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MX-5
Jub i l e e M a g a z i n e
JEFFREY H. GUYTON –
President & CEO,
Mazda Motor Europe

I saw my first MX-5 in 1990 when I was a graduate


student in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It rounded the
corner in front of the State Theater at State Street
„MX-5’s introduction marked
and Liberty Street, Mariner Blue, top down, with a milestone in automotive
the long dark hair of its owner following behind in
the wind – and snow! In that moment, the mission history.“
of the MX-5 became clear to me.

Mazda has talked a lot over the years about how


the MX-5 is part of the heart and soul of Mazda, For our brand, the MX-5 was both a new beginning
but in my opinion these words, however in 1989, and a logical next step from the company
meaningful, do not do our roadster justice. This that had given the world rotary-engine sports cars.
little car has elicited a big emotional response in Mazda has always been willing to take a risk to
people for 20 years, and I’m one of them. While provide its customers with something truly special.
working in Hiroshima, my Roadster was British We did it with the Cosmo Sport, the RX-7, and again
Racing Green with tan leather and a wood steering when we introduced the very first MX-5. We’ve
wheel. With it, I became another one of nearly a built about 870,000 MX-5’s, and on the first warm
million drivers around the world who simply love day of spring in Cologne, Germany, where I now
this car. The impressive thing about these live, it seems like they’re all here!
enthusiasts is that they can’t be described by
demographics like “affluent” or “female” or MX-5’s introduction marked a milestone in
“American.” automotive history. For the future, its original
lightweight, two-seater concept will continue to
Mazda MX-5 has always delivered addictive sports evolve to meet changing customer tastes around
car fun at an affordable price, which makes its fan the world. This will include further refining the
base more diverse (and fanatically loyal) than the roadster with smart and simple solutions – like the
hand-full of other cult vehicles still being produced 12-second retractable hard top of today’s Roadster
today. Affordability, acclaimed handling, and a Coupe. It will include improvements in safety, fuel
design that is modern yet classic – the recipe of economy and onboard entertainment as well. But
the Roadster’s success. And this is why, after 20 one thing will never change – driving dynamics
years, it’s still the car people first think of when that deliver Jinba Ittai, Japanese for “oneness
they hear the word “Mazda.” between horse and rider.” This will always be our
focus, and will ensure that the MX-5 continues to
put a smile on the face of its drivers!

Impressum
Mazda Motor Europe GmbH
Public Relations
Hitdorfer Strasse 73
51371 Leverkusen
Germany

Printed by: Druck Thaler, Hafnerstr. 122, A-8045 Graz - Austria

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/ DEVELOPMENT STORY
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-+ SUCCESS STORY -,

4 5
The Birth of
an Icon

H ow Mazda’s
roadster went from
being an idea of an
MX-5 to an open-top
legend.

6 development story 7
would have to be low competition internally
weight – a central at Mazda to determine
concept that Mazda is the best kind of
focusing on with its roadster concept. Three
current line-up as well separate sports car
– and from this all other layouts were evaluated.
attributes of the car In Irvine, a classic concept
could be developed. This with front-engine rear-
was also the findings of a wheel drive was worked on,
study done by Mazda North while in Japan concepts using
American Operations at the time. front-engine front-wheel drive and
The most important criteria of a mid-engine rear-wheel drive layouts
roadster, the study said, were low weight were explored as well. The entire P729
and room for only two passengers. The engine project was led at the time by Masakatsu Kato,
should be at the front, drive should come from the who then decided to move to the Research Division
rear axle, there should sufficient engine power and at the start of 1986. His management position was
the car should be exciting to look at. taken by Toshihiko Hirai, who was relatively young
for this management job by Japanese standards.
With this, the parameters were set for the R&D But as is often the case, the process of turning a
Centre in Irvine, California, which was established project into a successful product is dependant on
in 1981. But there would be no serious directive the right people coming together at the right time.
from Mazda headquarters in Hiroshima instructing
the team to begin development until 1983. During No one knows what would have happened, had
this period Yamamoto, Tanaka and Hall continued these successful managers and engineers working
Front and rear end designs short before the pre-series model received its finishing touches at to be excited about the roadster and to plan. The on project P729 not come together. Fact is, after
Mazda North American Operations in California. first design studies were made, but it would not be initial decisions were made about the project
until Yamamoto was promoted to President of based on the three layouts, a crack team of
Mazda Motor Corporation that the project got the experts was assembled that include the head of
support it needed. He was still a staunch supporter development Hirai, Mazda’s future design director
of the idea and created a special development Shigenori Fukuda, the progressive western-

A legend always begins with an idea. The Mazda


MX-5, the most successful roadster in the
world, was only a hint of an idea back in March
It would be ten years before the first production
model saw global premiere, when the first Mazda
MX-5 took the stage at the Chicago Auto Show. Not
program to move it forward called “Offline, Go
Go”..
oriented Tom Matano, and the American designer
Mark Jordan. Tom Matano became head of the
design studio in Irvine. Inspired by his Japanese
1979. It was mentioned almost in passing during a only was it a fantastic roadster, it was also the The fact that the designers and engineers were mindset and his knowledge of the American way of
conversation between Mazda’s head of result of an unprecedented collaboration of now working on an automobile that perfectly life, he identified those attributes that would
development at the time, Kenichi Yamamoto, and engineers, designers and test-drivers from Japan matched what they imagined it to be, but was a eventually become the secret behind the appeal of
the American journalist Bob Hall. At the end of and the USA. Under the code name “P729,” the niche vehicle according to market definitions, had Mazda’s roadster. It’s the hindquarters that drive a
their interview, Hall suggested that Mazda build a roadster project had been verified, sketched, the advantage that they were not pressed for time. horse forward, and the rider who stabilizes it at the
“lightweight sports car.” There were really no tested and evaluated by what – ten years earlier – Nonetheless, for Mazda managers a roadster like front, which creates a strong bond between him
competitors for such a car at the time. Hall, who had been a small group of men. This group would this must not only bring joy to customers, it should and the horse. This was Matano’s argument for
eventually become a development team whose also make a profit. For this reason the decision was placing the engine under the front bonnet and
Japanese wholeheartedness combined with made – based on business necessity – to hold a driving the car via the rear axle. The Japanese
Japanese philosophy created a car that would re-
awaken the joy of man in perfect harmony with
machine. By employing the Jinba Ittai concept of Wooden models were the basis for the
“The designers and engineers were “oneness between horse and rider” from construction of the first Mazda MX-5 prototype
traditional Japanese culture, a strong bond
now working on an automobile that between driver and car could be realized. This
formula is at the inner core of the Mazda MX-5.
perfectly matched what they From this sprang all the attributes that would
make the roadster such a success. But at the start
imagined to be.” of the 1980s, the world wasn’t ready for it yet.

First there was a lot of persuading to do, and


Yamamoto and Hall searched for allies – after all,
their idea should become a real product. About
had driven British cars from MG, Lotus and this time, Hall attended the Pebble Beach
Triumph his whole life – annoyed by their Concours d’Elegance on the Monterey peninsula
disappointing quality – sketched his idea in thick and ran into some members of the rotary sports
chalk lines on a blackboard. With this sketch, he car Mazda RX-7 development team. The men
warmed the hearts of several Mazda engineers, chatted amiably surrounded by expensive vintage
and began the complicated process an automobile cars, and then Shunji Tanaka said the magic words
manufacturer requires to turn an idea into a – lightweight sports car, or LWS for short. This
legend. would become the most important attribute of the MX-5 Clay Model
still germinating Mazda roadster idea. The car

