By on June 12, 2018

Judging from a quick perusal of Twitter, 98 percent of auto journos eat, sleep, and work behind the wheel a Mazda MX-5 Miata, and the remaining 2 percent daily drive a bizarre French car or perhaps some 1970s Saab. It’s possible a few own a Ford Mustang.

This is a highly unscientific tally, mind you.

While there’s no shortage of reasons why the MX-5 continues to find its way into the garages and driveways of motoring enthusiasts, the Mustang harbors similar DNA, despite its impure lineage and ability to house two small adults in the aft seats. Both vehicles are affordable, tossable, rear-drive two-doors with a smorgasbord of aftermarket upgrades at their disposal. Also, both models left the factory in great enough numbers to ensure cheap buys for those stuck in the used market.

Eventually, like the fate of all living things, one of these models will cease to exist before the other also fades away. Which one lives the longest?

News related to both the Mustang (specifically, the balls-out Shelby GT350 variant) and the upgraded, higher revving 2019 MX-5 graced these pages yesterday, and this morbid thought came to me over a plate of spaghetti.

In a world rife with crossovers, and with both companies drawing the bulk of their volume from these portly family haulers, cars like the Miata and Mustang feel increasingly endangered. Just because Ford spared the original pony car in this round of car cutting doesn’t mean it’s immortal. Nor is the Miata. For now, both vehicles — especially the Mustang — serve as increasingly fragile filaments connecting the brands to their sporting past, to an era when “mobility” implied a lead-footed human driver with both hands on the wheel.

The Mustang’s appearance in mid-1964 signalled the end of the Baby Boom generation, and in calendar year 1966 some 607,568 cash-flush Americans visited their Ford dealer for a taste of low-cost excitement. It was an early high water mark for the model. A similar, if more modest, stampede occurred when the MX-5 returned affordable, two-seat fun to the automotive landscape in mid-1989. 1990 proved to be the model’s best sales year, with just over 35,000 little NAs sold.

Current volumes are a fraction of these long-ago tallies. Ford moved 81,866 Mustangs in the U.S. last year, while Mazda sold 11,294 ND Miatas — its best showing in a decade.

Fun, historical nameplates benefit both consumer and automaker, but it’s not hard to imagine Fiat Chrysler without the Dodge Challenger and General Motors without the Chevrolet Camaro. The Corvette’s place in this world, for now, seems unshakable, but Nissan could easily drop the Z without harming its sales or image.

At some point, niches become too narrow. Beancounters encourage execs to replace low-volume models with do-all vehicles infused with a hint of the older model’s appeal. Plant space and R&D dollars could better serve the company if put to use building something else, they’ll say. Thankfully, we’re not at that point yet. There could be many years of happy motoring in these models’ future. But didn’t Ford just tease a “Mach 1” electric crossover in Detroit?

As Robert Plant once said, your time is gonna come.

Let’s peer into our crystal balls. Just how long can the Mustang and Miata survive in an industry moving ever closer to autonomy and electrification, and with a public that’s falling ever deeper in love with high-riding utility vehicles?

[Images: Ford Motor Company, Mazda]

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79 Comments on “QOTD: The Last of the Fun, Attainable Sports Cars?...”


  • avatar
    notapreppie

    To be honest, I think the ‘Stang and Meee-otter will be around for a while since they are iconic within their respective idioms and they’ve done a good job in keeping with their core ideals.

    I think that may be one reason why Nissan’s Z-car isn’t doing so well – for whatever reason, it just hasn’t captured and continued the mystique that made them popular.

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      When I was a teenager, my first car was an Opel Manta, which I liked very much. For some reason, my father didn’t like it and took it away, giving me a four year old 240Z to drive. I realize that sounds like an upgrade, but quite honestly, that Z car was the most unsatisfying car I’ve had. The interior was indifferent, and mine already had a tear in the seat. The engine’s response to the accelerator was poor, it was hard to drive smoothly. The rack bushings were loose and the wheel shook while braking. The springs were starting to sag, and the car had this odd swaying motion if you cornered aggressively.

