, will have to wait until August to get their hands on one. What do you think of the changes?

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