Mazda Releases Details on 2019 MX-5

Mazda just announced some pretty exciting updates on the 2019 MX-5 coming—thanks to consumer demand. Here’s what they had to say:

IRVINE, Calif. (June 20, 2018) – The Mazda MX-5 Miata has never been about power; it’s a car whose sole purpose is to help the driver and passenger fall in love with driving. But, a little extra power never hurts, which comes as one aspect of numerous updates for the 2019 model year.

Mazda’s engineers enriched MX-5’s SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter engine with the goals of improved response, performance, feel and efficiency. The net results are 181 horsepower at 7,000 rpm—a 17-percent improvement—and 151 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm, with a richer torque curve throughout MX-5’s entire rev range.

Speaking of rev range, redline has increased from 6,800 rpm to 7,500 rpm. Engineers were able to increase performance through several means, including:

• Reducing internal mass and friction: Each piston has been reduced 27g in mass, thanks to a minimized skirt area. Connecting rods are 41g lighter than previous units.
• Reducing exhaust loss: The upgraded engine carries an increased valve opening angle and valve lift height. The inner diameter of the exhaust manifold has also been increased. The net results are a 30-percent reduction in pumping losses.
• Improved combustion: Reconfigured intake ports and new high-diffusion, higher-pressure fuel injectors improve the tumble and swirl of fuel in the cylinder and better-atomize fuel. The benefit is improved efficiency and torque at all rpm.
• Dual-mass flywheel: Replacing the single-mass flywheel with a low-inertia, dual-mass flywheel improves smoothness and responsiveness.
• A new exhaust system with richer sound quality.
• New final drive ratio: The transmission’s final drive ratio has been increased from 3.454 to 3.583 in order to improve linear response to match the driver’s intentions. Gear ratios are otherwise unchanged from previous models.

As a result of numerous changes, MX-5 is quicker, more responsive and aims to be more engaging to drive, adhering to Mazda’s unique Jinba Ittai—“horse and rider as one”—engineering philosophy.

Beyond engine improvements, the 2019 MX-5 introduces an available brown canvas soft top, new black metallic 17-inch wheels, a newly telescoping steering wheel (42mm of travel), easier-to-open doors and revised door stops and revised cupholders and seat levers.

On the safety front, the new MX-5 will be sold with a new, standard rearview camera and newly available features such as Traffic Sign Recognition and Smart City Brake Support in addition to other i-ACTIVSENSE safety technologies found throughout various trim levels. In the process of gaining many new features, the 2019 MX-5 gains just 7 lbs. from previous models, owing to a strict adherence to Mazda’s “Gram Strategy” and ingenious solutions like adopting an aluminum steering shaft in place of the previous steel unit.

When the fourth-generation MX-5 launched, its development team rallied around the idea of innovating in order to preserve. The latest round of innovations aim to continue that mission.

The 2019 Mazda MX-5 will be available in the U.S. this fall, with pricing, packaging and full specifications to be announced closer to on-sale timing. Details concerning the 2019-spec Global MX-5 Cup racecar will also be announced at a later date.

Mazda North American Operations is headquartered in Irvine, California, and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States and Mexico through nearly 700 dealers. Operations in Mexico are managed by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City. For more information on Mazda vehicles, including photography and B-roll, please visit the online Mazda media center at InsideMazda.MazdaUSA.com/Newsroom.

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Fr3AkAzOiD
Fr3AkAzOiD Reader
6/20/18 4:38 a.m.

Nice to see the improvement are for all MX-5, was worried the hp boost was only with some $5,000 performance package option or something.

 

 

Feedyurhed
Feedyurhed SuperDork
6/20/18 7:15 a.m.

Awesome. Sounds like Mazda was listening and addressed most of the concerns (albeit small) owners had with their cars. Looking forward to test driving one this fall. 

AWSX1686
AWSX1686 Dork
6/20/18 7:24 a.m.

No mention of new popping colors? :(

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/20/18 7:32 a.m.

Eternal Blue was introduced for 2018 but very few were made and not many are aware of it. I expect it’s going to stick around. 

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
6/20/18 8:03 a.m.

That new blue + the updates is going to make it very difficult for me to not trade in the 135i over the winter....assuming they will give me a decent trade-in for it.

AWSX1686
AWSX1686 Dork
6/20/18 9:37 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:

Eternal Blue was introduced for 2018 but very few were made and not many are aware of it. I expect it’s going to stick around. 

I see that, it would be fun to have a new smurf blue, or yellow, or BRG, or the NC winning blue though. 

Still cool updates for 2019 though! Hopefully it'll push the '16-'18 cars down in price.

