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35 Years of the Mazda MX-5
  Feb 12, 2024     Arifa Hussain  

35 Years of the Mazda MX-5

On this day in 1989, Mazda would change the course of automotive history. At the Chicago Auto Show, it unveiled a fearless little roadster that would ultimately be known worldwide as the MX-5, or Miata.

It doesn't matter if you refer to it as that or something more aggressive; the Mazda MX-5 is now the most-raced car in history and among the best-selling sports cars ever. Even if it seems like the MX-5's future is gloomy, it is a legacy worth considering in both the past and the present.

With its unique front-mid engine layout for ideal longitudinal weight distribution, the Japanese roadster revived a virtually dead vehicle sector. It was designed in the guise of a classic rear-wheel-drive sports car. Open-top driving was revolutionized by the lightweight and compact form of the Mazda MX-5.

The ancient Japanese concept of Jinba-Ittai, which views the horse and rider as one entity, is how Mazda engineers achieved this. Together, the roadster and the driver of the MX-5 form a powerful combination that provides lightness, agility, and balance. The MX-5 has received several awards and recognitions throughout the years, demonstrating its outstanding excellence.

The Mazda MX-5 has undergone constant evolution throughout four generations: "NA," "NB," "NC," and now "ND." Since its release in 2016, the MX-5 has delighted fans of open-air driving with its dynamic fastback design and electrically driven folding "hard-top" roof system, available in addition to the roadster type with a soft top.

At the Ujina facility in Hiroshima, total MX-5 manufacturing has recently surpassed 1,256,745 units. Of these, 533,301 (more than 40%) of the MX-5's total number have been sold in North America under the Mazda Miata label. Europe has sold 391,503 of the roadster as of this writing. 225,510 copies of the classic Mazda Roadster (formerly known as the Eunos Roadster) sports automobile were registered in the native market of Japan.

In honor of its 35th birthday, the MX-5 gets redesigned front and rear lighting, new infotainment for better connection, and an even more concentrated Jinba-Ittai driving experience. The software-based Kinematic Posture Control System (KPC), which offers extra driving stability in turns, combines with the new "Track Mode" to improve the sensation of driver involvement in the iconic sports vehicle.

The 2.0L 184hp Skyactiv-G engine that powers the 2024 Mazda MX-5 now has an asymmetric limited-slip differential as standard equipment. Another engine in the lineup is the 1.5L Skyactiv-G, which produces 132 horsepower. The 2024 MX-5 promises a pleasurable driving experience since it can handle curves with grace, comfort, and safety. It comes in two versions: a roadster with a traditional soft top and an RF with a permanent folding roof.

The MX-5 has a history of advancement, and the upcoming model—which will probably be called "NG"—will continue that legacy. Although it doesn't necessarily imply it will become an EV, Mazda said in 2021 that the next MX-5 would be electrified. The next MX-5 is expected to have 48-volt mild hybrid technology and be able to operate on synthetic fuels when it makes its debut in 2025. Expectations are high since Mazda says it intends to keep the MX-5 lightweight and fuel-efficient.

Arifa Hussain