Mazda mulls diesel engine option for next-gen MX-5

Mazda MX-5 logo

We giddily reported back in January that Mazda and Alfa Romeo were combining forces to design a next-generation MX-5 that would lend its underpinnings to an all-new Alfa roadster. While the drop top sports coupe would be a co-engineering project, the car would be built and assembled by Mazda in Japan, which seemingly allays most our concerns with Alfa in the first place.

This made us ecstatic and incredibly frustrated – all at the same time. Now we’d have to choose between the Mazda and the Alfa, both of which will have their own distinctive looks and engines.

Now Mazda is making the decision even tougher as it is reportedly debating the inclusion of an optional diesel SKYACTIV engine under the hood of the lightweight convertible, according to Autocar.

Some wonder if a diesel-powered soft-top would sell. We would wonder the same thing if we hadn’t just driven the 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible TDI with a turbocharged four-cylinder diesel and a six-speed manual transmission. It was brilliant.

If Mazda can get anywhere near the brilliance of the Beetle, we’ll be sold. Arguably the Mazda will be more reliable and manlier looking than the Beetle ‘vert so it should be a slam-dunk.

Right now, aside from its looks, the only thing the Alfa variant has over the Mazda is its turbocharged engine offerings. Mazda seems set on sticking with its normally aspirated SKYACTIV engines for the new MX-5. If we’re totally honest: SKYACTIV is noisy and slow.

The new MX-5 has a target weight of 1,700 pounds, however. So even if the engine is a bit anemic, Mazda should have a fun little sports car.

With what you know so far, which would you rather have? An MX-5 or an Alfa built by the Japanese? Tell us in the comment section below.

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