      There are lots of times I’d like to have had the Opel back, but I’ve never even thought of looking for an old Z car. It may be that others who owned Z cars were ultimately unimpressed with them as well.

      In the late 70’s, I raced a 280Z in SCCA Showroom Stock. The car was very nose heavy, with poor brakes, and a big hole between second and third gears. It was put together a little better than my ’72 240Z, but was just as unimpressive to drive.

      • 0 avatar
        notapreppie

        So, you’re saying that there wasn’t much mystique to capitalize on?

        I could buy that.

      • 0 avatar
        stingray65

        I think the reason the original Z had any mystique is simply that it was compared to a bunch of poorly built, unreliable, slow, and very old technology/styling British sports cars of the time. A 240Z could blow the doors off a MGB or Spitfire, but so could an Opel Manta or BMW 2002, which were also far more substantial and had nicer interiors than the Z.

      • 0 avatar
        snakebit

        I think your evaluation of your Opel Manta jibes with the experience of other former and current owners(and goodness knows why your dad didn’t see fit to keep you in that car). I don’t share your 240-Z evaluation. I think most of your complaints could have been dealt with by taking your Z to a shop that was familiar with working on them. Certainly, your Z fell into the model year range that current Z owners suggest people try to buy(staying away from the ’73 240 and ’74-5 260s). As for the assumption that many others shared your dislike in general for 240-Zs they owned, that’s hard to find corroborating evidence for. More likely, people trading out of a 240-Z had gotten into a situation where they were now earning more money and wanted to try something else that they could now afford.

        • 0 avatar
          FormerFF

          At the time, my father was racing a (Datsun) 510, and he had qualified for the SCCA national championship race at Road Atlanta. We lived in central Florida, and I was a senior in high school, so I stayed home for the first part of the week and attended classes, but came up for the last day of qualifying and the race. When I arrived in my Opel, he said that he thought it had “no class” and was going to get me something else. This was ironic because he used to regularly borrow it and take it places, quite often leaving me with an empty tank. A few months later he found the Z car, and took the Opel, which was then used in his business. I was OK with it at the time, but if I’d been more involved in the process I think I would have protested more.

          The guy who built our race engines was preparing a 240Z for IMSA’s GT series, for the GTU class, and he knew rather a lot about those cars, he was the one who told me I needed new rack bushings. He didn’t seem at all surprised as to the condition of my car, so I never thought too much about redoing the suspension, and we were too busy with the race cars to give too much attention to anyone’s street car.

          There were a number of other small issues that popped up in the two years I had that car. We had three different Z cars during the 70’s, my ’72, my father had a ’73, and then the ’77 280Z we showroom stock raced. They were OK cars IMO, but no better.

          If anyone’s thinking of buying a classic early 240Z, if you get one with a manual choke, buy a few extra choke handle lever knobs, you’ll break them periodically.

          Anyway, that’s my guess as to why the Z name has no real pull in the marketplace. What’s yours?

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            I was very interested in new vehicles – particularly RWDs with manuals – when the 350Z debuted. I liked the looks and performance and I grew up thinking Z-cars were cool, but it never seemed like a good option. The G35 coupe was only a few grand more and gave you an even better looking car with a nicer interior, back seats, and a real trunk. That parcel shelf in the back of the 350Z never made any sense to me. Cargo is not well isolated from the occupants and is in plain sight of thieves.

            As for the QOTD, I think sales numbers show that the Mustang has a better chance. It’s more popular and more practical than the Miata. I’d love to own both a Miata and a V8 Mustang, and I’d rather have the Miata as a summer toy, but I’d take the Mustang if it were my only vehicle.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    I think the Miata survives longer than the V8 Mustang. Ford is all in on Ecoboost and I think we are within shouting distance of a time when the lineup is 6 cylinder max, possibly apart from specialty Shelbys and such.

    I think the Mustang name overall survives longer than the Miata. Ford has already hinted at a future hybrid version, and I think an eventual shift to electric would be more in character with a Mustang than a light, tossable roadster.

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      I drove an Ecoboost Mustang in a Track Night at Atlanta Motorsports Park earlier this year. It’s a very up to date performance car suitable for both track duty and daily driver use. I can see it staying in production for a very long time.