8 development story
9
Message from Kijima-san, MX-5 Programme Manager

“How it feels to reach the 20th


anniversary and why the MX-5
deserves to be treasured“

The Mazda North America


While 20 years may not seem a long
design sketches interpret the lifespan for a vehicle in Europe or the
roadster in many variations. US, it is certainly long for a Japanese
car, especially if one considers the
found that could be fine-tuned to fit the character bewildering rush of new cars that have
of the new roadster. The British design studio been pumped out in Japan since the
International Automotive Design (IAD) was
contracted to build the first prototypes in March 1950s. One of the main reasons for the
and June of 1986. Not considered was a rotary MX-5’s enduring popularity is that the
engine, which would be reserved for more appeal of the current, third-generation
exclusive models. Management decided that version remains unchanged from the
Mazda’s roadster would have to be outfitted with original model.
existing volume model components if it were to be
small, light and affordable. Engineers found the “I believe the key to the MX-5’s longevity is the
right engine in the Mazda 323, a 1.6-litre four- first-generation model’s product concept, Jinba
cylinder that they then taught how to growl like Ittai, which shuns the conventional trend for sports
the Americans wanted their roadsters to sound. A cars to seek more and more horsepower, and
Nobuhiro Yamamoto, Programme Manager, five-speed transmission from the Mazda 929 was instead focuses on providing fun. I feel very deeply
in charge of Sports Cars chosen to transfer power – 85 kW/115 PS should be that the car’s strength lies in the continuation of
Nobuhiro Yamamoto spent most of his enough – to the rear axle, the chassis was given a this concept.
engineering career at Mazda in production and four-wheel independent suspension and all wheels Takao Kijima MX-5 Programme Manager
racing rotary engines, before joining the got disc brakes. In May 1987, the first car clinic was When I think back to the early stages of
development team of the 2nd-generation MX-5 held with a vehicle very close to production, and development for the second and third-generation
and eventually becoming Deputy Programme the people who attended were thrilled by what MX-5 models, I remember that when we asked
Manager of the 3rd-generation: “My best they saw. The speed in developing a final customers and sales staff for suggestions, most To all MX-5 fans
memory of Mazda, after the Le Mans 1991 production model picked up again. requested increased engine power. Indeed, the list
victory, is the 3rd-generation MX-5 being of sports cars throughout the world that have in Europe:
awarded the 2005 Car of the Year in Japan.” In April 1988, there were already 12 prototypes of been continually redesigned with larger engines is
the Mazda Miata, which would be the name for the almost endless. “When we began development of the first generation
car in the US market. In July that year, American MX-5 of 1989, we closely examined the tradition of
picture of a rider that is one with his horse would journalists test drove these cars and demanded lightweight sports cars in Europe. The most important
Although I can understand this desire, I have
become the ideal behind the development of the that Mazda build it. And we all know what came thing we learned was that above all else, cars had to
politely yet resolutely refused to change my ideals.
small roadster. out of this – a living legend. be fun to drive. We chose to embody this fun with the
I have experienced especially strong opposition
from America, the MX-5’s largest market, where Jinba Ittai product concept. Jinba Ittai is the essence
But designers did not share the same opinion of horseback archery (Yabusame), a traditional
many customers simply cannot understand vehicle
when it came to the type of clothes the new From the left: Wu Huan Chin (Designer), Norman Garett Japanese Shinto ritual. At Mazda, it is a philosophy
development that targets Jinba Ittai instead of
roadster should wear. In fact, there were some (Powertrain Engineer), Koichi Hayashi (Designer) and that emphasizes communication between the driver
increased power. The same objections are raised
heated discussions among the supporters of the Bob Hall (Automotive Journalist ) and the car.
with each new version we release. It is a clash of
various concepts and design directions at this
car cultures that is very painful for me.
point. But in August 1984, the California concept The wholehearted support that you have shown for
I believe that this difference in approach is the
from Mark Jordan and Tom Matano finally the Jinba Ittai concept has brought people together
largest barrier obstructing advancement of the
convinced top management in Hiroshima. Not only all over the world. In reaching its 20th birthday, the
MX-5 program.
did it have a classic front-engine rear-wheel drive MX-5 has become more than just a car; it is a means
layout, but also other technical specifications – like to connect people around the world through driving
The 20-year history of the MX-5 is a 20-year battle
short shift travel that allows the driver to shift by enjoyment. Its influence extends far beyond our
to maintain low vehicle weight, which is the root of
using his wrist, direct steering, appropriate original expectations. For Mazda’s engineers, there is
fun-to-drive; it is a 20-year battle against the trend
materials for steering wheel and shift knob, an no greater pleasure or honour.
for more powerful sports cars; and it is a 20-year
engine with sufficient power and a sound that
battle against the horsepower car culture and
awakens the driver in man. I promise that we will always seek to fulfill our
related vehicle technologies.
I still believe in Mazda’s unique approach to sports customers’ expectations by ensuring the MX-5 is fun
After the fundamentals were decided upon to drive forever.”
cars, and I remain determined that these battles
regarding production and the kind of concept that
will never be lost.”
should be developed, P729 finally picked up speed.
The development centre in Hiroshima took the
lead, and in Mazda’s portfolio components were

10 development story 11


20 years
of pure
roadster
feeling

12
13
A Team Effort –
the Designers of the First-Generation MX-5

The first MX-5 production car’s unique and He assembled a team that included Tom Matano
groundbreaking design did not come from the – who had worked on earlier MX-5 designs and
pen of one designer, but from the input of six of provided continuity to the team – along with
them. In 1986, what had formerly been an Shunji Tanaka, Koichi Hayashi and Wu-Huan
offline research project was given the go-ahead Chin. Jordan and Chin had been working in
for production development, and Hirai-San was Germany, for BMW and Opel respectively,
appointed Programme Manager of what would before being called to California. This
become the first MX-5. The design was created international group worked for over a year,
at Mazda’s design centre in Irvine, California, presenting clay models and new designs to top
and was led by Shinzo Kubo from Japan, and management. Finally in March 1987, a version
Mark Jordan in the USA. Jordan was the son of with subtle changes by Shunji Tanaka was
Chuck Jordan, the legendary head approved for the final production model, and
designer at General Motors for years. the original MX-5 was born.

First-
Generation MX-5
Big News from a little Car
Bob Hall’s idea of a lightweight, two-seat roadster had
miraculously survived the perception that
there was no longer a market for such a car,
and even sceptics within Mazda itself,
Overwhelmingly positive reactions in Chicago to
to finally be produced and shown to the first-generation MX-5 proved that the look of a
the world at the Chicago Auto classic roadster was still very appealing, but true
Show in February 1989. addiction was to come for owners on the road. The
task of delivering this was left up to the first
generation’s Programme Manager, Toshihiko Hirai.

I t possessed the extended bonnet, two-


passengers back dimensions of a classic
roadster, but was shorter and more compact. At
Under his leadership, Mazda took the lightweight
roadster concept further than anyone could have
imagined. The original MX-5 was one of the first
just 3.984 metres long, and a mere 1.222 metres cars in history to use computer modelling for the
high, it must have looked very small at an entire design process. Focusing on reducing
American motor show in 1989. Even more radical weight, it tipped the scales at just 955 kilograms in
were its smooth, rounded-off edges that seemed Chicago fulfilling the target of providing a truly
to purposefully reject the angular, wedge shapes of lightweight sports car, while meeting all current
its direct competitors at the time – the Toyota crash safety requirements. This was even more
MR2, the Reliant Scimitar SS1 1800ti, and the soon- amazing, if you consider that its front-engine /
to-be-discontinued Fiat X1/9 – but added square rear wheel-drive layout required a rear differential
pop-up headlamps just in case anyone took and an additional powerplant frame to stabilize the
offence. The car captured brilliantly the purity and drive train.
simplicity of the roadster. In fact, the first-
generation MX-5 was simple in every respect – Light weight also allowed engineers to provide
simple to own, simple to drive, simple to use, and sports car exhilaration from a compact 1.6-litre
simple to love.

20 years 1979 February 1979 March 1981 May 1983 January 1984 January
The American journalist Bob Hall makes a sugges- Hewlett-Packard announces release of its Mazda opens its US Research and Bob Hall and the designers Fukuda and Yagi begin In the USA and Japan work begins on
of history: tion to Mazdas´ technical director Kenichi Yama-
moto: Mazda should develop a small sports car.
first personal computer. Development Centre in Irvine, California. working on plans for a lightweight roadster with a
classic powertrain.
three prototypes based on different
drivetrain layouts: classic, front-wheel
drive, mid-engine.

14 20 years of PURE ROADSTER FEELING 15


The taillights of the first generation were exibited in the New York Museum
of Modern Art (MoMA) as a design object.

pinion power-assisted steering, along with special sportscar features like Bilstein shocks. Side impact
super lightweight alloy wheels and tyres, ensured bars were also added in the doors, a feature that
one-with-the-car driving at any speed. continues to protect passengers until this day.

