By on December 14, 2015

2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Exterior Front

If there is one constant in the automotive world, it is that every redesigned vehicle gets bigger, more powerful, heavier and more complex. Bucking that trend is Mazda’s latest MX-5, one of the smallest and lightest cars sold in the United States.

Since the launch of the Miata in 1989, Mazda’s tiny roadster has been a beacon of light to those who prefer a “pure” driving experience. The MX-5’s core mission of being an affordable, lightweight, two-seat convertible has hardly changed. More impressive: The 2016 MX-5 is about the same size as the original Miata, and the new roadster is only 182 pounds heavier despite producing 50-percent more power and being 30-percent more fuel efficient. The price tag has also been kept in check. The 2016 model still costs about the same as a mid-sized sedan.

Making the MX-5 even more special is that it stands alone in America. Sure, Alfa is now selling their sexy and expensive 4C here, BMW still has a Z4 roadster, and Scion and Subaru are selling their two-door coupé — but none of these are like the MX-5 and that’s a good thing for Mazda.

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By on August 25, 2014

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In the final year of the second-generation NB Miata’s life, Mazda offered a limited edition “Roadster Coupe” hardtop. Offered for sale in Japan only, the Coupe carried a hefty pricetag for what was essentially some bespoke bodywork and a stiffer chassis – but no extra power. Even so, Miata enthusiasts have long lusted after the E-Type-esque hardtop Miatas. They might finally get their wish.

(Read More…)

By on August 13, 2014

You may find the idea that relatively obscure British sports car, with fewer than 16,000 made, could be the most inspirational or influential sports car ever a bit far-fetched, but I think a compelling argument can be made in the favor of the Lotus Elan. Yes, there were two seaters going back to the MG TC and even before that there were cars like the the Jaguar SS100. In many people’s minds the MGB defined 1960s era two seat roadsters, but was the B that much different from the Austin Healeys, the MGA, and the Jaguar XKs? An argument could be made that the Elan was the first modern sports car (putting aside the E Type Jaguar for the sake of argument) and it was introduced almost simultaneously with the MGB. Its contemporaries from MG and Triumph were primitive cars compared to the Elan. (Read More…)

By on July 3, 2014

1993-Mazda-Miata-White-For-Sale-Rear

What a difference a decade makes. My own 2003 Miata is, by modern standards, a pure, elemental sports car. Lightweight, with a cable actuated throttle, a 5-speed manual and no ABS. But turn the clock back to 1993, just ten years prior, and you could still buy this.

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By on April 16, 2014

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To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Mazda MX-5, Mazda brought out a number of historically significant Miatas. Some, like the Coupe Concept (above), the Mazdaspeed MX-5 and the Super 20 are well known.

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By on March 7, 2014

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Abraham Drimmer writes about moving from South Florida to Michigan in his Miata

“You need to sell your car”, my father told me, when I informed him of my imminent departure. I got the call in mid-October, I’d be leaving Miami for Ann Arbor on short notice. “That thing is going to be absolutely worthless in the snow”.

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By on February 13, 2014

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The 2014 Chicago Auto Show marks the 25th anniversary of the introduction of the Mazda MX-5. In that time, the Miata has cemented itself as the preeminent sports car for a generation of driving enthusiasts. Roughly a million of them have been produced. Having already written an encomium to my first car – a 1997 Miata – I am reluctant to go down that road again, not least because I have a habit of tearing up when I read it or see pictures of my old car. But I’m going to anyways.

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By on February 6, 2014

1989-Acura-NSX-prototype-during-Chicago-Auto-Show-public-days

The 2014 Chicago Auto Show marks the 25th anniversary of the introduction of two of God’s most perfect creations: The Mazda Miata and the Acura NSX. Long-time readers will know that I have a strong affinity for both of these cars. The Miata was the first car I ever owned, while the NSX remains a focal point in my relationship with the automobile.
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By on June 20, 2013

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If the first half of my automotive life was informed by Honda products, the second half was largely colored by “Sport Compact Car” magazine, which I still consider to be America’s finest automotive print magazine. From the age of 13 onward, I faithfully purchased SCC every month, enthralled by the idea of low-budget import car builds and sweeping California canyon roads. I liked that they took a different tack than most of the other tuner magazines; they weren’t as dogmatic as the other rags were with respect to the “Japan rules, America sux” dichotomy that seemed to pervade the lesser publications. There were no photo spreads of Asian women in flourescent bikinis. Unlike the editorials in Grassroots Motorsports, the budgets for their projects seemed realistic.

One shot that has stuck with me is this shot of an ancient 323 GTX sliding through the dirt; I can’t remember if it was an SCC project car or not, but it encapsulates what I always pictured Southern California to be; an automotive playground free of rust and full of roads that are appropriate for whatever driving conditions you could want. The 323 GTX’s near me are either terminally oxidized or going for absurd amounts of money ($6,000 for a barely running 26 year old Mazda that would amputate my legs in a crash? No thanks) but Mazda was kind enough to lend me a Mazdaspeed3 for my first trip to Los Angeles so I could live out my canyon run fantasies on the Angeles Crest Highway, albeit in front-drive form only. If that wasn’t enough, TTAC contributor Jeff Jablansky brought along his own Volkswagen GTI MKVI for comparison.

(Read More…)

By on June 17, 2013

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For the past 16 years, we’ve done the same routine with varying frequency; it started when I was 2 or 3 years old, at my insistence. Go for a swim at the YMCA, then lunch at McDonalds (always a Filet-O-Fish, since nothing else was kosher. I didn’t know what a Big Mac was until Junior High) and finally, we would arrive at Mecca, 715 Milner Avenue, the site of Honda Canada’s head office.

(Read More…)

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