T.J.
T.J. MegaDork
6/20/18 9:40 a.m.

Not much of anything to dislike about those changes. Wonder what it will do to the MSRP?

Driven5
Driven5 SuperDork
6/20/18 9:51 a.m.

I still can't find any pics of Eternal Blue that make it 'pop' with a brightness or boldness even half as much as Kieth's image in the 'other' thread about this did.. Most look closer to the decidedly 'ho-hum' silver-blue that you see on the Mazda configurator and on some other Mazda's in the wild.  So I definitely wouldn't order that one sight unseen, expecting something interesting or exciting.

.

That aside: Building an engine with more mpg, more rpm, more hp, and more torque everywhere is quite the accomplishment!

Driven5
Driven5 SuperDork
6/20/18 9:53 a.m.
Ed Higginbotham said:

...easier-to-open doors and revised door stops and revised cupholders and seat levers....

Say no more!...Where do I sign up? wink

CyberEric
CyberEric HalfDork
6/20/18 10:34 a.m.

I love that Mazda has a "Gram strategy." 

I wonder if this new mill will make it to the 3. That'd be cool. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/20/18 11:54 a.m.
AWSX1686 said:
Keith Tanner said:

Eternal Blue was introduced for 2018 but very few were made and not many are aware of it. I expect it’s going to stick around. 

I see that, it would be fun to have a new smurf blue, or yellow, or BRG, or the NC winning blue though. 

Still cool updates for 2019 though! Hopefully it'll push the '16-'18 cars down in price.

That's why Mazda waited to announce, they wanted to keep the value of the cars on their dealer lots up as long as possible.

I have it from a Mazda insider that the ND does not wear green well. We may not see a BRG. Here's a cellphone shot of Eternal Blue sent to me.

stanger_missle
stanger_missle Dork
6/20/18 12:05 p.m.

• A new exhaust system with richer sound quality.

 

Was the '16-'18 exhaust that bad? Or was it just uninspiring?

In my opinion, a car like the MX5 needs a snorty exhaust. 

Driven5
Driven5 SuperDork
6/20/18 12:06 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

I have it from a Mazda insider that the ND does not wear green well. 

I could see that with BRG. But on my way home yesterday, I saw a Mazda2 in that ridiculous (ly awesome) bright green. I don't know why, but it made me want to see how an ND would look in that color. I also have a feeling that the ND would wear yellow and orange quite well.

And that cell phone pic is closer to the others I've found for that color.  Sure it's 'nice', but it's still not what I would call visually stimulating either.

Professor_Brap
Professor_Brap Reader
6/20/18 12:20 p.m.

Plan on seeing failing DMF in the future! I know the cars that I have owned with them they dont seem to last long before making noise. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/20/18 12:26 p.m.

What is DMF?

Driven5
Driven5 SuperDork
6/20/18 12:32 p.m.

DuMass Flywheel.

Tyler H
Tyler H UltraDork
6/20/18 12:49 p.m.
Professor_Brap said:

Plan on seeing failing DMF in the future! I know the cars that I have owned with them they dont seem to last long before making noise. 

Just did the clutch in my 911 with 120k miles and reused the DMF.  No noise.  My previous 330i had 160k on the DMF.  It did make a little noise if you lugged the engine, but still worked fine.  100k on a MINI with a DMF and it was fine too.  

What are you driving that is failing early?

 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/20/18 12:50 p.m.

I'm sure if it's problematic, the aftermarket will be happy to supply single mass flywheels.

pinchvalve
pinchvalve MegaDork
6/20/18 12:56 p.m.

DJ Alessandrini needs more power, yeah. 

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
6/20/18 1:25 p.m.
Tyler H said:
Professor_Brap said:

Plan on seeing failing DMF in the future! I know the cars that I have owned with them they dont seem to last long before making noise. 

Just did the clutch in my 911 with 120k miles and reused the DMF.  No noise.  My previous 330i had 160k on the DMF.  It did make a little noise if you lugged the engine, but still worked fine.  100k on a MINI with a DMF and it was fine too.  

What are you driving that is failing early?

 

Yeah. Many different manufacturers have been using them on multiple lines for years. 

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
6/20/18 1:29 p.m.

Interesting that they did change the exhaust header as well. That might back up the some people suggesting that it was/is a bottleneck on the ND1.

Makes me wonder if the new exhaust including header can be retrofitted. 

Joe Gearin
Joe Gearin Associate Publisher
6/20/18 1:40 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:
AWSX1686 said:
Keith Tanner said:

Eternal Blue was introduced for 2018 but very few were made and not many are aware of it. I expect it’s going to stick around. 

