There’s something special about ringing the neck out of a low powered car that sets the heart racing. The car you are talking about will handle just as well as any MX-5, The lack of BHP will make it safer at the limits.
One of the most fun cars I owned was a basic spec Ford Ka 1.3. Low power, wheel at each corner and I could use every bit of power, every day without ever getting near the limits of the car or my abilities and without losing my license.
A V8 powered turbocharged monster might be nice for track days but for fun on the road give me something that doesn’t want to chuck me in the ditch every five minutes.
The ND is only available in the US in 2.0 form as the Yanks won’t accept cars with smaller engines. In Japan it is only available in 1.5 form because they know what suits the car.
I’ve had the 115bhp NA and the 1.8 NA with more power. The 1.6 actually felt more punchy than the 1.8.