      The only thing it was missing was a proper Mustang sound.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Even if the F150 goes all Ecoboost, the heavy duty variants will still have eights.

      • 0 avatar
        jack4x

        @Freed,

        I certainly hope you’re right about the HD trucks, but I’d be shocked beyond belief if the 6.2 or 7X ever made it under the hood of a Mustang. Ford has the GT to point to now as proof of the Ecoboost suitability in a performance application and the F150 as proof of customers willingness to accept a turbo 6 in a traditionally V8 spot. I just think together those trends point to a short future for the 5.0 in both the F150 or the Stang. Disappointing for those of us who love the sound and drivability characteristics, but how many like us are out there?

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          I doubt Ford will ever totally ditch a V8 in pickups or the Mustang since there are still plenty of buyers who want the sound and feel of a V8 above all else.

  • avatar
    mikey

    Eight -ten years ago the Camaro, and Challenger, returned to the market.. The Mustang never left.

    I can see GM and FCA sending their offerings back into hibernation.?? IMHO the F150, and the Mustang are everything to Ford ..The Mustang name will live on.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    I’d wager the Mustang will outlive the Miata. But both have very loyal audiences. If the catalyst for their demise is autonomous mobility they have absolutely nothing to worry about. Commercially viable autonomous mobility is several decades out.

    One thing I don’t get is why Americans aren’t more into kit cars. A Factory Five Type 65 coupe (Shelby Cobra replica) is like $30K out the door. You can probably build an Exocet Miata with a stock Miata drivetrain for like $20K. Granted the Mustang/Miata can be someone’s DD whereas an Exocet just can’t. But in the context of the spectacle and sensations sports cars are supposed to generate, it’s clear kit cars are the way forward.

    • 0 avatar
      Flipper35

      Some people like a warranty and creature comforts that replicas don’t offer. They also would rather not have the stigma attached to e “kit” car as you say, or want to assemble one.

      I am not one of those by the way, I have a 427 S/C replica.

    • 0 avatar
      arach

      I can’t believe how popular kit cars are in the USA!

      The biggest issue is getting them built… there’s more kit cars than builders. I think this is the biggest issue with getting them. You said you can get a 65 out the door for 30k.. where?

      It will cost me $22k to buy the kit. That doesn’t include the engine, transmisison ,rear end, wheels/tires/paint.

      So I pick those up for another $12-15k (For all high quality rebuilds/crate motors… who wants to build one of these with well used drivetrains?). that puts me at $37k.

      But in many areas you need to buy other things, like the $1550 Heater/defroster. Want windows? another $550. Want the body cut out? Another $150. Powder coated chassis? $500. Crate? $800. Shipping? $1500.

      So I’m around $42k… JUST FOR THE PARTS

      Now add $6k for paint, and about $10k for labor, plus 2k for weels and tires and your at

      $60k!

      I think they are incredibly popular and growing fast.

      But to get a factory 5 65, your spending $60k and its a MASSIVE headache to try to get them built. You need to vet shops, design parts, source pieces, etc. This takes a LOT OF WORK, and something a lot of people don’t have in them.

      $60k + a lot of headache? ehh… I’ll buy a Camaro or a Corvette and get a warranty, get it “Now”, and be able to finance the thing.

      I think for them to become more popular, they need to become much more turnkey with some more support. Our laws are not set up for that to happen though, which is the fundamental problem IMHO. We are so far removed from Kit car to Finished product, its near impossible to finance it, expensive, and a lot of work.

      • 0 avatar
        FormerFF

        Same here. I’d want an 818, but the kit alone would be $20 grand, and I’d still need a donor car, and have the engine and transmission rebuilt. For the same money I could buy a new BRZ. Granted, the 818 would be a more visceral experience, but I could use the BRZ as a daily driver, and considering how few days I’d spend on the track, that’s the bigger consideration.

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      A lot of us don’t have parking space for an additional vehicle, or for that matter, garage space to build a kit.