I see that, it would be fun to have a new smurf blue, or yellow, or BRG, or the NC winning blue though. 

Still cool updates for 2019 though! Hopefully it'll push the '16-'18 cars down in price.

That's why Mazda waited to announce, they wanted to keep the value of the cars on their dealer lots up as long as possible.

I have it from a Mazda insider that the ND does not wear green well. We may not see a BRG. Here's a cellphone shot of Eternal Blue sent to me.

Oooo.....that blue is lovely!    Still can't warm up to the RF stying though.   I'll take mine in a true droptop!   

Although the updates are welcome, there isn't really much wrong with the ND as it sits.  I'm looking forward to the depreciation dip for the 17-18 cars.   

Stefan
Stefan MegaDork
6/20/18 1:41 p.m.
BoxheadTim said:

Interesting that they did change the exhaust header as well. That might back up the some people suggesting that it was/is a bottleneck on the ND1.

Makes me wonder if the new exhaust including header can be retrofitted. 

I suspect the change wasn't because it was an issue on the ND1 (not saying it is), but because it wasn't going to work at the power levels and RPM ranges the updated engine produced.

There's more to the changes than just throwing parts at the engine and looking at the peak numbers generated.

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
6/20/18 2:01 p.m.
Tyler H said:
Professor_Brap said:

Plan on seeing failing DMF in the future! I know the cars that I have owned with them they dont seem to last long before making noise. 

Just did the clutch in my 911 with 120k miles and reused the DMF.  No noise.  My previous 330i had 160k on the DMF.  It did make a little noise if you lugged the engine, but still worked fine.  100k on a MINI with a DMF and it was fine too.  

What are you driving that is failing early?

 

The DMF on the MINI is actually a fairly known problem.  My 2006 rattles. Most of my friends with MINI's have had similar issues.  Eventually I'll replace it, although probably with another DMF since the aftermarket versions are generally worse.  Just the nature of the beast.  For now I just keep the clutch pedal in and ignore it.

Professor_Brap
Professor_Brap Reader
6/20/18 3:11 p.m.
Tyler H said:
Professor_Brap said:

Plan on seeing failing DMF in the future! I know the cars that I have owned with them they dont seem to last long before making noise. 

Just did the clutch in my 911 with 120k miles and reused the DMF.  No noise.  My previous 330i had 160k on the DMF.  It did make a little noise if you lugged the engine, but still worked fine.  100k on a MINI with a DMF and it was fine too.  

What are you driving that is failing early?

 

I have had tons of DMF issues out of  the MINI I had at 95K and all 3 MK4 TDi have the issue. I do a ton of them in Dodge trucks and 996s for chattering. 

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
6/20/18 3:17 p.m.
Professor_Brap said:
Tyler H said:
Professor_Brap said:

Plan on seeing failing DMF in the future! I know the cars that I have owned with them they dont seem to last long before making noise. 

Just did the clutch in my 911 with 120k miles and reused the DMF.  No noise.  My previous 330i had 160k on the DMF.  It did make a little noise if you lugged the engine, but still worked fine.  100k on a MINI with a DMF and it was fine too.  

What are you driving that is failing early?

 

I have had tons of DMF issues out of  the MINI I had at 95K and all 3 MK4 TDi have the issue. I do a ton of them in Dodge trucks and 996s for chattering. 

Sounds like another all FA20s blow up, etc etc.

Professor_Brap
Professor_Brap Reader
6/20/18 3:39 p.m.
z31maniac said:
Professor_Brap said:
Tyler H said:
Professor_Brap said:

Plan on seeing failing DMF in the future! I know the cars that I have owned with them they dont seem to last long before making noise. 

Just did the clutch in my 911 with 120k miles and reused the DMF.  No noise.  My previous 330i had 160k on the DMF.  It did make a little noise if you lugged the engine, but still worked fine.  100k on a MINI with a DMF and it was fine too.  

What are you driving that is failing early?

 

I have had tons of DMF issues out of  the MINI I had at 95K and all 3 MK4 TDi have the issue. I do a ton of them in Dodge trucks and 996s for chattering. 

Sounds like another all FA20s blow up, etc etc.

I dont know what to say.... I do a g56 clutch a month for customers with DMF rattle, and every TDi I have had has had a failing DMF, mind you they all have had 90K plus on them so they wernt fresh, but the DMF from what I have seen usually fails before the clutch does. 

