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The Miata has never been about high power output. You know it, I know it, but it seems people still struggle with that concept. The simple fact is if you think a Miata is boring to drive, you aren’t driving it hard enough or in the right context. All that aside, the current Miata maintains the tradition of small amounts of horsepower bringing large amounts of fun. The 2023 Miata engine, though, is quite a bit more potent than its predecessors.

2023 Mazda Miata horsepower, torque, and engine details

Detailed photo showing the 2.0-liter four-cylinder VVT Skyactiv engine under the hood of an ND mazda Miata, which spans from the model years 2019 to at least 2023
Mazda Miata Engine | Mazda

The 2023 Miata engine is, as is traditional with this iconic sports car, a dual-overhead camshaft inline four-cylinder. In the case of the current generation, it’s got 2.0 liters of displacement. According to Auto Padre, It is an interference engine with a timing chain.

Mazda reports that its exact displacement is 1,998 cubic centimeters. It has an impressively high compression ratio at 13:1. Just a couple of decades ago that compression ratio would have been virtually unheard of. Additionally, it features variable valve timing to optimize air and fuel consumption at any RPM range.

All said and done, these specs add up to an impressive 181 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. Again, as mentioned above, that’s not a massive number. However, given the extremely handling-oriented nature of the Miata, it’s more than enough to have an immeasurable amount of fun on a tight track or windy road.

For those interested in more nitty gritty details, the 2023 Miata engine has a bore measurement of 83.5 millimeters and a stroke length of 91.2mm.

Is the 2023 Miata engine available with a manual transmission?

A front view of a 2023 Mazda MX-5 Miata driving
2023 Mazda MX-5 Miata | Mazda

Mazda Miata Sales Are On Fire Right Now

Yes! The 2023 Mazda Miata comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission across all trim levels. Enthusiasts love this fact. However, if you’d rather not row your own gears, the Miata is available with a 6-speed Sport Automatic transmission and paddle shifters. Though the manual is the enthusiast’s preference, the automatic still offers plenty of spirited nature and excitement behind the wheel.

In addition, the automatic Miata gets a one mpg higher rating than the manual one, with an EPA estimate of 26 mpg city and 35 mpg highway.

Overall, the 2023 Mazda Miata’s engine is effectively a modern update of the historic lineup of inline-fours you’ll find throughout all generations of the Mazda Miata. That is, unless someone has plopped an LS in it.