Hybrid-like tech comes to 2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata in Europe

The company's i-ELoop system is now standard gear for our friends buying the sports car in Europe.

It's not a hybrid though. I promise.

No, the Mazda MX-5 Miata isn't turning into a hybrid. Maybe some day, but not today. Instead, Mazda has gone ahead and added some hybrid-like technology to the little sports car.

Mazda said on Wednesday that the 2020 MX-5 Miata will now come with the automaker's i-ELoop system as standard. It's a neat twist on regenerative braking often found in hybrid, plug-in hybrids and pure battery-electric cars. Rather than snatch what would be energy lost to heat to power the car, i-ELoop takes the energy and uses it toward powering the car's electronics.

The company detailed the updates on the European-spec MX-5 Miata. Mazda declined to comment as to whether the US-spec car will be in for the same updates. The company did say we'll learn about the 2020 model year "soon." It seems like a safe bet we'll also be treated to the technology, however.

Aside from i-ELoop, the car doesn't change much -- at least not in Europe. The same powertrain remains, which is a 2.0-liter inline-four engine paired to either a six-speed automatic or manual transmission. The Continent also receives a 1.5-liter inline-four option with differing trims levels than the US-spec car.

Beyond the 2020 model year, the MX-5 Miata remains in very good hands. This past October, Roadshow's Tim Stevens sat down with Masashi Nakayama, the sports car's design chief. In our conversation, Nakayama-san promised that the spritely little sports car has a healthy future ahead of it.

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