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Will the next Mazda MX-5 Miata look as good as its predecessors drive?

Rumor has it that Mazda will display the chassis of the next MX-5 Miata alongside a display of notable past Miatas at the 2014 New York Auto Show, but what about the bodywork that goes on top of it?

Australia’s Drive reports that the fourth-generation Miata could have styling that’s radically different from anything that came before.

A confidential source who has reportedly seen the car said it “looks nothing like any of its predecessors.”

Previous iterations of the Miata didn’t pick up many of the styling traits seen on other Mazdas, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see the new model take on the “Kodo” design language seen on the current Mazda3, 6, and CX-5, given how well-received it has been.

However, the next Miata will reportedly feature a different version of Kodo, with a new grille and less-prominent wheel arches compared to the other cars.

There’s also apparently a rear diffuser (or something meant to look like one) under the rear bumper, and prominent roll hoops behind the seats, as seen on the current Miata.

Meanwhile, The base engine may be a 1.5-liter Skyactiv-G four-cylinder, which would be the smallest engine ever offered in a Miata and could make as little as 99 horsepower.

It’s unclear whether that engine will be offered in the United States; the larger 2.0-liter Skyactiv-G seems more likely.

With the new Miata’s unveiling just under one year away, expect plenty of other rumors to surface before the car hits showrooms. We’ll be ready to sift through them.

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