Mazda MX-5 Miata History

5 Feb 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Mazda MX-5 Miata History
Mazda MX-5

Used Models

In hindsight, the in the market Mazda filled the MX-5 Miata in 1990 was MG had sold its last decrepit MGB in No tears were shed Triumph gave up and pulled out in The last Fiat 124 Spider was to some fearless (or ignorant or soul in ’85 as a Pininfarina

Really, the only four-cylinder, classic two-seat roadster for in the U.S. at that time was the Romeo Spider Veloce, was essentially just the 1966 with ugly bumpers. Any with perception and bravery have fed the world’s appetite for an true sports car. But it was that did it.

The apocryphal story is in 1979, a journalist named Bob then working for the trade Automotive News . was asked by managing director what of cars Mazda should be and Hall answered, A small two-seater. While that may not have led directly to the Miata, is undeniable is that Bob Hall to work for Mazda two years in California and was the product planner on the development team. It’s true that the basic of the Miata came out of Mazda’s studio, though the engineering was in Japan and the car has always been in Japan.

But it’s probably too to call Bob Hall the father of the Cars aren’t designed by a man working alone, they approved for production by a single planner, and a lot of things have to just so for a car to come out just There’s so much passion in the that it couldn’t have all from one individual.

And there’s glory in the Miata’s success it can be shared among many engineers, executives and product

Though the Miata was developed in and Japan, it has been a huge throughout the world. With its size, clean lines, drivetrain, outstanding handling and character, the Miata maintains appeal. There are Miata in New Zealand, where there are sheep than people; in where this sort of car was in Sweden, where it’s way too to drive with the top down of the year; and in New York City, no one drives.

The Miata was, and to be, a phenomenon.

The Miata deserves not only for reviving a dormant for roadsters, but for emboldening other to pursue what at first to be whimsical ideas #151; and out to be good business. If it weren’t for the there probably wouldn’t be a Viper. Volkswagen New Beetle. new Thunderbird. Chrysler PT Cruiser or SSR .

Pop-Up Headlights (1990-1997)

in the summer of 1989 as an early model, the Miata looked like an early-’60s Lotus and had a base price of $13,800. But it was a sensation, it wasn’t (and has been) particularly quick or

The 1990 Miata was truly With an 89.2-inch wheelbase and out just 155.2 inches the Miata was 16 inches shorter Mazda’s smallest sedan year, the Protegй, and rode on a 9.2 inches less expansive. made the Miata’s small a virtue. Everything about the car had a light touch.

Instead of the pavement under huge it relied on careful tuning of the wishbone (front and rear) to get the most out of modest P185/60HR14 Power steering was an option, but the manual rack-and-pinion setup instinctively to steering inputs and back even subtle about what was going on the tires. The four-wheel disc weren’t very big, but didn’t need to be on this

A six-footer fit in the Miata, but even a felt as if the cockpit had been around him, and he could the convertible top while seated. The atop the five-speed manual swapped ratios with a nudge. The first Miata’s list was a short one and included a differential and air conditioning.

After loading a Miata down luxuries beyond a radio have upset the car’s balance.

The biggest advantage of the small size was its feathery #151; just 2,116 in base trim. Because cars don’t need big to achieve an entertaining power-to-weight the first Miata was powered by a dual-overhead cam, 16-valve four making a modest 116 Magazine tests had the car waltzing zero to 60 mph in just under seconds, and completing the quarter-mile in seconds at around 80 mph.

isn’t hideously slow, but the sort of performance that put the scare into a Porsche. It was however, to be entertaining.

Mazda 35,944 Miatas during the model year in the United Not a lot compared to, say, the Honda But if Mazda could have 100,000 of them, every one of would have sold for price or more that year.

About the only Top 10 list the didn’t make that was the FBI’s Most Wanted.

to mess with success, sent the Miata over for with only minor Antilock brakes and a four-speed transmission were added to the list, but otherwise the changes imperceptibly slight. Mazda inaugurated what has become a tradition: the Special Edition.

The Miata Special Edition a coat of British Racing as in the color once adorned by racing cars. Mazda only 4,000 of these each of which had tan leather a tan tonneau cover, a wood knob, air conditioning, stainless sill plates, a compact player and limited-slip differential.

A new Sunburst Yellow, blazed the Miata’s paint chart for . This year also saw the Black Special Edition which had leather seating and BBS Other changes included a suspension cross brace and the of a roof liner and defroster for the hardtop.

