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turtl631
turtl631 HalfDork
3/4/18 8:31 a.m.

181 hp ND?!?

 

From head tweaks.  Wouldn't hurt imo, Sky-G has a nice torque curve but pretty uninspiring.

Rodan
Rodan HalfDork
3/4/18 9:20 a.m.

It's a good start!

 

Donebrokeit
Donebrokeit SuperDork
3/4/18 11:14 a.m.

Maybe they will use the Fiat engine, that engine could use a nice bump to hit the 180hp mark. The Fiat engine is all ready legal here and maybe Canada.

 

Paul

sevenracer
sevenracer Reader
3/4/18 7:38 p.m.

Interesting.  I was always pretty intrigued by the BBR camshaft upgrade that Flyin Miata sells and their super 200 package.

Seems like you could really wake up the motor with a set of cams and a tune - but I don't hear about anyone doing that.  Maybe Mazda did.

Vigo
Vigo UltimaDork
3/4/18 11:32 p.m.

This would be pretty stupendous news. 

Erich
Erich UltraDork
3/5/18 5:08 a.m.

Also at the end of the article they allude to the convertible and RF coming in 4 trims instead of 3 and 2 respectively. That's great news to me if the RF comes in a lower-priced trim spec. 

Feedyurhed
Feedyurhed SuperDork
3/5/18 7:04 a.m.

I am loving this news. A little bump would be nice as I am not a power freak and don't need a lot. Oh and if they do use the Fiat engine (which they would never do IMO) then I am out. I want it all Mazda.

NickD
NickD UltraDork
3/5/18 7:42 a.m.

Nice. More power in a Miata is always a good thing.

In other news, the limited edition Fiat 124 GT is coming out with exclusive paint, wheels and removable carbon fiber hardtop.

calteg
calteg Dork
3/5/18 8:22 a.m.

In reply to NickD :

Snrub
Snrub Reader
3/5/18 8:36 a.m.

One of the things I think could be improved about the current ND is how it feels above 6000RPM as the power tapers off.  If the head is reworked and the redline raised, it could increase the fun factor.  Another 26hp would put it in a nice place in terms of power that is usable on the street. 

 

From a marketing perspective, other than the MSM, Miatas have always required one to look past their straight line speed in order to consider the car.  Plenty of the unconverted won't even look at the car for this reason.  A high 13 second quarter mile time would put it in reasonable company with other enthusiast vehicles.

scardeal
scardeal SuperDork
3/5/18 9:21 a.m.

This is what I was hoping for from the beginning.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/5/18 9:42 a.m.
sevenracer said:

Interesting.  I was always pretty intrigued by the BBR camshaft upgrade that Flyin Miata sells and their super 200 package.

Seems like you could really wake up the motor with a set of cams and a tune - but I don't hear about anyone doing that.  Maybe Mazda did.

The cams and tune really do wake up the motor - but we've not been able to match the claimed power levels of the Super 200 package. I don't know if it's fuel or ECU differences or what, but the peak numbers just aren't there. What the cams DO get you is a very fun top end and a snappy throttle response. But without a headline peak number, that just doesn't go.

There was another Mazda tuner claiming very high numbers from bolt-ons, but it proved difficult to duplicate.

You don't want the Fiat engine. It's a terrible little thing.

 

Snrub said:

One of the things I think could be improved about the current ND is how it feels above 6000RPM as the power tapers off.  If the head is reworked and the redline raised, it could increase the fun factor.  Another 26hp would put it in a nice place in terms of power that is usable on the street. 

 

From a marketing perspective, other than the MSM, Miatas have always required one to look past their straight line speed in order to consider the car.  Plenty of the unconverted won't even look at the car for this reason.  A high 13 second quarter mile time would put it in reasonable company with other enthusiast vehicles.

Have you driven an ND? It's all torque. Very useable on the street. And 5.8 seconds 0-60 according to Car and Driver's testing. It's 0.9 seconds faster to 60 and 06s/3 mph faster in the quarter than the MSM. The thing could do wheelstands and the unconverted won't even look at it because of 28 years of hairdresser jokes. And if you DO want one that'll do 0-60 in 3.5 and 11 second quarters, I can help.

Let's hope the 2019 does have the rumoured power bump. Given the source, it could have been a simple typo or a mixup in units. But I'd be okay with another 26 hp. Too bad it'll come with direct TPMS instead of the more useful indirect system used on the 2016-17s.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/5/18 9:42 a.m.
scardeal said:

This is what I was hoping for from the beginning.