The interior was designed to be comfortable yet Then in 1994, the first and only facelift of the first
snug, its original meters and air vents were round MX-5 was introduced. The design was by now so
for a classic look, and its soft top could be opened popular that it was left unchanged with the
and closed in a parked position very quickly. Mazda exception of deeper seats, new upholstery,
had taken the second-biggest risk in company adjustable head restraints and new storage
history (after the rotary engine) and had proven in pockets in each door. Most of the changes were
Chicago that open-top roadster fun was not a thing under the bonnet, including the addition of the
of the past. No one – not even its creators – could powerful Mazda 323 F GT engine. This 1.8-litre
have known that a legend had been born, and DOHC aggregate quickly became a favourite of
people around the world would soon be clambering new customers around the world. It produced 96
to buy it. Within months, European sports car kW/131 PS of lively power (+16 PS vs. the original
engine – crucial in a car this size. The first- Hirai-San’s overall concept for MX-5 was Jinba Ittai, customers were importing Mazda’s little roadster 1.6-litre petrol) and 152 Nm of torque at a lower
generation’s engine came from Mazda’s extremely and the generation delivered on this by using rather than waiting until it was launched in the UK engine speed of 5,000 rpm (+17 Nm). The extra
popular compact, the 323. A special cylinder head independent double wishbones at every wheel for and the Netherlands, which would come a year power was optimized by leaving the original’s
with double-overhead camshafts, four valves per superior camber response in the curve, crisp later. suspension unchanged, while increasing the car’s
cylinder, and special sports car tuning turned it into response to steering wheel input and great wheel already-high torsional rigidity. With this new
a sporty aggregate with the ability to produce high traction. The MX-5 motor was placed front mid- engine, the first-generation facelift of 1994 was
engine speeds – too high, in fact, and electronic ship, ahead of the driver but still over the front
The first Special Edition and a minor
quicker off the line – it did 0 to 100 km/h in 8.2
cut-off limited it to 7,200 rpm. Its compression axle. This gave an ideal 50:50 weight distribution. Facelift seconds – with a slightly increased top speed of
ratio was increased to deliver more power at a The lower positioning of the engine allowed for a In August 1990, the MX-5 got its first-ever special 197 km/h. The MX-5’s safety package was improved
wider engine range. A multi-point fuel injection low centre of gravity. Then a powerplant frame edition model in Japan, the V-Special, in a British with this facelift as well. Its disc brakes were now
system was introduced for efficient combustion made of pressed and perforated aluminium was Racing Green colour with tan leather interior and 255 mm in diameter in front and 251 mm at the
and consumption, and a special camshaft shape added running along the prop shaft to the rear axle Nardi wood shifter and steering wheel trim. New back (both + 20 mm vs. original), side impact bars
that maximized engine performance at high engine – a feature found at the time only on the Corvette options like a four-speed automatic transmission from the Japanese special edition integrated as
speeds was employed. At launch, the first and the BMW Z1 – which reduced vibration and ABS were also added for the Japanese market. standard, and ABS introduced for the first time as
generation was not a high-performance screamer, associated with throttle response (in rear wheel- During the next three years, a series of special an option in Europe. ABS would become standard
but quick and extremely lively and fun to drive. It drive cars). Combined with lightweight crankshaft, versions would be produced with high-tech equipment with the introduction of the 90 PS 1.6-
produced 85 kW/115 PS at 6,500 rpm (72.5 PS per rods and pistons, this delivered quick pedal features (at the time) like SRS airbags and litre petrol version a year later.
litre) and maximum torque of 135 Nm at 5,500 rpm. response. A compact, manual five-speed
This translated into a 0 to 100 km/h time of 8.8 transmission with a short, high-mounted gear shift
seconds and top speed of 195 km/h. lever and precise and short gear travel, rack and

1984 August 1984 September 1985 September 1986 April 1986 August 1987 July
Plans for the American version – front en- Work on the MX-5 begins at Mazda´s A British design studio hands over the Masaaki Watanabe and a team of The final decision concerning the tech- According to the United Nations, the
gine, rear wheel drive – are chosen over Development Centre in Hiroshima. MX-5 prototype, which is now ready for designers begin to make detailed nical components of the Mazda MX-5 is world population crosses the
the other two alternative layouts. test drives at the MIRA proving grounds in drawings of the Mazda MX-5. taken. It is also decided internally that 5,000,000,000 mark.
England. there will be no rotary engine under the
bonnet.

16 20 years of PURE ROADSTER FEELING 17


Second- Tsutomu "Tom" Matano
One of Mazda’s MX-5 designers was heavily involved in creating

Generation MX-5
both the first and the second MX-5 generation: Tom Matano. He
was born and raised in Japan. His parents owned a 1950s-era
Cadillac and a neighbour a Citroen 2CV, and he grew up loving
unique-looking cars. He briefly attended Seikei University in
MATURE AND SPORTY Tokyo to study Analysis Engineering, but soon moved to Los
Angeles to study at the Art Centre of Design, where he took
Bachelor’s Degree in 1974. He immediately displayed a talent for
unique forms, and at his first job at GM’s design centre in
Warren, Michigan designed the “waterfall” grille of the 1976
Oldsmobile Cutlass. When Mazda began looking for a designer
for their small roadster project 1983, they settled quickly on Tom
Matano, perhaps with a recommendation from Chuck Jordan,
who surely knew him from his GM days.
After his legendary success with the MX-5,
Mr. Matano would eventually lead the
Mazda international design organisation
that produced the new Zoom-Zoom line
up in 1999 and 2000. He left Mazda after
that to form his own design company in
San Francisco, and is currently Executive
Director of the Academy of Art
University’s School of Industrial Design.

E ight years after the original MX-5 took the


automotive world by storm, a new second-
generation version was launched at the Tokyo
acclaimed front mid-ship rear wheel-drive layout
and five-speed manual, but engine power and body
rigidity had been increased. The 1.6-litre engine
support, 16-inch wheels, and yet another
increase in torsional and flexural rigidity for
even better handling characteristics. The 1.8-
Motor Show 1997 (in Europe 5 months later at now produced 110 PS (+ 20 PS), and the 1.8-litre litre petrol was also upgraded with sequential-
Geneva 1998). The combination of classic yet petrol 140 PS (+ 9 PS) and increased torque of 162 valve timing and slight changes were made to
modern roadster design, insightful functionality Nm (+ 10 Nm); while new body reinforcements had the exhaust system, which gave a bit more
and superior handling and performance of the raised torsional stiffness even further. Engine power than previously.
original version was fully retained in the new performance was enhanced by improved
model, but it was now slightly larger in all its aerodynamics and a lower coefficient of drag (Cd) These changes were still onboard when a
dimensions and better equipped but weighed only of just 0.36 (vs. 0.38 for the original model). The second facelift came in 2004 in Europe to
about 40 kg more. The design had been modified now-famous double-wishbone suspension system celebrate the 15th anniversary of the world’s
in subtle, but important ways. It still possessed of the original MX-5 was retained, but retuned and favourite roadster. Introduced on the outside
smooth, rounded-off edges everywhere, but the updated with larger stabilizer bars, a wider tread were lower rear door panels, new 16-inch
side panels were now articulated with two width (for the 1.8-litre version), a self-locking wheels in a cool five-spoke design, and a gentle
character lines for a more muscular look. The differential at the rear axle, a three-channel ABS hump over the high-mount tail lamp on the
pop-up headlamps were gone, replaced by almond- system as standard and new 15-inch wheels. Taken boot. Better-quality black seat materials were
shaped lamps at the front. These gave the MX-5 an together, the second-generation evolved the one- also added, a silver-look centre console, a more
even cuter face, and would help make the second- with-the-car driving experience of the original efficient wind deflector, and you could now order system with special Bilstein dampers, and high-
generation the most popular two-seat sports car of MX-5 to even higher levels of driving fun. It was optional (and only visually functional) roll bars performance tyres. This version had the facelift’s
its era, especially amongst women customers. still the same lightweight, instant-reacting, open- behind the front seats. New as well were two standard 1.8-litre petrol with 146 PS at 7000 rpm–
Higher quality materials – including a new glass top roadster it had been for the previous 8 years… additional speakers for the standard audio system, which now had 168 Nm of torque at 5000 rpm (+ 6
rear window – were also introduced to the interior, only better. raising the number to six. These were integrated Nm verses original second-generation 1.8-litre) –
comfort improved by a new wind deflector behind into the wind blocker for better audio sound with but with the enhancements mentioned above, it
the seats and 20 litres more boot space, and Two Second-Generation Facelifts the top down. A new sport model was also had a slightly higher top speed of 208 km/h.
design details modified to add more classiness. In 2001 Mazda launched a minor facelift version of introduced with the 2004 facelift for customers
the second-generation MX-5. New were the front looking for even more performance. It offered a
However, even bigger changes had occurred below face and the tail lamps, the driver instruments, six-speed manual transmission, along with an
the skin of the new model. Retained were the now white with red numbers, seats with better side enhanced body structure, a sports suspension

1985 September 1988 April 1989 February 1990 May 1990 October 1990 December
Mazda displays a concept sports car as both American automotive journalists get to drive the Production of the Mazda MX-5 begins in Japan. The first official imported Mazda MX-5s are Re-unification of Germany. East During the year, a total of 95,640 Mazda MX-5
roadster and coupe at the Tokyo Motor Show. Miata/MX-5 in Japan. All of them return from the To begin with, the roadster is built in for the USA, delivered to private customers in Europe. Germany ceases to exist were produced, 25,226 stay in Japan, the rest are
The concept car with the designation MX-04 is test drive thrilled about the car. Canadian, Australian and Japanese markets. It exported. Total production for the years 1989/1990
equipped with a rotary engine and four-wheel comes in four colours: blue, white, silver and red. reached an impressive 140,906 by the end of 1990.
drive.