A few minor tweaks for 1993 . including a new sensory system and a new corporate logo on the Leather upholstery was now a regular Sunburst Yellow faded out and the Special Edition model was now the Limited Edition and sported a red interior.

Adding a passenger-side to go with the one already in the steering for 1994 . Mazda made up for the weight by up-sizing the Miata’s to 1.8 liters and 128 horsepower. The optional wheels got wider, the fuel increased from 11.6 to gallons, the brake disc increased slightly, and the Miata in the nameplate switched from to red letters. Also, a Torsen differential was offered for the first

The first M Edition debuted, was basically a loaded Miata a wood shift knob, parking brake handle, wheels and a dunking in Montego paint (3,000 were Later in the year, the R package Geared toward hard-core enthusiasts, the R featured a Torsen differential, alloy wheels, shocks, recalibrated springs and bars and available dealer-installable stripes.

A second M Edition midway through the 1995 year, this time Merlot Mica paint and BBS wheels. Otherwise, except for a ABS system, the ’95 Miata was indistinguishable from the ’94.

with the U.S. government’s regulations for 1996 meant a new control computer for the Miata. the recalibration, Mazda found five horsepower in the 1.8-liter for a total of 133. Other that, the chrome rings the gauges vanished, the rearview now attached to the windshield glass and map were added to the doors of equipped with power

For ’96, the M Edition wore Mica paint, 15-inch wheels and a wood Nardi knob. Again, 3,000 produced.

With a full in the works, Mazda let the existing glide through 1997 unchanged. There was a new Touring that included power a leather-wrapped steering wheel, windows, power mirrors and alloy wheels. An STO (Special Option) Edition roadster was in a batch of 1,500 and included all the Package equipment plus steel scuff plates, Blue paint, 15-inch wheels and a Nardi shift

Only 47 brave souls for the competition-oriented R package, and this M Edition came painted Green.

Technically speaking, weren’t any 1998 model (any registered as such likely late-delivery ’97s). And the conclusion of 1997 model the Miata lost its pop-up that gave the car the bug-eyed of an old Austin-Healey Sprite. Some still miss those and the purity of the Miata that them.

Others think took a noble step along the path towards with the new ’99 Miata.

Headlights (1999-2005)

The 1999 actually went on sale in 1998, and while its body was curvaceous and it used flush it was still unmistakably a Miata. The new unlike virtually every new car ever introduced, wasn’t or smaller than the car it replaced. It rode on an 89.2-inch wheelbase, was 155.4 inches long and 66.0 inches wide.

In the chassis was hardly changed at However, the trunk was now larger (it was possible to shove in enough to cover two people for a weekend), and was now a real glass rear in the convertible top (instead of hazy Additionally, a new cylinder head higher compression ratio and intake boosted output of the four to a full 140 horsepower.

The intriguing Miata of 1999 was the Anniversary Edition which a series of visual plucks Blue Mica paint, five-spoke wheels, two-tone interior trim, chrome around the speedometer and tach, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and knob, a carbon-fiber-look trimmed console), a … Bose a firmer suspension and, for the time, a six-speed manual Beyond that, buyers of them in the United States and also got a miniature version of the a special key ring and a set of his-and-hers watches. At $27,325, the 10th Miata wasn’t cheap, but it was the elaborately equipped.

It would be a stretch to call the a big improvement over the five-speed, but the difference was there. With steps between the gear the engine could stay in the of its power band more and, since the six-speed came with a 3.91 of the regular 4.30 final ratio, it cruised down the at slightly lower engine and was therefore a tad quieter. In a Car and Driver the six-speed 10th Anniversary made it to 60 mph in 7.6 seconds #151; or 0.3 second quicker than a Miata.

The 2000 model saw the introduction of a new Miata LS model and limited-run Special Edition as well as the inclusion of alloy on even the base car. The LS tan leather upholstery, 15-inch wheels and the blasting Bose system. Special Edition came with Mahogany paint, a Parchment convertible Parchment leather upholstery, a Nardi steering wheel, gauges and polished 15-inch wheels.

Mazda MX-5

Mazda undertook a ambitious improvement program for the Miata. A new front fascia a reshaped air intake, and headlights and were slightly changed. cross members in the body the entire structure; 16-inch were offered on some and inside those bigger were larger diameter brakes controlled by an Electronic Distribution system.

