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Mazda MX-5

Mazda-MX-5I find this a happy little car, with a big grin on its face, and why not, it is a fun, lively lightweight sports car which can step out of line when you give it a bit.

The MX-5, released as the MX-5 Miata in North America, and the Roadster in Japan, is a lightweight two-seater roadster with a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout. Manufactured by Mazda in Hiroshima, Japan, the model debuted in 1989 at the Chicago Auto Show. The MX-5 was conceived as a small roadster – with light weight and minimal mechanical complexity limited only by legal and safety requirements; technologically modern, but philosophically descending from small British and Italian roadsters of the 1960s such as the Triumph Spitfire, MG MGB, Fiat 124 Sport Spider, Alfa Romeo Spider, and Lotus Elan.
The second generation MX-5 (NB) was launched in 1998 and the current (NC) model has been in production since 2005. It continues to be the best-selling two-seat convertible sports car in history and by February 2011 over 900,000 MX-5s had been built and sold around the world.
The MX5’s first generation, the NA, sold over 400,000 units from 1989 to 1997 – with a 1.6 L straight-4 engine to 1993, a 1.8 L engine thereafter (with a DE-tuned 1.6 as a budget option in some markets) – recognizable by its pop-up headlights. The second generation () was introduced in 1999 with a slight increase in engine power; it can be recognized by the fixed headlights and the glass rear window, although first generation owners may opt for the glass window design when replacing the original top. The third generation (NC) was introduced in 2006 with a 2.0 L (120 cu in) engine.
Launched at a time when production of small roadsters had almost come to an end, the Alfa Romeo Spider was the only comparable volume model in production at the time of the MX-5’s launch. Just a decade earlier, a host of similar models — notably the MG B, Triumph TR7, Triumph Spitfire, and Fiat Spider — had been available.
The body is a conventional, but light, unibody or monocoque construction, with (detachable) front and rear subframes. The MX-5 also incorporates a longitudinal truss, marketed as the Powerplant Frame (PPF), providing a rigid connection between the engine and differential, minimizing flex and contributing to responsive handling. Some MX-5s feature limited slip differentials and anti-lock braking system. Traction control is an option available on NC models. The earlier cars weighed just over a ton, with engine power output usually 116 bhp. The later cars were heavier, with higher power engines.
With an approximate 50:50 front/rear weight balance, the car has nearly neutral handling. Inducing oversteer is easy and very controllable, thus making the MX-5 a popular choice for amateur and stock racing, including, in the US, the Sports Car Club of America’s Solo2 autocross and Spec Miata race series, and in the UK, the Mazda racing championship.
The MX-5 has won awards including Wheels Magazine ‘s Car of the Year for 1989 and 2005; Sports Car International’s “best sports car of the 1990s” and “ten best sports cars of all time”; 2005–2006 Car of the Year Japan; and 2005 Australian Car of the Year. The Miata has also made Car and Driver magazine’s annual Ten Best list 14 times. In their December 2009 issue, Grassroots Motorsports magazine named the Miata as the most important sports car built during the previous 25 years.
The MX-5 has 100,000 examples registered in the UK as of June 2011. read more