The 2.0l Engine of the Mazda MX-5 NC Generation NC2/NC3 Facelift

The engines used in the Mazda MX-5 NC (1.8l & 2.0l) are part of the Mazda developed MZR L-Series engine range. The aluminium block L-Series is the evolution of it’s predecessor the cast-iron block F-Series. The MZR L-Series family has also been built and used by the Ford Motor Company marketed as the ‘Duratec’ engines.

2.0l Engine Specification MX-5 NC Generation NC2/NC3 Facelift

Engine codeMZR L-Series 2.0
Block materialAluminum
Head materialAluminum
Intake manifoldReinforced plastic
InstallationTilted 10°
Compression ratio10.8 : 1
Cylinder linersCast iron
PistonsFully floating, molybdic coated anti-friction, stronger wrist pin bosses with facelift
Connecting rodsFracture-split forged steel with floating wrist pins (since facelift)
CrankshaftForged steel (since facelift)
Valvetrain driveChain
Valves16 (2/2), stiffer valve springs with facelift
Variable valve timingIntake side
Variable Intake SystemVIS
Fuel injectionElectronically controlled sequential direct injection
Ignition systemCoil-on-plug
Output (German market version)
Redline RPM7500
Peak Power118KW / 160PS
Peak Power @RPM7000
Peak Torque188Nm
Peak Torque @RPM5000

The first MX-5 NC facelift with model-year 2009 (NC2) introduced some substantial improvements to the engine tackling some reliability issues:

  • New forged steel crankshaft (minimizes vibrations at high engine revs)
  • Forged steel connecting rods with floating wrist pins
  • Revised fully floating pistons with stronger wrist pin bosses
  • Stiffer valve springs to suppress valve bounce at high revs
  • Higher-durability materials for the connecting-rod bearings
  • Engine oil cooler added (US market only)

As a result the engine produces it’s maximum output of 160 PS at 7000 RPM (predecessor at 6700 RPM) and the rev limit by fuel cut-off has been raised +500 RPM to 7500 RPM. Maximum torque remains 188 Nm at 5000 RPM.

The 2.0l Engine of the Mazda MX-5 NC Generation NC2/NC3 Facelift
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