But if it's what you had in 2016, then you would have been complaining it wasn't 200. Or 225 laugh

BoxheadCougarTim
BoxheadCougarTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/5/18 9:47 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:

There was another Mazda tuner claiming very high numbers from bolt-ons, but it proved difficult to duplicate.

Am I correct to assume that you are referring to certain tuner's "x bhp extra with a header and a tune" claim?

On an entirely different note, any experience on how the 1st gen gearbox holds up behind an engine fitted with the BBR "altitude compensator"?

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/5/18 10:00 a.m.

That's the one.  Seemed fishy to us from the start, but what do we know.

We've had one customer experience a gearbox failure with the turbo. If you believe the forums, the highways are littered with NDs with blown transmissions regardless of how much power they're making, so it would seem that the turbos improve gearbox strength laugh. Just kidding, of course. The turbo isn't going to improve the strength of the trans but I would believe that the turbo driving style could be a bit easier on the trans, with less need to hit the redline. Interestingly, Mazda carefully distanced themselves from the 15 hour track test we did with R&T and then wanted to know how it worked out afterwards.

As for those cams, our "super 200" mule didn't make 200 hp but it was a real staff favorite to drive - especially on track. It turns the engine into a real high compression sports car motor. But I doubt it would do 13 second quarters.

Snrub
Snrub Reader
3/5/18 10:21 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:
Snrub said:

One of the things I think could be improved about the current ND is how it feels above 6000RPM as the power tapers off.  If the head is loop reworked and the redline raised, it could increase the fun factor.  Another 26hp would put it in a nice place in terms of power that is usable on the street. 

 

From a marketing perspective, other than the MSM, Miatas have always required one to look past their straight line speed in order to consider the car.  Plenty of the unconverted won't even look at the car for this reason.  A high 13 second quarter mile time would put it in reasonable company with other enthusiast vehicles.

Have you driven an ND? It's all torque. Very useable on the street. And 5.8 seconds 0-60 according to Car and Driver's testing. It's 0.9 seconds faster to 60 and 06s/3 mph faster in the quarter than the MSM. The thing could do wheelstands and the unconverted won't even look at it because of 28 years of hairdresser jokes. And if you DO want one that'll do 0-60 in 3.5 and 11 second quarters, I can help.

Let's hope the 2019 does have the rumoured power bump. Given the source, it could have been a simple typo or a mixup in units. But I'd be okay with another 26 hp. Too bad it'll come with direct TPMS instead of the more useful indirect system used on the 2016-17s.

I am not suggesting the current ND isn't a ton of fun on the street.  I'm currently leaning towards buying one.  However, a better top end would be more fun. It's a fantastic vehicle, but there are some areas that could be tweeked to be even better.  I think the strong low-mid range makes the high end drop off feel more severe.  So many cars have an overkill amount of power, I tend to think cars in the 13s (where this might land) are the sweet spot.  I know it is faster than a MSM, but the MSM was very quick in its day relative to the competition.  The ND is only quicker in a straight line than say  the 86/BRZ.  From a marketing perspective, it would be advantageous to be in the middle of the pack compare to affordable fun car competitors.

iceracer
iceracer UltimaDork
3/5/18 10:25 a.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

TPMS ?    Thought that had to do with tire pressures

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/5/18 10:34 a.m.

The MSM's competition in the day was the Neon SRT4. Considerably faster. That's why it was not a sales success. The MSM is a great example of a car that was saved by the aftermarket, and you could see that in the value of the cars. Remember, the MSM was selling so poorly that when the paint shop got damaged in 2005, Mazda just said "forget it" and moved on to the NC.

If the power didn't drop off at the top end, people would complain there wasn't enough "low end power", which is what Miata owners have been calling us for since 1990. We know that means torque. You're right that it's the strong midrange that makes the top end feel weak, but you can't have it relatively strong everywhere or it just feels boring. I've had people make the same complaints about the LS3 powered cars, the torque curve is somehow too flat to be fun. Nonsense, say I! wink

The biggest problem the ND has from a marketing standpoint (besides the 28 years of hairdresser jokes) is the peak power number. They're quick cars because it's a flexible powerband and it's in one of the lightest chassis on the market, but some people just can't see past that one number.

wspohn
wspohn Dork
3/5/18 10:34 a.m.