      I also think you’re a little light on that cost estimate. I did a quick configure, and would spend 30k for a not too optioned kit, and I’d still need an engine and transmission.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    While I wouldn’t be guilty of owning either, I envision the Miata outlasting the Rustang. The Rustang CUV thing that Ford has in the wings will probably kill the original. Ford also seems to be racing to the bottom when it comes to 4-cylinders, the Rustang should have a V8. I remember when a 6-cylinder Rustang was called a “secretary’s car”, now they boast 4-cylinders that they have to pump phony engine noise out of. Ford cannot suck enough. The Miata is also a popular chick car, so that will help too.

    • 0 avatar
      cognoscenti

      “The Miata is also a popular chick car, so that will help too.”

      I thoroughly disagree with this statement. I have yet to see a woman in any MX-5 of the last couple of generations. Using your parlance, a “chick car” these days is actually a Lexus crossover.

      • 0 avatar
        OzCop

        I can think of several females who own, and race/autocross the Miata brand, as well as daily drive them. ND’s have become especially popular with them for whatever reason. These cars are both owned and driven by ladies, not their husbands or significant others. I can think of two ladies who own/autocross/race Mustangs, but see several women driving them in the DFW area…

        Admittedly, I see more women, particularly middle aged women, driving SUVs or Crossovers….

      • 0 avatar
        Pete Zaitcev

        Dunno, I also see more women driving MX-5 than men recently. The excellent auto Mazda put in helped that a lot. Although the last time I pulled out a stuck Miata, it was an NC and the driver was in her 50s… Somewhat unsurprisingly, she didn’t have the tow eyelet in the car and I had to hook around the suspension very, very carefully.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Really? I see at least 5 ladies for every man in a Miata down here in SW Florida. Very popular car with “ladies of a certain age”.

        I in no way hold that against the Miata – I think they are fantastic cars and if I didn’t already have a Spitfire I would probably buy one.

        But I think the Mustang will be around long after the Miata is but a memory.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      The “chick car” thing is very real. If it was just left up to the “enthusiasts”, the Mustang and Miata would’ve died a long time ago.

      The 350z? Not a chick car. Vintage Supra? Nope.

      MR2 Spyder? 3000GT? 300ZX? What do you think?

      Jeep Wrangler? Yep totally dependent on chicks. They couldn’t tell you what an “open diff” was to save their lives. “Hair stylists” too.
      “Babe Magnet”? Yeah why not? Whatever make the sale, right?

      • 0 avatar
        Sub-600

        @DenverMike…Yeah, Jeep Wranglers are the hot ticket for chicks, just drive by any any university and you’ll see tons of them. Chicks in shorts and wife beaters with pony tails pulled through the back of their adjustable ball caps. Hiking boots are a plus. Nothing could be more American, well, I mean if Jeep was still American.

    • 0 avatar
      statikboy

      So it’s not about the car for you, it’s about the image… You realize image is why crossovers sell so well?

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      Maybe it’s confirmation bias, but I thought Miata drivers were overwhelmingly beardy 60-somethings who miss their old MGBs, but just don’t want to put up with a 40-y.o. British car.

  • avatar
    John R

    I can see the Mustang outliving the Miata. Whether, after 20 years, it survives as something recognize today is a separate question I think.

    It may be in 8-10 years time the Mustang GT’s motor will have more in common with a GT-R or the Stinger GT’s than current 5.0

  • avatar
    slap

    When we get to the point where cars can only be operated in self driving mode on the streets, will things like handling and power matter any more?

  • avatar
    TDIandThen....

    Alright, I’ll be the contrarian.

    Two dynamics on the horizon:
    * gas prices will rise over the next ten years to get closer to the historical mean in real dollar terms (Advantage: Mazda)
    * US tariffs and non-trade barriers will continue this year, creating a ripple for some years and raising all car prices / interest rates in the US. (Advantage: Ford)

    I don’t think global markets will affect one or the other severely but I would guess Mazda + Fiat have better global sales numbers. This is a significant advantage to Mazda if I’m right.

    Mustang with the bigger car is more useful to more consumers. Advantage in the US and Canada.

