Next Mazda Miata to use downsized 1.3-liter turbo?

The next Miata's engine will be both its smallest and most powerful.

While not much is known about the next-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata, a new report out of Europe hints that a downsized 1.3-liter gas engine equipped with a turbocharger could provide motivation for the redesigned two-seat roadster.

The engine will undoubtedly benefit from Mazda's Skyactiv suite of fuel efficiency-aiding technologies, including ultra-high compression and extensive weight-saving measures. Currently, the Mazda CX-5 and Mazda3 use a 2.0-liter, naturally-aspirated Skyactiv four-cylinder gas engine.

Despite the reduction in engine size, the new Miata will be the most powerful variant of the roadster yet. Britain's What Car? says that unnamed "insiders" have revealed that the car will put out around 200 horsepower, a substantial improvement over the current 2.0-liter's 167 ponies. In addition, fuel economy will undoubtedly rise over the 28 mpg highway rating of the current Miata.

The next Miata's chassis will also underpin Alfa Romeo's upcoming roadster (which will likely revive the Spider nameplate), which means that Alfa parent Fiat's Multiair electro-hydraulic valve actuation technology might also be on board. Multiar, which is just beginning to arrive in the Chrysler products now that Fiat controls the Michigan automaker, optimizes the intake valves for increased performance and efficiency.

Further reducing consumption and improving the car's dynamics will be a reduction in curb weight, which should bring the roadster down to around 2,200 lbs.

The next-generation Miata is due out in 2014 or 2015.