Don't know where Mazda's head is at. They have an engine that puts out around 260 bhp in turbo form but refuse to use it in their sports car.  Surely the fact that the Solstice outsold Miatas when they first came out and offered (though not initially - the turbo came out later) both a 170 bhp and a 260 bhp turbo version should have had some impression on Mazda. I like the current MX5 chassis a lot and it would certainly take the added power gracefully.

Of course GM wasn't perfect - they had the GMPP retune available which took the turbo engine from 260 bhp/260 Tq to 290 bhp/340 Tq with the change of one sensor and a half hour retune in the shop. The added output would have put them at the top of all the comparison tests at the time, but they refused to make it the standard model.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/5/18 10:36 a.m.
iceracer said:

In reply to Keith Tanner :

TPMS ?    Thought that had to do with tire pressures

It totally does. The ND used to measure tire pressure using the ABS sensors along with steering angle and a few other factors. This meant you could change wheels any time you wanted without having to deal with a freaked TPMS system or paying $200 for a bunch of life-limited sensors. In 2018, they went to a "direct" system which is the type with sensors in the wheels. A step back, IMO. It's enough that I had decided that my ND would be a 2016-17 - but this power bump is making me wonder if I'd put up with it...

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/5/18 10:42 a.m.
wspohn said:

Don't know where Mazda's head is at. They have an engine that puts out around 260 bhp in turbo form but refuse to use it in their sports car.  Surely the fact that the Solstice outsold Miatas when they first came out and offered (though not initially - the turbo came out later) both a 170 bhp and a 260 bhp turbo version should have had some impression on Mazda. I like the current MX5 chassis a lot and it would certainly take the added power gracefully.

That's because Mazda has done the math. Even if the 2.5T fit - it won't - it would require the entire drivetrain to get heavier. Since the entire goal of the ND was lightness lightness lightness, that's the wrong direction. They built the car that sports car enthusiasts claim to want, a true modern Elan.

Of course, if you don't like it, you can always stop by your Pontiac or Saturn dealership and pick up a Skystice. Or the latest S2000 from Honda. Oh, wait. Maybe Mazda isn't so obtuse after all...

alfadriver
alfadriver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/5/18 10:43 a.m.
wspohn said:

Don't know where Mazda's head is at. They have an engine that puts out around 260 bhp in turbo form but refuse to use it in their sports car.  Surely the fact that the Solstice outsold Miatas when they first came out and offered (though not initially - the turbo came out later) both a 170 bhp and a 260 bhp turbo version should have had some impression on Mazda. I like the current MX5 chassis a lot and it would certainly take the added power gracefully.

Of course GM wasn't perfect - they had the GMPP retune available which took the turbo engine from 260 bhp/260 Tq to 290 bhp/340 Tq with the change of one sensor and a half hour retune in the shop. The added output would have put them at the top of all the comparison tests at the time, but they refused to make it the standard model.

But Mazda DID do a turbo Miata.  And not enough bought it to justify having it.  Why would they bother trying that again?

If I were Mazda, I would totally ignore GM.  For a car that sold that well, it came and went so fast that it really represents not much.  Especially what the market wants.  Whereas the Miata has been around for almost 30 years- seems as if they have a pretty good idea what their customers are willing to pay for.  And by customers, I mean the ones actually going to the dealer to get a brand new car from the factory.   Not the "market" that wants to get used cars.

NickD
NickD UltraDork
3/5/18 10:50 a.m.

In reply to wspohn :

The Solstice/Sky is also a case of "numbers aren't everything" as well. They may have made big power, but they drive absolutely terrible. I reeeeeaaallllly wanted to like them but somehow despite being physically larger than a Miata, they have considerably less space, to the point where I can't drive one with stickshift because my knee is wedged into the dashboard. They also feel like someone at GM directly equated "coarse" with "sporty"  resulting in a vehicle that feels like driving a small, low-slung tractor. There's a reason that these cars never quite gained the following of the Miata, S2000 and BMW Z3.

ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory UberDork
3/5/18 10:55 a.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

I can’t look at a Miata and NOT see a sports car. They never seemed girly to me and I usually drive huge 4x4’s. 

And thanks to you and others here (and Stacy David) I see one and imagine an LS in it.

Maybe I’m one of those 4x4 trucks drivers that aren’t compensating for something?

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/5/18 11:07 a.m.

I never said anything about 4x4 truck drivers and compensation. I drove a 7700 lb turbo diesel 4x4 to work at Flyin' Miata on Friday laugh The hairdresser jokes come from everywhere, they're even in Evo magazine.

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