    I would guess Mustang continues to change significantly in coming years, while Mazda keeps it simple. Their next design overhaul is in…2025 for the NE? Maybe we’ll see an electric MX-5 before 2030.

    Conclusion: VW Golf will outlast them both.

    I could see Mustang living on as some kind of $100k special edition after mass production ends.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I don’t see much chance of either of these cars going away.

    And as long as Ford is putting V-8s in trucks, there will be V-8 Mustangs.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @FreedMike – agreed. As long as V8’s exist in pickups, the Mustang will have a V8.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Here’s what I picture as possible by the end of this decade or a little later.

        A.) The V8 exists as the fire breathing, hairy chested, Shelby/GT 500 edition (so Ecoboost 4, GT Ecoboost 6, and V8 priced out of the realm of Joe SixPack.)

        OR

        B.) The V8 stays as the “base” GT engine and Ecoboost 6 becomes the upgrade (so Ecoboost 4, V8, and Ecoboost 6 with some 500+ hp.)

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @PrincipalDan – you raise a very interesting hypothetical.
          I’m leaning towards the V8 as base engine since it is predominantly “joe sixpack” types I see in “the loud pipes annoy lives” street hot rod set roaring around in 5.0 F150’s and Mustangs.
          Deeper pockets tend to be required for the typical Ecoboost F150 Lariat/Limited or GT350/GT500 buyer.
          Ford F series engine options will most likely be the pattern in the Mustang.

  • avatar
    Kato

    These cars are both successful and long-lived because they are sticking close to their respective proven car archetypes, roadster and pony car. The one that will live the longest will be the one that sticks to the proven formula the longest. I’ll say Miata as I expect Ford will pull the V8 eventually which will kill a lot of the Mustang’s appeal.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus

    I look at it this way, Ford has massive profits from trucks and SUVs and can therefore afford to invest in a fairly low volume car. I would imagine it still makes money, whereas the models they discontinued here don’t. At least, not in this market, and contrary to popular opinion, they’re not discontinuing cars everywhere, just where the demand (and profits) are too low to justify. Ford can also use their new platform to share development costs for future Mustangs. Mazda has no other model to share r&d with the MX-5.

    Mazda is perpetually struggling just to keep its mainstream lineup up to date and selling well enough to justify future development. With that in mind, I can see Mazda being forced to give up on future MX-5 redesigns just to concentrate on higher volume models to simply keep the company alive.

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      I suspect in the long term that Mazda will become a subsidiary of Toyota, and that Toyota will keep the MX-5 going as Mazda’s halo car. It will also serve as a platform for a future Toyota 86.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        I wouldn’t bet against it. That does seem to be the course things are taking between the two. But, that assumes Toyota continues to develop the 86, which has so far been a, being charitable here, less-than-stellar sales success.

        • 0 avatar
          geozinger

          T needs to sh!tcan the 86. One can argue the car’s merits, but the car and it’s name are toast in the USDM.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Well no the 86 just needs a redesign aimed chicks, hair dressers, secretaries, etc.

            As it sits, what’s in it for them? An enthusiast’s secret handshake? Great.

            The original MR2 was cute as hell, T-tops, etc.
            Rwd, mid-engine, 16 valves, 8,000 rpm redline? Most of its original buyers could give a crap about, just like typical sporty compact buyers seeing no point in the 86’s flat4 and fully balanced canyon-carving attributes.

            You could say chicks make or break.

      • 0 avatar
        brn

        FormerFF has a point. The better question might be which company will be around longer, Mazda or Ford?

  • avatar
    StudeDude

    I believe both of these cars will survive as long as Mazda and Ford manufacture vehicles. Both are the essence of what each manufacturer is about….with cars, that is.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    Miata vs. Mustang? Good question.

    I don’t envision Mazda doing anything as ridiculous (I mean worthy of ridicule) as Ford possibly using Mustang characteristics to sell a CUV. I agree with others who posted that as long as Ford will produce V8’s there will be high performance Mustangs and that the model is a huge part of their identity.