18 20 years of PURE ROADSTER FEELING


19
Yasushi Nakamuta –
Designer of the third-Generation MX-5

Third- When the design process began for the all-important third-
generation Mazda roadster in 2002, Yasushi Nakamuta had
been preparing for the job for 15 years. After finishing his

Generation MX-5
studies at Kyushu Sangyo University with a degree in
Industrial Design, he had joined Mazda’s design department
in 1987. He was given responsibility for creating the exterior
and interior design of the RX-7, which was unusual for
The “Gram Strategy” Begins someone new to the company, and in 1989 he created the
interior for the Eunos 500 / Xedos 6. Four years later he
moved – as young Mazda designers from Japan often do – to
a Mazda’s design studio overseas
(this time in the US), where he
The third-generation version of Mazda’s contributed to the design of the
second-generation MX-5. After
roadster was launched at the 2005 returning home in 1998, he would
Geneva Motor Show with a new design hold Chief Designer positions for
that renounced the “cola bottle waist” several important projects including
the Secret Hideout concept car, the
of the first two generations, was first Mazda2 and finally, the third-
lower to the ground and more generation MX-5, which he
athletic than any of the described as a “synthesis of
modernity and tradition.”
previous models.

T he third generation was slightly longer, wider


and taller, with a 65 mm increase in wheelbase, a
major increase in track width – by 75 mm in the
front and 55 mm in the rear – and had wider tyres.
Its wheel arches were slightly more flared as well,
making room for new 17-inch wheels.

These increases had no effect on the classic


roadster look the MX-5 was loved for, nor did they
negatively influence its nimble, lightweight
character. In fact, though larger and better
equipped, the new version was only 10 kg heavier.
This was achieved by Mazda’s new “gram strategy”
that painstakingly reduced weight wherever possible
during development. The boot lid was of aluminium,
for instance, and the amount of high and ultra high-
strength steels increased. These weight-saving
techniques first used on the third-generation MX-5
would be employed to decrease the weight of all
next-generation Mazda vehicles in a process that
continues to this day.

The third-generation also introduced major updates


that increased comfort and convenience, like a new
soft top operating mechanism that was now
centrally placed and could be opened and closed
with just one hand. Increases to the exterior
dimensions, though slight, meant more room on the
interior, which was further upgraded by higher
quality materials, better functionality, more

1993 December 1994 March 1998 March 1999 January 1999 February 2000 December
The 300,000th MX-5 rolls off the The MX-5 gets its first facelift – with a The new 2nd generation MX-5 celebrates European The Euro currency is introduced. The 500,000th Mazda MX-5 rolls off the About 600,000 MX-5s have been sold worldwide,
production line in Japan. new 1.8 litre 96 kW/131 PS engine. premiere at the Geneva Motor Show and hits production line. No roadster was built and almost one out of every four in Europe (127,000).
European showrooms that same year in 110 PS sold so often in the course of only ten years.
and 140 PS versions.

20 20 years of PURE ROADSTER FEELING


21
Record breaking 12 seconds to retract the hardtop from the roadster coupe

storage compartments, more air and heat vents percent improvement in torsional and flexural seconds, the fastest on the market, and by Changes were done to the engines too. The 2.0-
and a deeper boot. Xenon headlamps, keyless stiffness, respectively, and larger disc brakes – designing it to fold into the space behind the seats litre aggregate got a major overhaul. It still
entry and start, and a new Bose® sound system 290 mm in the front (+ 25 mm) and 280 mm in the leaving boot space untouched. The rear fenders develops 118 kW/160 PS and maximum torque of
were introduced to the line-up for the first time as back (+ 29 mm). MX-5’s safety package now and the boot area were given subtle changes to 188 Nm, but is now even higher revving, reaching
options. included new side airbags and dynamic stability provide enough space for this. The front edge of maximum output at 7,000 rpm rather than 6,700
control (DSC) as standard in most markets. its rear deck lid, for example, was placed 40 mm as before. Mazda engineers also optimized all
The 1.6-litre petrol engine was dropped for good higher than the soft top. To ensure that the MX-5 components that influence engine sound, which
with the third-generation, and a new 2.0-litre Roadster Coupe not sacrifice any of its low sports- results in a deeper, sportier growl, while lowering
MX-5 Roadster Coupe – car crouch, designers raised the boot lid 20 mm, noise levels in the cabin itself for more comfort.
petrol powertrain with 118 kW/160 PS was added
that could be ordered with the standard five-speed The All-new Power Retractable which allows the roof line to fall softly into the Fuel consumption of the facelift’s 2.0-litre engine
transmission, or with an all-new six-speed manual Hardtop back of the car, and added more prominent rear is now lower. With the five-speed, it now uses 7.4
transmission. The 1.8-litre was retained, but with A year later, in 2006, Mazda again did the wheel arches. litres per 100 km, which is 4 percent less, and with
less power befitting its new positioning, at unexpected by introducing the first-ever power the six-speed manual it uses 7.6 litres, which is
93 kW/126 PS, and coupled to the five-speed retractable hardtop MX-5. This was in response to Designers of Mazda’s new power retractable 7 percent less. The 1.8-litre 93 kW/126 PS engine
manual transmission. The third-generation chassis increasing demand for open-top driving with the hardtop version had captured the look of a classic has a new final gear ratio that helps make it even
retained its classic layout and ideal 50/50 weight added comfort of a hardtop. Mazda again proved British coupe as inspiringly as their colleagues more efficient. This updated petrol now uses 7.0
distribution, but its new body shell had an even to be the better roadster manufacturer by had with the soft top roadster. But even better litres per 100 km, which is 4 percent less than
lower centre of gravity, a 47 percent and 22 delivering a hardtop that retracted in just 12 than this – there were now two versions to choose before.
from.
For the first time ever in Europe, a six-speed
Third generation MX-5 Facelift - Make automatic transmission is now available with the
larger petrol 2.0-litre engine. It comes with
something good even better manual-shift mode using steering wheel paddles
In June 2009 Mazda demonstrated how, with for a sporty driving experience, especially in the
technical and optical finesse, you can make curve and when accelerating to pass.
something good even better when it launched the
third-generation MX-5 facelift, which is the current On the inside, the 2009 MX-5 facelift is dominated
version of the classic roadster. Modifications on as always by clear, classic forms. And quality feel is
the front bumper and the side sills, for instance, enhanced by the introduction of new materials,
were undertaken to optimise aerodynamics and colour combinations, decorative detailing and
help the MX-5 cut through the wind to an even practical features.
greater degree. Suspension fine-tuning also
makes the current roadster react even more
precisely to steering input.

2001 January 2002 January 2005 March 2005 April


Total MX-5 production reaches
2006 July
Mazda introduces the Roadster
2009 May
Facelift of the 3rd generation MX-5 is introduced
2010 February
Production of the MX-5 roadster
The second generation MX-5 gets its Opening of the Olympic Games in Introduction of the 3rd generation
first facelift. Salt Lake City, USA. MX-5 as a Soft Top version. 700,000 units. Coupe, the first-ever retractable (Soft Top and Roadster Coupe) reaches 875,000 units
hard top version of its roadster.

