Earlier this week we saw leaked images taken from a 2013 Mazda MX-5 Miata brochure, containing a subtly altered, more aggressive looking roadster. Mazda has now confirmed the Miata facelift, and a spokesperson for Mazda verified that we’ll be seeing the new look on U.S. versions later this year. A new “Club” trim will also replace the “Touring” version here in the U.S.
The 2013 Miata front-end signals a further departure from the smiling-puppy-dog-grille that has seen mixed reviews from enthusiasts since its introduction a few years ago. The fog lights are now featured in a blacked-out housing that matches the grille, and adds a more cohesive overall look. When asked about the new look, fellow Automotive.com editor—and unabashed Miata owner and enthusiast—Blake Z. Rong, said “it’s way less girly now, and it doesn’t grin like an idiot.”
The Japanese-spec Miata will also get a few other minor changes for the new model year: power-retractable hardtop models will get new 17-inch wheels; if pedestrians are detected and impact is imminent, the crash avoidance system will pop the rear part of the Miata hood, which is thought to reduce the risk of injury; the Metropolitan Gray Mica will be replaced in favor of a Dolphin Gray Mica exterior color; there will be a new tan color for genuine leather seats; and engineers have made minor tweaks to the transmission and braking for better performance. The MX-5 will retain the 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that is capable of producing 167 horsepower on the six-speed manual transmission, and 158 hp on automatic models.
The Miata is the world’s all-time greatest selling two-seat roadster according to the Guinness Book of World Records, and is known for its fun to drive nature. The roadster boasts a nearly even 50-50 front to back weight ratio, and weighing in at a maximum of 2,619 pounds, the Miata is a relative lightweight.