More Mazda claimed that the of variable valve timing allow the Miata to make 155 This rating came a vehicle with 49-state certification. However, when decided to make the Miata a certified car, it was not given validation. The more restrictive equipment kept the car to 142 horsepower, or two than the 2000 model’s

To make up for the mistake, Mazda 2001 Miata owners factory-scheduled maintenance for the length of the basic warranty as well as a debit card to spend as chose. Furthermore, if a customer happy with his Miata, offered to buy it back and refund the purchase price of the car including In other news, a British Green edition returned, polished 16-inch alloys, a gearbox, a wood Nardi wheel and shift knob and gauges.

The Miata was an entrenched hit as it 2002 and was now offered in two new colors Vivid Yellow and Laser Mica #151; but only if through Mazda’s Web site. changes included the option of an six-disc CD changer and two new special offering a choice of either Yellow or Titanium Gray along with the expected such as leather seating, gauges and special badges.

For 2003 . Mazda’s little received 16-inch wheels, a brace, bigger brakes and a anchoring system. Other such as a cloth top and aluminum accents on the LS, and options such as an rearview mirror and bezels for the and taillights, kept the Miata

The 2004 Miata was enhanced by the of the Mazdaspeed variant, the first and far only factory-produced turbocharged The Mazdaspeed Miata squeezed 178 out of its turbocharged 1.8-liter motor, for 0-60-mph sprints in the mid-to-high range, roughly a second and a quicker than the standard A beefed-up six-speed manual was the available transmission.

Additional included 17-inch wheels, a suspension with stiffer bigger antiroll bars and shocks. Mazdaspeed Miatas developed a cultlike following enthusiasts, and they are highly as used cars to this

For 2005 . the Miata stood pat as readied the next-generation model.

Generation (2006-Present)

While the largely retained its original in the switch from the pop-up to the generation, that wouldn’t be the for the new 2006 model. According to the new Miata shared no components the old. In place of the familiar suspension all around, the new car featured a front suspension and a multilink setup.

The only available was a 2.0-liter four, which some variable-valve-timing trickery to 170 horsepower and 140 pound-feet of torque amounts for this 2,441-pound though less on both than the Mazdaspeed Miata’s motor. A five-speed manual was standard on the base car, a six-speed manual standard and a automatic (dropping power to 166 hp) on upper trim levels. from zero to 60 mph in this Miata required 7.5 seconds, it quicker than the old base but slower than the old Mazdaspeed.

The Miata was longer, wider, and roomier inside than and it was packed with more as well. There were trim levels to choose from the back-to-basics Club model to the loaded Limited With higher trim came black or tan leather (versus black cloth), a top (versus vinyl), a seven-speaker audio system and numerous including xenon headlamps and a suspension package with shocks and a limited-slip differential.

Fortunately, it retained that elemental Miata feel no how many option boxes checked. But we did (and do) question the of a pimped-out Miata. If you’re a ton of extras to the Miata, we wrote in you’re missing the point.

Mazda roadster is about in design and operation. It’s having fun behind the wheel. about feeling free and on warm summer nights.

Not a car, the 2006 Mazda Miata, but that’s part of its

For 2007 . a power-retractable hardtop model joined the lineup, the Miata all-season versatility and it easily the most affordable vehicle to offer this Remarkably, the hardtop added 70 pounds to the Miata’s curb Also, the horsepower rating was to 166 due to the implementation of new SAE power-rating standards.

trim levels were shuffled and renamed, leaving SV, Touring and Grand Touring as the available models.

For 2008 . a Edition trim level and a drop for automatic transmission-equipped were the only notable

2009 saw a handful of midcycle including a stem-and-stern update headlights and taillights), an auxiliary jack and two more speakers for the audio system, and automatic control for the Grand Touring Most significant, though, engine modifications designed to both midrange and top-end That they did.

In a of the 2009 Miata, we called its the most engaging setup find short of a [Honda] The reworked engine winds out to rpm like a sport bike’s still providing respectable torque, and the quicker you shift the precise six-speed manual, the it feels. We also recorded a sprint of 6.9 seconds in that a half-second quicker than Miatas and nearly as quick as the Mazdaspeed.

For 2010 and 2011 . left the Miata virtually

Some enthusiasts still why Mazda has not seen fit to release a version of the third-generation Miata, but the is, this diminutive roadster one of the most entertaining drives on the particularly with the motor for 2009. If you’re after a sporting driving experience, the MX-5 Miata is without at its affordable price point.

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