22 20 years of PURE ROADSTER FEELING


23
Chassis & Safety

At a Glance
The Mazda MX-5 Third-Generation Facelift 2009
• Evolution of Jinba Ittai ‘one-with-the-car’ feeling
• Front-midship, rear-wheel drive configuration
for ideal 50:50 weight distribution and superior
handling attributes (carry-over)
• Ca. 58 percent of the body-in-white is made of
ultra-high or high-tensile steel for excellent
flexural and torsional stiffness and crash
Exterior Design Powertrains resistance (carry-over)
• Exterior styling that is more dynamic looking • MZR 2.0-litre petrol revised for better • More equipment with no gain in weight: still the
and more aerodynamic performance feel and topspeed same lightweight roadster (starting at 1,075 kg)
• New single front fascia bumper that is more (manual transmission only): • Height of the front roll centre lowered by 26 mm
aggressive • 118 kW/160 PS at 7,000 rpm (before: 6,700 rpm) for more linear roll movement
• New five-point grille and maximum torque of 188 Nm at 5,000 rpm • New suspension tuning for even more precise
• 500 rpm higher rev-limit (7,500) reaction to steering input
• New headlamp design with white turn-signal
lenses for a quality look for livelier acceleration feel • Yaw and roll feel more natural for a higher
• Revised six-speed manual transmission quality ride
• New highly-sculptured triangular front fog lamp
bezels for smoother, more precise shifting • Tyre pressure monitoring system now available
• New side sills with garnishes for a sculptured • New induction sound enhancer (ISE) for a • Dynamic stability control (DSC) now standard in
look and aerodynamic improvement sporty engine sound (with six-speed manual most markets
transmission)
• Revised rear bumper design that is more
integrated into the body • Surge tank optimised for rigidity as contributor Comfort, Convenience & Equipment
to improved engine sound
• New rear combination lamps with more • Roadster Coupe version now 2.7 dB quieter in
aerodynamic shape • New forged crank shaft to minimise vibration at
high engine speed cabin (at 60 km/h on a coarse road) via
• Roadster Coupe adds new design details for a urethane filling in front suspension and new
more premium character • Fully floating pistons with higher pin-boss damping in front roof section
reliability
• Total of seven body colours with two new
colours, Aluminium Metallic and Metropolitan • Newly-designed valve springs that • New LCD display between driver meters now
Grey Mica suppress valve ‘bounce’ at high revs shows average fuel consumption and ambient
• Higher-durability materials for the temperature
connecting-rod bearings • Recaro sports seats now available: heated,
• Limited-Slip-Differential (LSD) for maximum driver side height adjustable (depending on
Interior Design grade and market)
traction in all 2.0-litre versions with manual
• Improved levels of quality feel and interior transmission (carry-over) • New five-position seat heating (depending on
comfort • European premiere of six-speed automatic grade and market) for leather and Recaro seats
• Decorative panel on the dashboard changed from transmission with steering-wheel paddle shift • Redesigned lower door cupholders for more side
piano black to dark silver and two new control technologies: Direct leg room
Activematic and Active Adaptive Shift • New soft pads on top of armrests and centre
• New meter graphics for better readability
• Carry-over MZR 1.8-litre petrol with five-speed console lid for more comfort
• Wider red zone (2.0-litre petrol with manual manual transmission produces 93 kW/126 PS of
transmission) • Larger storage compartment in front of shifter
maximum power at 6,500 rpm and maximum for MP3 player or cell phone (with rubber mat to
• New red-backlit LCD trip meter/odometer torque of 167 Nm at 4,500 rpm minimise rattling noise)
display • All powertrains fine-tuned to use less fuel:
• New AUX jack at bottom of centre console for
• Climate control knobs now silver ringed • MZR 1.8-litre petrol with five-speed manual uses connecting MP3 player to car’s audio system
• Latest factory installed audio system with a 7.0 litres of fuel per 100 km than predecessor
• Storage compartment in centre console now
cleaner look • MZR 2.0-litre petrol with five-speed manual uses with removable partition for flexible use and
• New materials give a higher quality feel 7.4 litres of fuel per 100 km than predecessor rubber mats at the bottom to prevent rattling
• New interior colour scheme for a sportier look • MZR 2.0-litre with six-speed manual uses noise
7.6 litres per 100 km than predecessor • Cruise control now available (depending on
• New MZR 2.0-litre petrol powertrain with six- grade and market)
speed automatic transmission uses 7.9 litres per • Improved premium Bose® audio system
100 km (depending on grade and market) optimised for
MX-5 facelift with more power, more channels,
better speakers
• Bluetooth® phone system with voice recognition
for hands-free telephoning (depending on grade
and market)

24 20 years of PURE ROADSTER FEELING


25
Peter Birtwhistle,
Chief Designer,
R&D Centre,
Mazda Motor Europe

A Design Icon

26 27
little demand. Once the opposite became obvious, Tom Matano. To save weight, the complicated
a total of 400 units were planned for Europe. Just pop-up headlamps were dropped. New body
Peter Birtwhistle, Senior Designer beginning in 1988, and Chief Designer since 1999 at Mazda Motor Europe‘s R&D Centre
a year after launch, 16,000 vehicles had been sold components were developed, a new interior, more
in Oberursel, Germany in Europe alone, and this number did not even powerful engines, but most importantly a reworked
come close to meeting demand. chassis. An automatic transmission came a bit
later, and a special edition with a six-speed manual.

Interview: Peter Did Mazda consider developing derivatives


from the technical concept, like a small Why were such major changes to the

Birtwhistle
rear-wheel drive sports sedan, for current, third-generation model necessary?
example?
Beginning in 2005 new vehicle registration laws,
No. Back then, people were not thinking yet about with a focus on safety standards especially,
platform strategies and every model had its own demanded a completely new development that
platform. The roadster was planned as an
Mr. Birtwhistle, do you remember how the through the Californian mountains, and were individually-developed product, from which at
idea of the MX-5 roadster came about? reluctant to get out of the car again. The ice was most a limited edition model was possible. People
broken – now everyone wanted Mazda to build just assumed that the two-seater would sell well for a „You can recognise a MX-5 on its
I wasn’t working for Mazda in 1979, but I do know such a roadster. couple years and then be discontinued. Nobody
that American journalist Bob Hall had the decisive thought anything at all about a successor model. simple, basic body shape with
idea that year. America wants an affordable
roadster, he told Mazda’s head of development at So is the MX-5 an American development? mostly parallel running lines.“
the time, Kenichi Yamamoto. This included a The Mazda MX-5 was a huge success when
rough-drawn sketch of the car Hall had in mind on No, because now the development centre in it was first launched. Why did such a
a black board in the room where they were talking. Hiroshima steered all further processes. These are
successful model have to be improved? Peter Birtwhistle, Chief Designer
The idea and the sketch must have inspired too complex to leave up to an external
Yamamoto-san, because from them the entire development site alone. The entire technical
The more people worked with the product, the
roadster project would emerge over the next development was done in Japan. And even though
more obvious the chances became to refine it. A
several years. the Japanese design studio under the direction of resulted in the third generation model. In the
minor facelift was done as early as 1994, without
Mazda’s Chief Designer, Shunji Tanaka, was future, the windshield frame would have to offer
changing the body. From this point on, a 1.8-litre
involved at the time, the final design came from massive roll-over protection. The car would have
engine with 131 PS and a 90 PS version of the 1.6-
What did Mazda’s home office in Hiroshima Tom Matano in California. His colleagues Wu-Huan to be wider for more side impact protection, there
litre aggregate joined the 115 PS version. The
think of the idea? Chin and Mark Jordan were the creative minds should be more legroom on the inside, and enough
second generation of the Mazda MX-5, under the
there. room for side airbags to deploy. Add to this the
internal name of NB, wouldn’t be launched until
At the time, sports cars were less popular in fact that American customers wanted a roomier
1998. It was developed under the direction of Chief
Japan, so initially the Japanese colleagues Miata, as it is called there. For many large
Designer Kouichi Hayashi with major input from
thought the idea to be a bit strange. But soon Did people already know the target group of
Yamamoto-san, was supporting the plan, and had the roadster back then?
decided that a prototype should be built. Mazda
senior managers then travelled to California a little The marketing experts only targeted the North
while later to drive the prototype for a week American market initially, and for Europe they saw

