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2015 Mazda Miata to Debut in Chicago; Clean Styling, Skyactiv Engines

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 1/18/2014 Edward A. Sanchez

Mazda has been aggressive in upgrading its product lineup over the past few years with the debut of an all-new Mazda6 midsize sedan and Mazda3 compact hatch and sedan. But one of the brand's most recognizable icons of the modern era has made it by with just modest refreshes year-to-year. Until now. Britain's Autocar says the highly-anticipated next-generation Miata will debut at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show, as the original MX-5 Miata did in 1989. The new model will reportedly chart a distinctly different styling direction for Mazda's signature roadster.

2015 Mazda Miata to Debut in Chicago; Clean Styling, Skyactiv Engines

Mazda initially targeted an ambitious curb weight goal of 2200 lb for the next-generation car, but indications are the final curb weight will come in closer to 2400 lb, a weight savings of between 150-200 lb compared to today's car. Due to affordability considerations, the body is believed to be primarily steel, but with strategic lightening of specific components to keep weight low.

2014 Mazda MX 5 Club© Provided by MotorTrend 2014 Mazda MX 5 Club

Initial reports suggested a turbocharged engine for the new Miata, but it now looks like naturally-aspirated I-4 engines of 1.5 liters and 2.0 liters will be offered in various markets. As with past Miata models, the focus will be more on balanced performance and handling rather than outright power.

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The next-generation Mazda Miata is expected to be slightly longer than today's car for a roomier interior, as well as making space for the Skyactiv engines, which have a long and bulky exhaust manifold design to enable their high fuel efficiency. Efficiency gains are expected to be in the neighborhood of 30 percent, which would translate to roughly 27 mpg city and 36-37 mpg highway, over the current Miata's 21/28 figures.

The popular power retractable hardtop will continue on the new model, with a new design that preserves more trunk space. A canvas-top will still be offered. **UPDATE - The originally post said the new Miata would debut at next month's Chicago show. We've since been informed the model will actually debut at the 2015 Chicago show.

Source: Autocar

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