Home / Internet News / Mazda Miata historical past: How the MX-Five has charmed us during the last 30 years – Roadshow

Mazda Miata historical past: How the MX-Five has charmed us during the last 30 years – Roadshow

We like Miatas right here at Roadshow. In reality, 4 folks have examples of the two-seat roadster in our private garages. I, myself, have owned 3 MX-5s through the years, and my present day-to-day motive force is a 2004 Mazdaspeed Miata.

There is a reason such a lot of folks subscribe to the “The solution is all the time Miata” idea. The reasonably priced, light-weight roadster has been fascinating drivers around the globe because it was once first presented in 1989. Even now, in its fourth era, the Miata stays one of the most best motive force’s vehicles cash should buy.

Mazda debuted a 30th Anniversary Edition MX-5 Miata this week on the 2019 Chicago Auto Show, commemorating the momentous instance when the first actual Miata popped up its headlights on the 1989 display. However as we take a look at the place the Miata is headed, let’s additionally take into accout the place it is been. This little sweetheart has had a fantastic 30-year run.

NA era: 1990-1998

The unique Miata debuted as a 1990 type, with a 1.6-liter I4 engine underhood that produced a wee 116 horsepower and 110 pound-feet of torque. Energy went to the rear wheels via a five-speed handbook transmission, and also you truly needed to wind the auto out in each and every tools to actually take advantage of that continual.

Mazda says the first-generation Miata had a most sensible velocity of 116 miles in keeping with hour, and did the Zero-60-mph run in Eight.6 seconds. The ones don’t seem to be blistering specifications through nowadays’s requirements, however on the time, and making an allowance for the auto’s 2,100-ish-pound curb weight, it was once lots.

The primary Miata was once a beautiful bare-bones providing — simplistic, to mention it otherwise. To be had choices incorporated a viscous-type limited-slip differential and an non-compulsory detachable hardtop (in pink handiest). At a base worth of $13,800, the Miata was once a slightly inexpensive little factor, and Mazda moved 23,052 Miatas in its first yr of manufacturing. For comparability, the sprightly Honda CRX offered 40,000 gadgets that very same yr, however on the very least, the Miata’s gross sales bested the ones of the Toyota MR2.

With its flip-up headlights retracted, the Miata had a severely clear glance.


The 1991 to 1993 type years noticed a couple of particular editions, in addition to the choice of a four-speed computerized transmission. Extra colours have been added to the detachable hardtop palette, and anti-lock brakes have been added, as neatly. The primary main replace did not come till 1994, when Mazda put a 1.Eight-liter engine beneath the Miata’s hood, upping continual to 128 horsepower.

New protection necessities supposed the Miata won some weight halfway via its NA era, tipping the scales up close to 2,300 kilos. However whats up, we were given airbags! Preventing continual larger due to larger-diameter entrance discs, and a brand new Torsen limited-slip diff was once added to the choices record in 1994.

A 2d replace got here in 1996, the place a brand new engine keep an eye on unit bumped output to 133 horsepower and 114 pound-feet of torque. Mazda additionally added a rear subframe lateral brace bar, to enhance dealing with.

NB era: 1999-2005

The second one-gen Miata ditched the enduring pop-up headlights of its predecessor, in large part due to revised pedestrian crash protection requirements. The NB Miata was once additionally wider than the auto it changed, and were given slightly of a value hike, with a $19,770 MSRP in 1999.

The NB Miata was once powered through the similar 1.Eight-liter engine as its predecessor, however a better compression ratio introduced continual as much as 140 horsepower and 116 pound-feet of torque. The brand new Miata was once additionally heavier than its forebear, coming in round 2,350 kilos. When supplied with the five-speed handbook transmission, the ’99 Miata may just dash to 60 mph in about Eight seconds flat, however a newly non-compulsory six-speed handbook gearbox shaved part a 2d off that point.

The zip-out plastic window from the previous-generation’s cushy most sensible was once changed with correct rear glass and a defogger. The Miata even were given a retractable wind deflector to stay issues rather less blustery within the cabin when the highest was once down. Greater 15-inch wheels changed the 14s of the outdated automotive, and 195/50-series tires presented higher traction.

The 2004 Mazdaspeed Miata was once the one one to get a turbocharger, and produced a wholesome 178 horsepower.


An replace got here in 2001, the place the Miata were given a revised entrance fascia with usual fog lighting. Horsepower larger from 140 to 143 due to a made over consumption and exhaust machine, and all Miatas were given extra supportive seats in addition to a brand new tool panel. New 16-inch wheels changed into to be had, and the entrance brakes were given slightly larger, too.