28 a design icon 29


“The position of the front air intake and its
relationship to the headlamps is the
How can you recognise a Mazda MX-5?
signature of the design.“ On its simple, basic body shape with mostly
parallel-running lines. These lines do not form
demanding more comfort. As a result, the latest points, do not have any dramatically crossing
Peter Birtwhistle, Chief Designer model has a much more luxurious feel on the edges, no gimmicks. The wheel well mouldings are
inside. kept to a minimum. The slight indentation on the
bonnet, by the way, has been around since the first
generation. Our MX-5 is an outstanding example of
Americans, the roadster of the first and second design studios in Japan, the USA and Germany How is Mazda’s design DNA reflected in the how simple solutions are often the best ones.
generation had become too small. now created design proposals for the production
third generation?
model.
Furthermore, demand required stronger engines
The latest iteration of the MX-5 features our What is your favourite design detail of the
that also managed to use less fuel. For the first
time, electronic assist systems like DSC and Did these differ a lot from each other? typical Mazda family five-point grille. Apart from MX-5?
that, we see the MX-5 as a stand-alone icon vehicle
traction control were on the car’s wish-list – along
The Americans proposed making the MX-5 more in our range. It has become classic – everybody The position of the lower front air intake and its
with a limited-slip differential at the rear axle, and
muscular, like a small macho. In Japan, a vehicle knows the MX-5 and we want to maintain that relationship to the headlamps is the signature of
head and curtain airbags. Besides a soft top
was designed that looked much more simple and tradition. the design.
roadster, a version with a retractable hardtop
made of plastic should also be possible. cute. They wanted to give the impression of
coming from a kit that you build yourself that way
The project-planning phase for this completely you develop a close personal relationship to the Would you qualify the front end as “gentle” What will be the challenges for the next
new third-generation model lasted relatively long product. Finally, a proposal came with strong or “aggressive”? generation?
due to the number of planned innovations. There British antecedents of the Mazda MX-5. We in
were also discussions about whether the iconic Oberursel presented the model that stands on my I’d say it’s like a young child. It does no real harm, To keep its character, maintain a lower weight and
design language of the roadster should be carried desk, designed by Nigel Ratcliffe with an interior but it can be a bit mischievous at times. to evolve the design language.
forth, or should we risk a radical step. Besides developed by Nakajama-san, a Japanese designer
proposals from the Japanese design team in then working in the European design studio.
Hiroshima and ideas from the field office in Irvine,
my design team from Oberursel also had four
models to introduce. They were hardly And which of the proposals went into the
recognisable as the MX-5. After a lot of customer production car?
clinics, the decision was finally made – optically,
fans of the car wanted to see as few changes as It’s a mix between the Japanese and the European
possible. In the end, the basic MX-5 design theme models, and the interior developed in Europe was
remained untouched across the three generations also used. In this way, the NC model was built as a
– a simple, fluid body with the characteristic lamp completely new MX-5 with a new platform that is
shades and lower front air intake. also used by the Mazda RX-8.

Had it already been decided how the third


generation would look at this point? Was the interior design able to follow the
evolution of the exterior design?
Not yet. The actual development of the car could
now get underway. Development was led by Chief The interior design has probably taken a larger
Designer Yasushi Nakamuta and Head Engineer step forward as a design expression. The first NA
Takao Kijima. Based on the specifications that model interior was quite basic. For the latest
defined all attributes of the car, the three Mazda model, our customers had become older and were

30 a design icon 31


Mazda MX Club Sport - 1989 Mazda Miata Speedster - 1991 Mazda Miata - Mono-Posto Concept - 2000 Mazda Roadster MPS - 2001

MX-5 Concept cars


The MX-5 has been a great source of inspiration for terpretation of what a coupe based on the roadster
Mazda designers at the company’s four design cen- would look like. In 2000, the brand’s American de-
tres (in Japan, USA and Europe) since it first began sign studio made the Miata Mono-Posto concept for
rolling off the production line. The first show car the SEMA show. A year later Mazdaspeed in Japan
based on the US Miata model, called the Club Sport, built the radical Roadster MPS Concept using Mazda
was introduced as early as 1989 and was a radically Performance Series technology. This concept was
sporty version of the small road- reinterpreted as a classic Italian coupe with the
ster. Even more spectacular was Mazda Roadster Coupe TS concept car in 2004. In
the Miata Speedster concept between these two high-performance concepts of
from 1991 which already had the roadster was a 2003 concept car called Mazda
ideas that can be found in the Ibuki that hinted at what the third-generation MX-5
Superlight version shown in would look like when it was
2009. And the Miata Coupe launched two years
concept from 1992 was an in- later.

Mazda Ibuki - 2003

Mazda Roadster Coupe TS Concept - 2004

2009 MX-5 Mazda’s European designers were asked “to evolve 93 kW/126 PS of maximum power at 6,500 rpm,

Superlight Version the MX-5, developed to perfection during the last


20 years, to a higher and extreme level,” says
Project Lead Designer Hasip Girgin. The result is a
and the precise-shifting five-speed manual
transmission. Specific parts cold-air intake and
exhaust systems, which not only deliver higher
The MX-5 Superlight version is a concept car the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, it features a cool, retro look, with the feel and drive of a very intake air-flow, and less exhaust-gas back pressure,
designed and built at Mazda’s European R+D Centre roofless design with no windshield, a special double- modern vehicle. It is especially lightweight, having but also a sporty growl that makes the engine
in Germany as part of the 20th anniversary hump dashboard and mandatory helmets. And the been stripped down to the basics – without sound much larger than it actually is. A specially-
celebration of the MX-5. The design team radically design team did all this while lowering vehicle diminishing safety at all. Its front-midship, rear-
modified a production-model soft top to deliver weight, reducing fuel consumption and enhancing wheel drive layout with ideal weight distribution
even more pure roadster fun. Initially presented at the MX-5’s one-with-the-car driving experience. over the axles inherited from the production
roadster, and a fighting weight of less than Mazda’s European designers
The interior is made without any trim. The “floating-design” centre 1000 kg, makes the MX-5 Superlight version a
console is made of ultra-lighweight carbon fibre. radical slice of Zoom-Zoom. It is proof, if proof were asked “ to evolve the MX-5,
were necessary, that the production model MX-5 is
Hasip Girgin, Project Lead
a true thoroughbred with a concept that is sporty developed to perfection during
to its very core.
Designer of MX-5 Superlight
version at Mazda R&D centre the last 20 years, to a higher
in Oberursel, Germany. Like the exterior, the interior is taken to its sporty
extreme with no trim or rugs. The concept is a fair-
weather vehicle and has no heating or air
and extreme level.”
conditioning systems. There are special racing
bucket seats made of ultra-lightweight carbon Hasip Girgin, Project Lead Designer
fibre, and the bonnet extension into the passenger
cell is made of lightweight plastic reinforced with
fibreglass. Enhancing this sporty and lightweight tuned chassis employing a Bilstein® B16 coil-over
interior is an ignition button in the centre of the suspension and Eibach® stabilisers, gives a 30 mm
dashboard, and two emergency kill buttons for lower ground clearance. Combined with a 50 mm
immediate fuel and electricity cut-off. wider track – due to special fixed-calliper brakes
and perforated discs – this makes the Mazda MX-5
It is also fully-drivable with production versions Superlight version lower and wider for a sporty
of the MZR 1.8-litre petrol engine producing crouch and great handling characteristics.

32 a design icon 33


Mazda Roadster 20th Anniversary Commemorative Drive,
Myoshi, Japan 2009

MX-5 Clubs around


the world

34 35
MX-5 Clubs
around
the world
Mazda MX-5 owners all have something in common –
the love of the open road, the wind caressing
their face, and pure, one-with-the-car
sporty fun.

