Mazda starts production of new MX-5by Byron Hurd
Japan production spins up; first home market deliveries in June.
Mazda's first production 2016 MX-5 Miata has rolled off the line at its Ujina Plant in Hiroshima, Japan.
The first retail units will be delivered to Japanese-market customers in June. Worldwide deliveries will begin following the home market introduction.
The U.S. market MX-5 will be equipped with a 155-horsepower, 2.0L four cylinder, however Mazda executives are hinting that a more powerful--likely turbocharged--engine could be in the works. Even without a power-adder, the lighter fourth-generation model boasts a slightly better power-to-weight ratio than its predecessor.
Mazda has been tight-lipped about the possibility of adding turbocharged engines to its lineup. Currently, the company's entire U.S. lineup is powered by four-cylinder gas engines with the exception of the CX-9. The three-row crossover still employs Mazda's variant of the 3.7L Duratec V6 leftover from its partnership with Ford.
"The MX-5 is the soul of our company, and its enthusiast following both inside and outside of Mazda drives us to keep innovating new ideas for it and the rest of our lineup." said Jim O'Sullivan, president and CEO, Mazda North American Operations, when the MX-5 accessories concept was shown in Chicago, where the MX-5 debuted in 1989.
Photos by Brian Williams.