• 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata will be unveiled this year
  • Mazda hasn't announced any major details about upcoming MX-5
  • New model will be shown in global ceremony on September 3

An all-new Mazda MX-5 Miata is on the way. That's the latest from Mazda, which says it will reveal the popular 2-seat sports car's fourth-generation model in a global ceremony later this summer.

According to Mazda, the international unveiling will take place on September 3 with simultaneous events in Japan, Spain and the United States. While other details about the upcoming MX-5 Miata are scarce, the automaker has confirmed that the upcoming MX-5 Miata will be a 2016 model, suggesting a 2015 on-sale date.

Given the MX-5 Miata's huge, enthusiastic following, speculation about the upcoming model is rampant. Like most Miata fans, we suspect the upcoming version will feature two seats and rear-wheel drive, just like the car's first three generations. We also expect that the new car will offer a 4-cylinder engine and a convertible top -- possibly a retractable hardtop and a soft-top, like the current model does.

Beyond that, speculation about the upcoming MX-5 Miata is highly uncertain. While Mazda showed the car's chassis at this year's New York Auto Show, the automaker didn't use the show to reveal any styling details or engine specs. And Mazda didn't let any new details slip when announcing the upcoming car's debut, noting only that the automaker is "looking forward to sharing even more news in the near future."

The upcoming MX-5 Miata is important to the Mazda brand, which markets itself as a sporty alternative to mainstream automakers. With the recent cancellation of its muscular RX-8, the MX-5 Miata remains the only sports car in Mazda's lineup, so it's important for the new car to retain the following earned by previous MX-5 Miata models.

Initially on sale for the 1990 model year and called only the Miata, the sports car was updated in 1999 and fully redesigned in 2006. Today's MX-5 Miata offers 167 horsepower (158 with the automatic), along with available luxuries such as heated seats, leather upholstery, a power retractable hardtop and automatic climate control.

What it means to you: The 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata looks to improve upon Mazda's iconic 2-seat sports car.

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Doug DeMuro has a wide range of automotive industry experience, from work at a Ferrari dealership to a manager for Porsche North America. A lifelong car enthusiast, Doug's eclectic vehicle purchases include a Porsche 911 Turbo, an E63 AMG wagon, an old Range Rover and a Mercedes Benz G-wagen.

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