portugal Poland
MX-5 Klub Polska
A dd to this simplicity and reliability,
and you have the recipe for a unique
and deep bond. This is evident by the
MX-5 Club Portug
al – Morocco driv
e. MX-5 20th Anniversary celebration in Warsaw in
Poland. The event started at Plac Bankowy (Bank
number of MX-5 owners who are so Square) in Warsaw, where 185 Mazda MX-5 vehi- Swed
delighted with their roadster that they cles had gathered. The motorcade, escorted by Miata C en
seek out other owners to share their the police, paraded through the city centre and The Mia lub of Sw
ed
total ow Club of Swe en
experiences. This is pretty unique in the headed towards the Bemowo Airport, where a ta
motor industry, and began at the very dozen vehicles could drive onto the tarmac. ners in den is
has an S very ac
beginning in 1989. Since then over 200 www.mx-5.pl interes weden!) and tive, wit
ha
ting ho h
MX-5 / Miata clubs have been founded
yearly.
In 200 mepag olds lots of e bout 1,500 m
e, and vents a
Mazda
dealers
9 the c
lub has a nice m ll aroun embers (out o
around the world – many of them with weeken in cele b e en very a g a zine, M d the c f 2,500
d brat active ia ountr
their own club magazine, website, events celebra event in Sköv ing the car’s togeth tabladet, with y. The club
ted by d 2 er fo
and tours. Based on membership touring e, where a re 0th annivers with a lot of t ur issues
this be cord 12 a he Swe
information from European MX-5 6 Mazd ry. This inclu
autiful
region, a ded a m dish
organisations – the UK MX-5 Owners Club holding MX-5s came ajor
a parad tog
has 4,450 members, for instance – Mazda tying a
t a big e in the ether. They
estimates that there are roughly 10,000 hus wh gala din town, a
er ner nd par
people in Europe associated with some Motor e Klaus Oest, at Hotel Billi -
Scandin Preside nge-
kind of MX-5 organisation. And this does ternatio avia, g nt of M
n ave azd
not include the large number of MX-5/ 2010 fr al event is alr a speech. An a
om 13-1 eady p in-
in sout 5 la
Miata websites where owners share their hern S May at Castle nned for
experiences, find spare parts, organise weden Bäckas
. kog
w w w. m
Netherlanndds
small local get-togethers, or simply talk
about the joy they have in driving their iatakl
ubben
roadster everyday.
Mazda MX-5 Club Ne derla .se
gest organisations
derland, one of the lar
Ne
The Mazda MX-5 Club ed its 15th anni-
c MX -5 an d Miata owners, celebrat
for en thu sia sti the club organised a
nour of this milestone,
versary in 2007. In ho Auto Palace - de
members, starting at
special weekend for its Netherlands, and
t, at tha t tim e Ma zda’s importer for the
MX-5 Club Nederland
The Unit
Binckh ors
MX -5s took part. The Mazda ed Kingd
mo re tha n 100
was founded in April 199
2. With around 1,800 me
mbers and 2,000
MX and Miata own-
-5
MX-5 Owners
Over 1,100 MX- Club om
gest organisations for 5s
cars, it is one of the lar mb er benefits, such as celebrate the
attended the
2009 Nationa
Th e clu b offers various me 15th annivers l Rally at Mallo
ers in Eu rop e. rt services. Members MX-5. It was am ary of the Ow ry Park in Sept
nts and technical suppo azing to see so ners Club and ember to
club insurance, discou per year, both in the for the car from many MX-5s in the 20th anni
d 20 recreational events everyone who one place and versary of the
can take part in aroun is a clu b magazine pub- thrill of the D was there. Att to feel the en
d in oth er countries. There riftworks cars endees were thusiasm
Nethe rla nd s an 2,000) and a com- themselves w around the tr treated to wat
er (with a circulation of ith time on th ack, and som ch ing the
lished once every quart a full of exclusive e track testin e members ev
h a members-only are g the skills! en had a go
prehensive website wit
information. .n l
w w w.m x5 cl ub
w w w.m x 5 o c
.c o .u k

36 clubs 37
Belgium
Miata MX-5 Roadster Club Belgium
The Miata MX-5 Roadster Club publishes its
f their
own club magazine, Topless, every three
t r i a name o
AuCslub Austriain Austria, 180 roadste
months.
rs w rote the
http :/ /m x-5.b e/ m
ria.co
t
MX-5 5-aus
t
b even ow. x
X-5 Clu
w w w. m
d
At an M car on a mea
o u r ite
fav

009
, May 2
Finla ring, L
ubéron
Miata C
lub of F
nd MX-5 F
rance g
athe
inland
r a n ce ce.co m
w w w. m
iata.fi F -5 Fran
X
ce
w. m x 5
f ra n
Club M ww

Germany
At the “Treffen in der Mitte” event in Hann-Münden, MX-5 fans cele-
ears of
brated the 20th anniversary of the roadster in Germany. More than
le b ra te 20 Y
e
Europe 400 MX-5s from all over Europe took part in the celebration. The event
included a competition with various categories, including the “Car with te r E n
ts to c
thusias ns
MX-5 Social N the Highest Mileage,” which was won by an MX-5 NA model with over Roads X-5 at Le Ma
etworking Off M
In September icial Website 300,000 km under its belt. Mazda
nni versarye th e
20th Avents to celebratFrance.
2009, fans of
sion for Mazda the MX-5 coul w ww.tidm.de n s
’s roadster at d share their e M a
MX-5 L ope’s highligh X-5 took plac met at the
networking w a revamped ve pas- t e e in
ebsite www.m rsion of the so
x-5.com. The cial Eur eM rope
completely re
-engineered us new website One of iversary of th m all over Eu 9 to celebrate
was n n ro e2 0
rlanuisd
Networking pl ing Episerver- 20th a X-5s f 0 ip it
atforms, and Related and So 200 M -14 Jun ial relationsh
SwitzPe
of its kind on is now one of cial ta l o f s o n 13
A to a n p e c a sa
se Romande
the internet. the most inno e M e s w
Since then, it vative u rs of L a nd th e. There
assion Club S
of the largest 24 H o s te r, w id s near
has grown into oad rld
fans wo r participant the
of its kind with ’s cult r
over 9,000 m one
Mazda MX-5 a s s io n .c h Mazda thousands of o for
w w w.m x 5 -p
embers global d f
ly. h eserve rd was given
has wit azda Camp r a wa t.
special
M and an ing the even
w w w.m x -5 .c M a n s circuit a tte nd
om the Le autiful MX-5 ”
Be
“Most

38 clubs 39
MX-5 C
lub, An
niversa
rip to G ry t
Norw austab
likk
Miata C
lub o
ay
T
his club f Norw
which is boasts 200 m ay - NOR
a e
niversa lways a big e mbers, with a
SK MX-
5/Mia
ith peo ctive local org ta Klubb
ry part vent w
There a ya
re a lot t the Gausta ple fro
m all o anisations in
“On ou o bli
r way t f stories to te kk Hotel. ver the s
countr everal locatio
Japane o Geira ll but h y . T ns.
n e his yea
that th
se tour
is
ger, we
d
re is on
e r mem Each summe
ese we ts came by, a rove to Dalsn : bers ce r,
lebrate members go
There w re J nd ibb
ere sur apanese buil they were int e, which has a d a bit
more t on a summer
Japane ely mo t cars, erested g r han us
se albu r e a n
ms from pictures of M d there was
in the b e a t v ie ual wit tour,
a eautifu w of the Geir h a 20t
t hat day X - 5s and lo t of exc l s ports c a n ger Fjo h an-
.” club m ite m a rs a rd . W
n w w w. m
embers ent and
a lot of
nd gath
er
hile we
w
in Japl acommemo- photog ed around th ere up there,
than th
e Geira
t H e l d x5-mi nger F raphing em. Su
ddenly a bus load of
ven pec ia ata.no jord in .
ative Eration hosted a smemorate the ing
they re
m e m o r alize
m o m v
ary Cor Mazda Motor Ceostern Japan. Toe at the Miyoshint, mem-
rp co Pro
rs
Japanoadster 20 of the Mazda hi Proving Gro y to the car’s b ining in. During s; Roadster ow .
th An n i ve
roadste
und in
w irthpla
c the eve
n-
R
Mazda Annive
rsary
Huge brate the 20th at its M
iyos
de their
wa
, 2009
overse
,
as jo
ory spe
eche
a adster
quiz
ners m er Japan and d congratula
t in a Ro sed
c e le e pte m ber 20 and their ow a ll o v e li ve re to ta ke part ita Kanai, clo
To o n S ste rs s f ro m o a d d inv ite d nt, Se
vent Road and fan ners from ab
r
ts were elopme
rative e , over 1,600 0 owners o w a n d gues of vehicle dev s applause.
o n e ,6 0 X - 5 e d ;
miles t ut 2 nd M du c rge erou
n d , w ith abo ment team a a n w e re intro fficer in cha ted by thund
Grou elop f Jap tive O gree
the dev very region o naging Execu r!” which was
bers of e M a ev e
bs from enior r is for
ers’ clu irector and S The Roadste
’s D f, “
Mazda a cry o
e ev e nt with
th

ager Filippo
d th e General Man
Tom Matan o an Years in one
the Mazda sl ic e up the “Twenty
2 te am s pa rticipated In Ruggero ne
A record 11 andria Rally. Season” cake
.
zd a, A lba, A sti and Aless
A

Italyaliano Mazda MX-5 (RIM)


.
or Italia S.p.A
re co gn iz ed by Mazda Mot ,
ficially in 19 95
owners club of ster. Founded
Registro It M az da M X- 5 (RIM) is the w or ld ’s m os t popular road M azda and the
The Registro
Italiano rs an d fans of the co lla bo ration with X
gs together Ita
lian ow ne ding, R IM , in events with M
The club brin 0 0 m em be rs . Since its foun ra lli es, an d has promoted
an 5,0 na l
unts more th local and natio
today RIM co s organized 78 t
Mazda dealer
networ k in Ita ly, ha
te rs are lo ca ted in Tori no . w w w.m x -5 .i
ar
. RIM’s headqu
40 5 clubs abroad
clubs 41
local stories
From young Spanish fashion designers, to kids at SOS Children’s Villages in Austria and
Germany, the MX-5 has been a source of inspiration for people from all walks of life.