    My own spin is that if Ford doesn’t blow themselves up, I can see the Mustang (finally) becoming a serious sports car competitor, but not quite at the Ferrari, or Aston-Martin level, but maybe the BMW or Lexus level. The higher-end Camaros have morphed into a pretty serious BMW competitors, I can’t see why the Mustang wouldn’t do the same.

    Like another poster mentioned, Mazda will be swallowed up Toyota before too long and once that happens, I can’t imagine the Miata will survive much longer. CAMRY UBER ALLES!

    • 0 avatar
      Shawnski

      As a long time BMW enthusiast, and prior this a Mustang man, the current Mustang is as good as any BMW I like save the X5. An ecoboost replaced my 135 and current GT350 replaces any potential M2 in my driveway.

      • 0 avatar
        raph

        This! Mustang especially in GT350 guise is a BMW contender. Will BMW shine in some areas? Certainly since the Mustang ( unlike the Camaro which is essentially a sporty ATS with a V8 option ) rides on a bespoke chassis that has to make money with plain bread & butter cars starting in the mid to high 20’s something the BMW doesnt have to contend with and since Cadillac paid for all the engineering on alpha the Camaro doesnt really have to either.

  • avatar
    NG5

    I think Ford is more likely to turn the Mustang into a hybrid powered CUV and Mazda is more likely to discontinue the Miata due to lack of funding for a successor. Which will happen first, I’m not sure. I’m going to guess Mazda’s current MX-5 will soldier on like the Nissan Z if no new generation is planned, so my guess is on the Mustang giving up the ghost first. But I’m a little bitter Ford isn’t bringing the next generation Fiesta ST here, so perhaps I’m overestimating their desire to turn all their fun vehicles into trendy barges.

  • avatar
    dwford

    In a future world of autonomous boxes, cars that are low, sporty and that you have to drive yourself will have a place. Both of these cars can have a place in that future.

    Let’s not forget that these cars are sold worldwide, so discussing these cars in the context of just US sales doesn’t give the whole picture.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    I think they both stick around as long as the companies do business as independent carmakers. They are both great halo vehicles, highly visible, attainable. The MX-5 in particular because it can be stuffed with a base engine from other family/commuter cars in the lineup, lowering overall development cost.

    The Miata’s greatest threat is probably the continued existence of Mazda itself as an independent mark. The Mustang’s greatest existential threat is Ford going full retard on Trucks and SUV’s. The Mustang could eventually morph into some sort of disgusting, unholy SSR type hot rod trucklet. The horror. I bet the idea has been tossed around.

    Now that both vehicles are technically “World Cars”, I would be interested in knowing what the annual “global” production numbers looks like. I bet is closer overall than in the US domestic market.

  • avatar
    scott25

    Agree with those who said that Miata will be carried on by Toyota and share platforms with a new 86/Celica or something, but the Mustang will definitely last longer. It’s a bigger car so more appropriate for electrification, and people are willing to pay much more for one than they are for a Miata so they can keep raising the prices to ensure profitability. Also I don’t see the Mustang “becoming an electric CUV”, even if they do put the Mustang name on something else it has to be sold alongside the real one or else the halo effect isn’t there. Plus once all the boomers die the Mustang name will lose prominence so it won’t be worth using the name on a crossover, so it’ll just remain what it’s always been.

    It’s been a very long time since I’ve seen anyone without grey hair in a Miata, especially newer ones, yet I see people in their 20’s and 30’s in brand new Mustangs all the time. That says a lot.

    • 0 avatar
      nlinesk8s

      I think you’re right on the Miata. Younger people don’t generally have the money for a car that isn’t all that comfortable as a daily driver (I daily drove a ’92 for several years). Also, Miatas being second or third cars for most people, it’s cheap to pick up a good example with fairly low miles and in decent condition. So Miata is it’s own worst competitor.
      The Miata also suffers from an eternal image issue, as a “chick” or pensioner’s car. That keeps off the “moah power” crowd.

  • avatar
    Wunsch

    I expect the MX-5 Miata will be around as long as Mazda is around. Whether that means it outlasts the Mustang or not remains to be seen, sadly.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I have a 50 year old Mustang and if my kids were a little older I’d seriously consider a new one as my next Daily Driver.