 

stylngle2003
stylngle2003 Reader
6/20/18 4:09 p.m.

every 1.8t i've ever worked on has a flywheel rattle.  we had 2 VR6 customer cars (one O2J, one O2M, both mk4s) and both had flywheel failures.  Thankfully, there are plenty of SMF retrofit kits and they aren't too expensive in VW land.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/20/18 6:24 p.m.
BoxheadTim said:

Interesting that they did change the exhaust header as well. That might back up the some people suggesting that it was/is a bottleneck on the ND1.

Makes me wonder if the new exhaust including header can be retrofitted. 

Yes, the original 2.0 header was a problem - I've been told by some Mazda insiders that it's because of the packaging. What they managed to figure out for 2019 will be interesting to see.

New exhaust ports and quite different intake ports on the new engine. Simply bolting the new exhaust manifold on probably won't get you the gains. I'm not sure the Edelbrock supercharger will fit anymore. Actually, the larger throttle body will also probably be a problem there. I think the BBR turbos will be able to adapt fairly easily, the Edelbrock will require new castings.

te72
te72 Reader
6/21/18 12:10 a.m.

Bravo on Mazda for such a thorough update! I just KNEW there was more to this little 2.0 engine, with the original peak power coming in around what, 5500 rpm, yet revving to 6800? Something just didn't add up.

 

As for clutch chatter, what is the actual issue, just noise? Have a twin disc clutch in the Supra, any time your foot is pushing the pedal, it rattles, just like every twin disc setup I've ever heard in a Supra. Makes me wonder though, I've never noticed that sound in Vettes or Vipers, but I can't recall if any of those came factory with twin discs or not.

kb58
kb58 SuperDork
6/24/18 11:15 a.m.

I always find such improvements a bit befuddling. I mean, like "... each piston has been reduced 27g in mass... connecting rods are 41g lighter..." Given the level of automotive engine development and CAD machining, one would assume that engine parts weigh what they do for very good reason. Yet, for the next model year, they somehow discover that they can shave weight off these parts.

Why didn't they just do this the first time and have a kick-butt engine right out of the gate? I'm sure it's cheaper to use pedestrian parts, keeping such "improvements" in their back pocket only if needed. They're probably testing whether buyers are content with the existing power and if they complain, only then they'll up their game.  Seems like a reason to never buy the first generation of anything. I get it that the automobile industry is about making a profit; it's just a little disappointing how often they guess wrong and only fix things after many settled for less.

Just getting by with the bare minimum reminds me of this:

 

rslifkin
rslifkin UltraDork
6/24/18 11:34 a.m.

In reply to kb58 :

It could be related to time for durability testing.  In the couple of years since the engine was first released, they've had that much more time to test the lighter parts and higher power levels on lab engines and confirm that they meet the durability goals, etc. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/24/18 11:37 a.m.

Or maybe it takes time and money to continue development on a unique engine for a low volume, inexpensive car with a one-off platform so you can’t do everything at once. 

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
6/24/18 11:57 a.m.

And maybe they don't want to invest everything all upfront until they know if the car is a dud or not, especially with a fickle market.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/24/18 12:04 p.m.

Very similar changes were made to the 1.5 that’s available overseas a couple of years ago. 

Driven5
Driven5 SuperDork
6/25/18 1:26 a.m.
kb58 said:

Seems like a reason to never buy the first generation of anything.

Or the second, because the third will be better than the second.  Or the third, because the fourth will be better still. Or the fourth, because the fifth will be even better yet.  Or the fifth, because...

accordionfolder
accordionfolder Dork
6/25/18 6:59 a.m.

In reply to kb58 :

"Bare Minumium" and "production automobile" can't go in the same sentence. 

 

logdog
logdog UltraDork
6/25/18 7:06 a.m.
Driven5 said:
kb58 said:

Seems like a reason to never buy the first generation of anything.

Or the second, because the third will be better than the second.  Or the third, because the fourth will be better still. Or the fourth, because the fifth will be even better yet.  Or the fifth, because...

Everyone knows you can't wait until the 6th!  Thats when it gets fat and looses the manual transmission option.laugh

Driven5
Driven5 SuperDork
6/25/18 11:45 a.m.
logdog said:
Driven5 said:
kb58 said:

Seems like a reason to never buy the first generation of anything.

Or the second, because the third will be better than the second.  Or the third, because the fourth will be better still. Or the fourth, because the fifth will be even better yet.  Or the fifth, because...

Everyone knows you can't wait until the 6th!  Thats when it gets fat and looses the manual transmission option.laugh

That may be true.  But if you're just willing to just wait for the 8th, it'll 'get back to it's roots' like nothing since the 4th, which would make it the perfect one to buy right up until the 9th comes along...So maybe wait just a little longer until the 10th.

te72
te72 Reader
6/25/18 11:26 p.m.

