Details for that mill have not been revealed (the drip feed continues), but it is expected to be the naturally-aspirated SkyActiv-G unit that produces 81kW in the new Mazda2 hatch.
Mazda remains tight-lipped on the specifics, but it is believed the version driving the MX-5 will produce more power - although likely not as much as the 118kW offered with the outgoing NC model’s 2.0 litre engine.
The carmaker is also believed to be planning a larger 2.0 litre application in MX-5 models bound for the US market.
This is likely to be the same unit that offers 114kW and 200Nm in the new Mazda3 range, and again it has been speculated that Mazda will find more power for the engine’s MX-5 application.
But, even if power figures for both versions match the outputs of their hatch stablemates, the new MX-5’s new design and circa 100kg weight loss should ensure greater overall performance than in the outgoing range.
Details of the 2.0 litre engine - and likely some more specific information for the 1.5 litre unit - are expected to be revealed at next month’s LA Auto Show.
It remains unclear if we will see the larger engine in Australia, and Mazda’s local arm has gone out of its way to avoid even the slightest hint of what’s to come.
Likewise, local pricing remains unclear, although Mazda Australia boss Martin Benders has hinted in weeks past that a starting point below $40,000 is the goal.