The success of Mazda's MX-5, or Miata as it has long been known in the U.S, is down to a simple formula.

It's inexpensive, it's fun, it looks good, and it's reliable. It took the best aspects of sports cars from the 1960s and 1970s, but dressed it up with modern comforts and a healthy dose of Japanese sensibility.

Economy has never really been a major aspect of the MX-5 but it might be in future--Autocar reports the next generation of the diminutive sports car could have a diesel option.

The unit would join a standard 1.6-liter, naturally-aspirated SkyActiv gasoline unit, which could be joined again by more powerful variants.

Mazda's consideration of a diesel MX-5 might come as a shock to some, but the company is already generating a buzz around its Sky-D diesel engines, a diesel-powered Mazda6 race car making appearances in some endurance events.

The diesel Skyactiv units promise lower emissions, improved economy and gasoline-style responses--and a smaller-capacity unit could prove potent in the lightweight next-generation MX-5. Mazda is currently aiming for a flyweight target of under 1,800 pounds.

A diesel MX-5 is by no means certain, though--Mazda is unsure whether such a thing would even sell, and the company's engineers favor the higher-revving capabilities and lighter weight of a regular gasoline engine.

For sports car purists, diesel's less-than-enthralling soundtrack might also be an issue, particularly with the roof stowed.

Would you buy a diesel sports car? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.


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