    If Mustang can survive MUSTANG II and almost becoming the Ford Probe, it will survive a bit longer.

  • avatar
    volvo

    As someone who owned a V8 fox body mustang for 20 years I never considered it a “sports car” it was more a muscle car. My mustang felt heavy and required a couple thousand dollars of suspension and brake mods to achieve a decent level of handling. Drivetrain was bulletproof. Maybe the current generation with IRS has better handling.

    Looked at specs and curb weight of current Miata convertible is 2700 lbs($25K base) and the convertible V8 Mustang 3800 lbs ($44K base) Ecoboost 4 cylinder is 3600 lbs ($31K base)

    You can go with the Miata “club” version which has different suspension and that will take you to $30K for the Miata.

    IMO the mustang is just to heavy (objectively and subjectively) to be a “sports car”. Maybe the Miata is at this point the only affordable sports car left.

  • avatar
    JMII

    They will both stay around as long as they are profitable. While currently these are mass market vehicles there will come a day when they become very much niche products with a massive price tag. Similar to the current Ford GT. What they really need is a champion within their corporate mothership that keeps them alive. Someone who flat out refuses to let them die and has the authority to continue to fund their development. Once the corporate sponsorship ends its over regardless of what us fans wants. They could go into hibernation for awhile like the Z and Camaro but it would be foolish for Ford or Mazda to completely kill them. However one has to wonder how long Mazda can survive in general given their small fish status.

  • avatar

    No, the autojournos are driving new cars dropped off with a full tank…..none of the above. They can become indignant if Apple CarPlay isn’t working or if there is a hard plastic to be found !

  • avatar
    bobmaxed

    I’m one of those stubborn old timers that will never call a Mustang a “sports car”. My son owned a late 80’s model that I had to sell after he lost his license. Really disliked the car. I hear they’ve got better but I don’t care.
    Ford has already caused the faithfull fans grief with the Mustang II
    Eventually they’ll come out with an Ecosport Mustang.
    The Miata will last a bit longer. I hope.

  • avatar
    James2

    Everyone forgets that Mazda still has engineers working on the rotary engine; this is a car company, for better or worse, that doesn’t give up. So, although Mazda has said they needed Fiat to have the ND make sense, I doubt the Miata goes away. It may be a long time between generations, however, unless Fiat wants to continue the partnership or Toyota commissions a new 86.

  • avatar
    James2

    As for Ford… I also think the Mustang lives forever, though I think they could stand to do a new “Mustang II”… lighter and smaller than the current car. Why not leverage some of that aluminum knowhow.

    Or, as an ex-Probe GT owner, I wouldn’t mind a new one :)

  • avatar
    skor

    I dunno, around here, just outside NYC, new Miatas are a rare sight. That said, I don’t think either will continue in NA for much longer.

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    I see many more new Camaros and Mustangs than new Miatas in KC area.In fact my wife was surprised how excited I was to see a new RF Miata.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Wait a minute.. are you saying that somebody actually buys a Miata new? I never heard of such a thing!

    I can see both of these disappearing. After all, we boomers are getting older and young people have no money and those who do aren’t gonna buy a Mustang! For one thing, it’s a Ford and they are going much upscale. The Miata? Too small and no room inside. Those buyers buy BMWs, Audis and the like.

    The rest buy CUVs. Get used to it!

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    I’d bet the Mustang name lives longer.

    The Miata should live longer.

    What I’ve never understood though is why neither of these cars has been leveraged into some sort of sports sedan. Or why Ford makes no Lincoln vehicle on the Mustang platform.

    I (if there is any hope left in the auto enthusiast world…which I’m not sure there is anymore :( ) would like to think that a small, nimble, RWD fun sedan from Ford or Mazda would actually do decent numbers. Certainly enough to prop up development costs and such.

    And yet it is never done.

    • 0 avatar
      nlinesk8s

      I plan to buy a Miata soon, but it’ll be used. If Mazda made a modern version of the gt6 based on the Miata, that wasn’t 36k, I’d buy new. The RF is a little pricey for my budget though.

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