You guys are all reminding me of why I stopped buying video games.

 

In the car world though, I find that there are truly standout cars. Then there are cars that are discontinued. Would anyone say that the C3 Corvette was a better car than the C2 that preceded it? What about the MR2? Many think that the SW20 was the pinnacle there. New NSX vs old? Sure, there are cars that are all about continuous improvement, take the 911 for example.

 

In the end? Buy what strikes your fancy. Life's too short to drive a boring car for any longer than you have to. Good to keep a boring car around, if you can, so your interesting one doesn't let you down. Years of Supra ownership has taught me that haha.

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
6/26/18 3:11 a.m.
Driven5 said:
kb58 said:

Seems like a reason to never buy the first generation of anything.

Or the second, because the third will be better than the second.  Or the third, because the fourth will be better still. Or the fourth, because the fifth will be even better yet.  Or the fifth, because...

Usually you want the first, because while there may be some enhancements in later series, they also tend to get focus-grouped to death.

 

Like the RX-7.  First series had the best chassis and the thickest rear sway bar and they drove like a dream.  Second series, they moved the shifter from a natural-feeling position to something 6" further back and super stubby, like a Miata except with crappy synchros and wide ratios.  Then in the third series, they added a bunch of weight and ruined the rear suspension further by adding in a bunch of roll understeer.

JamesMcD
JamesMcD SuperDork
6/26/18 7:17 a.m.
Knurled. said:
Driven5 said:
kb58 said:

Seems like a reason to never buy the first generation of anything.

Or the second, because the third will be better than the second.  Or the third, because the fourth will be better still. Or the fourth, because the fifth will be even better yet.  Or the fifth, because...

Usually you want the first, because while there may be some enhancements in later series, they also tend to get focus-grouped to death.

 

Like the RX-7.  First series had the best chassis and the thickest rear sway bar and they drove like a dream.  Second series, they moved the shifter from a natural-feeling position to something 6" further back and super stubby, like a Miata except with crappy synchros and wide ratios.  Then in the third series, they added a bunch of weight and ruined the rear suspension further by adding in a bunch of roll understeer.

B b b b but....Aluminum pedals and foam door panels! !

Driven5
Driven5 SuperDork
6/26/18 10:37 a.m.
Knurled. said:

Usually you want the first, because while there may be some enhancements in later series, they also tend to get focus-grouped to death.

Outside of a collectors perspective, I can't say that I agree.  For every example where the next iteration has lost something, I'd argue that there is at least one more where it has gained. 

The point is you can only act on what is known, and that not acting until after what is unknown becomes known will only leave you perpetually waiting.

Mike91335
Mike91335
9/6/18 4:03 p.m.

From what I saw the new engine would have been released with the 2016 model if so much of the development time and money had not been allocated to the smaller engine. I have a 2016 ND manual and recently drove an 2019 RF auto was not impressed- the dealer had no manuals in stock at the time. Wonder if ND MX-5 global cup cars will have the new engine sometime in the future?

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
9/6/18 6:51 p.m.

Don't assume that. A lot of the improvements come from simply having another three years to work on the engine. That's how it works in the automotive world - the longer an engine is in production, the better the mapping gets. I was talking to some GM powertrain engineers last week (they had a couple of disguised prototypes hiding in our shop, which is cool) and that's exactly the way they see it. The big improvements in throttle response and driveability come from that extra time.

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
9/6/18 6:52 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

I'm sure if it's problematic, the aftermarket will be happy to supply single mass flywheels.

To be followed shortly by people complaining that the now-heavier clutch disk means that the synchros don't work as well so the shifting is notchier/balkier, and somewhat later people find that the transmissions are noisier and wear out more quickly because there are more engine harmonics getting transmitted to a trans that isn't beefy enough to deal with them.

 

DMFs are kind of a pain but they are good for the overall driving experience.  I think of DMFs as harmonic dampers at the other end of the engine, protecting the drivetrain...

Snrub
Snrub HalfDork
9/6/18 9:57 p.m.

I drove a 2019 a little while ago. As before it's an awesome car. The engine was nice. I didn't do a back to back comparison, but it just felt right and pulled all the way to the top. It felt more like a minor imperfection was resolved , rather than a wholesale change. I didn't notice the small suspension tweaks differences vs. a 2016 either, but I did a little less evaluation than I would have liked. I'm 6'5" and while I thought the the telescopic steering was nice, I didn't feel there was a big issue with the simple tilt steering setup in the ND1. Unfortunately it was an auto, so I couldn't evaluate the flywheel change. The wife was aggressively against it, so I won't be getting one. :(

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