Mazda could offer a diesel engine for the next-generation MX-5

Article by Anita Panait, on May 7, 2013

The new Mazda MX-5 and Alfa Romeo Spider -- co-developed by the Japanese and Italian carmakers – will be equipped with their own separate engine units. Mazda plans to equip the MX-5 with a new naturally aspirated SkyActiv engine as standard. The new engine could have a capacity of 1.6 liters and a power output of 130 bhp.

Although Mazda has reiterated that the MX-5 will only be powered by a naturally aspirated engine, version of previous generations of the car were fitted with turbocharged powerplants. Mazda could also equip the MX-5 with a larger SkyActiv engine to provide more power without resorting to forced induction, according to Autocar.

While there is a possibility that Mazda would offer a diesel engine for the MX-5, the carmaker is more attracted to the lightweight and high-revving capabilities of a petrol engine. Mazda may also be worried about the marketability of diesel-powered MX-5, which may not be attractive to consumers.

The Japanese carmaker will probably install a six-speed manual gearbox for both cars, while an advanced paddle-shift six-speed automatic transmission remains a possibility. Mazda is hoping that the new car will have the same dimensions as the original MX-5. Mazda is targeting to make the MX-5 as light as 800kg, employing modern materials and design techniques to bring down its weight while meeting modern crash regulations.

On the other hand, Alfa Romeo is likely to equip the Spider with a turbocharged 1.4-litre ‘TB’ engine while more powerful MultiAir or 1750 TBi units are possibilities. An entry-level Spider could sport power of 120bhp while a top-end version could provide up to 296bhp.

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