The holy grail of Miatas (OK, I am biased) got here in 2004, when the turbocharged Mazdaspeed model introduced. Positive, the tiny little turbo handiest put out 7.25 psi of spice up, however that was once sufficient to extend total output to 178 horsepower and 166 pound-feet of torque. The $25,500 Mazdaspeed Miata additionally incorporated Bilstein shocks, upgraded springs, 17-inch wheels and wider tires, and a six-speed handbook transmission. Simply four,000 Mazdaspeed Miatas have been produced in 2004, with an extra 1,428 arriving in 2005 — manufacturing was once restricted because of an unlucky fireplace on the manufacturing unit.

NC era: 2006-2015

Mazda formally dropped the Miata nomenclature for the third-generation NC type, merely calling the auto MX-Five, even if it by no means truly caught. Why would you ever need to drop a reputation like Miata?

The NC were given a wholesome build up in continual — 170 horsepower and 140 pound-feet of torque from a 2.Zero-liter engine — however this automotive was once additionally slightly larger and heavier than its predecessor, tipping the scales at over 2,400 kilos. A five-speed handbook transmission got here usual, however a six-speed stick was once non-compulsory. What is extra, patrons may just go for a six-speed computerized transmission with paddle shifters.

The NC Miata added a tilt-steering column to its record of convenience and comfort options, and in mid-2006, a power-retractable hardtop changed into to be had. The 2006 Miata began at $20,995.

The ability-retractable hardtop added weight, however equipped higher foul-weather friendliness.


New headlights and back lights arrived in 2009 as a part of a face-lift, as did a redesigned grille harking back to the smiley-face Mazda3 and RX-8. A couple of engine upgrades larger the engine’s redline through 500 rpm, to 7,200 rpm, making it extra relaxing to truly wind out each and every tools. Then again, horsepower had dropped quite to 167, due to new SAE power-rating requirements presented in 2007.

2012 noticed the addition of usual balance keep an eye on and traction keep an eye on throughout all MX-Five fashions, and 2013 marked the arriving of a slight face-lift and the addition of a lip spoiler. With the exception of a few particular editions and a Membership bundle, the NC Miata in large part stayed the direction till the fourth-generation automotive arrived in 2016.

ND era: 2016-present

Mazda took the way of revolution, no longer evolution, for the 2016 Miata, with a clean-sheet redesign taking the auto again to its roots.

The ND Miata’s 2.Zero-liter engine presented much less continual than its predecessor — simply 155 horsepower and 148 pound-feet — however packed it in a automotive that misplaced a large number of weight, going again to the two,300 kilos of the NA era. A six-speed handbook was once usual, the six-speed computerized nonetheless non-compulsory.

A large trade for the ND Miata was once the transfer from hydraulic to electrical power-assisted steerage. And whilst I have all the time idea the brand new Miata’s steerage setup is incredible, some purists bemoaned the arriving of this extra fashionable era.

Within, the MX-Five were given a brand-new infotainment machine, with a 7-inch display. All the cabin fabrics were given a large improve, as neatly. In reality, the one factor maximum reviewers truly hated was once the location of the cup holders, proper in the back of your elbow, even though they might be moved to the passenger facet of the middle console. The bottom worth for the 2016 Miata was once $25,735.

The Miata RF has an influence folding hardtop, and seems like a correct coupe with the highest up.


The beautiful MX-5 Miata RF arrived in 2017, with a power-retractable roof panel that well stowed beneath the rear pillars. Most sensible up or down, the Miata RF is most definitely the best-looking MX-Five of all time, to my eyes, even supposing the folding most sensible mechanism did upload 113 kilos to the auto’s weight.

The 2019 Miata won a couple of noticeable enhancements, together with a little bit extra continual and a 7,500-rpm redline. The Miata additionally joined the remainder of the trendy car global and added a telescoping serve as to its steerage column, in addition to a backup digicam, now a federally mandated piece of usual apparatus. The 2019 Miata is the fastest MX-Five but, ready to boost up to 60 mph in Five.7 seconds.

The 30th Anniversary Edition MX-5 Miata does not radically shake up the roadster’s system, and that’s the reason a just right factor. All three,000 examples shall be painted in a brand new Racing Orange colour, and journey on dark-finish Rays wheels. Brembo entrance brakes and Bilstein dampers must make it a great-handling little factor, too — as though the inventory Miata wasn’t candy sufficient. Each convertible and RF fashions shall be to be had, however unfortunately, handiest 500 are earmarked for america.

Here is to the following 30 years.

Now taking part in: Watch this: Mazda MX-Five Miata: 25 years of the arena’s favorite sportscar


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