MX-5 StampS
Austria
In August 2009, Mazda Austria painted a
white Mazda MX-5, together with the chil-
dren of the SOS Children’s Village in Moos-
burg. A picture of the painted car was used
as an official Austrian stamp (circulation:
30,000). The stamp could be used by
Mazda dealers and was very successful.
Mazda will also donate a new Mazda2 to
the village in Moosburg, and will continue
to support House Barbacus, a therapeuti-
cally-assisted living group.
Germany
To celebrate 20 years of MX-5, Mazda Deutschland
held an MX-5 drawing competition “Design a
Mazda MX-5 Race Car” among SOS Children’s Vil-
lage children from all over Germany. The winners
were chosen by a Mazda jury. The first prize pic-
ture will be printed on a special edition stamp that
will be used by Mazda Germany and dealers (cir-
culation: 10,000).

Pink MX-5 photo-


shooting in Paris
France
“A pink MX-5 in the shopping streets of Paris was a wonder-
ful way to celebrate 20 years of Mazda’s cutest roadster!
See the video on You Tube under “MX-5 Alert in Paris…”

MX-5 Doodle O2
World Tour
Germany: Mazda Cooperation with O2 and Two MX-5s hit the catwalk in Spain
Doodle-Art. The O2 World on Tour event In 2006 Mazda started to sponsor one of the youngest and hippest events in the
made a stop in Cologne Germany between Spanish fashion industry: El Ego de Pasarela Cibeles.
13-27 August 2009.
A special MX-5 in doodle design could be won as part
The MX-5 Roadster Coupe version, launched that year, truly “dress” a couple of units of our roadster MX-5 at Spain’s fash-
of the festivities, along with two VIP tickets to the
embodied the attributes of the brand: daring, ingenious and ion parade, which were then exhibited during the public days
event at a special Mazda website. Doodling is done the
fun, what matched perfectly with the DNA of the most mod- of El Ego. This fruitful sponsorship has continued since then
world over – during long telephone conversations, for
ern fashion catwalk in Spain. Two young Spanish designers – and has included customized version of the Mazda2, Mazda3
instance – and is free, creative and surprising, just like
Potipoti and Rubén Gómez – were given the opportunity to MPS and Mazda RX-8.
Mazda’s legendary roadster. Besides the MX-5 in Co-
logne, a new Mazda2 and Mazda3 in doodle-style were
also taken home by two lucky participants in Hamburg
as well.

42 local stories 43


Adam Marsál, Executive Editor, Maxim (CZ)

celebrities AND
THE MX-5
44 45
Celebrities AND
THE MX-5
There’s a reason why the Mazda MX-5 is one of the world’s only cult cars to still be
produced and sold in large numbers even 20 years after its initial launch – it is
loved to a degree that few other vehicles enjoy. This includes a large number
of celebrity owners around the world and, not surprisingly,
a long list of motoring journalists. For many of these
automotive experts, the MX-5 remains
one of the best cars they have
ever driven.

nd
entic a
g h e r is auth ing else but
in th
nce driv out any ique
experie MX-5 isn’t ab ssion in a un -5
le ss . in g p a n M X
h tim e l driv erat io
yl a
Jan Mu ive Journalist
e r t , , Czec p u r e , e ssentia The first-gen aximum
packag
e.
ith its m
Autom
o t
/De e p u blic alist,
design impress me w t with its
ot
does n acceleration, – it holds on, s.
bu it
i e u w s b l a d R s t r á , J o u r n
e d o r r ve s h e ga
Het N V e ra Vo o u t s p e
u r in the c u
u p ush on
t
icker,
d a a r d ent o f
forget a b beha v io
w hen y o
e it is uq
the n d im
Auto 7are cars that pe, and then there time. doesn’t oleu are on a dry sfeeling that it er
le e g o fa c
ium er medallist in pic Sta X-5 is the em driving a b o o p a r t u r

B e lg “The M g that makes ity of the “There uple of years s in their ow de


n
When y e end I have
a quick
, silv
orlée Olym 008 r y t h in im p lic co n d a t h u r ve even ison to
Olivia B relay at the 2
e s a e m t c
e v
x c it in g. The r y m uch in afte r
t b e c o me le g
c h in g I hav e
in g and a
e o u t of th e
n in c ompar it
s car e el is v e a of sea r the liv m v e e,
m Village st mod plexity
of cars th a year one of shoots n I entered. E r wheel driv
4x100 i j i n g S C h ildren’s h very fir with the com s. But ter half ome true and its new home
-
n w he it h rea p t ly.
in Be Mazda
SO
UX, wh
ic st n A f c t h a
hicles w nd pr o m
Games gthened the da Motor BEL special t ra e r s io a m d to n v e t ly a is a
c o n
e recent v
d e sign my d re
ju st mo v e mod e r
c t ion li g h
e a ch ro d a
IA r
tren
Olivia s dor Team at
Maz h of a
e launc litre engine, it y
is the m o r
y the t
imele s s
r a car legend e.”
s h a s s d ir e
change time I bough e to improve
t h e r, my
AUSTR h ll t e
, Autho sa w it h t p e c ia o a d s ra g t h e es m
b a s n 1. 8 o r t es -5 r my ga Since at push thing t
o
s Haipl
A m a s io h a h s p the MX ’t look dated.
The the occ tic. Wit upe, wit makes ve rack th s. There is no
Clemen ian l owns. e 32, marked he MX-5 Athle Roadster Co s standard. t i
o n w c u c e t
t il ply w of a n e xe r a
arsál, E abilitie er.”
e s
r h ag
ed is the red roadstreiver’s license atst by ,t or
edition as a soft top er items fitte
da that sim ry test drive hundre
d M driving
& Co m ev e u t a A d a m r bout h
first ca
r
got his
d
ded alm
o le
availab ats among o
t h Af t e r
d rive a b o
a two- a x i m D e spite h e
im prov a e
I z d M l.
Editor,-5 is really beaumt inine look, my
d a u
Haipl’s ase celebrity buy a car lan Recaro
se car – a
n
r – the
M for if
Vienna
-b d to uld be ch yea ference
h e decide t h a t it sho cars ea mains THE re sure is “M y M X
gh t ly fe
e n
and wh an MX-5. tw a s ad seater
re plea and sli
portan which h s driving I haven’t smooth
chance
in
t h a t was im ld Duck’s car, vehicle. The me as
f a r a
til now
,
nly thin
g Dona ind of ned. Un ompete safety,
“The o pen-top – like be the ideal k e sitting in a concer ar that can c n s n ow for t this c
ar
d o to orks ar aves me from a c e gulat io
t. But pu
red an me
med to . When the d u n d a re r m e n n d its
e e lso s
fo d there environ ravel, a
alwa y s s
p ly great t h e s un. It a en I’m 50 an ve
d
with it.” past an tion and the nd dry shift t elms you.
s im in h ha g a t a rw h
MX - 5 is k in g
I’m bas off the deep e n d w
. I alrea d y homolo with its shor en ove ionally
m , o u t h ar you, ev u emot
ja
traffic er of going ver my
y into ge ul surrounds an involve yo ny city.
g redisco so rc fa
the dan sports car to , Auto sporty roadste the streets o e car. A car
ITALY autiful
a E d i to r b e o n iq u
buying e r r a ri, T h is
you d r iv e
- 5 is a u n
ime yo
u
.” a n d ro F b er s hav e even w h e n
me, t h e M X
e firs t t
o n e
Al e s s M e m
TY ifferent gen eel of an e ra t io n
wh y , f o r
e w it h t h
ma, CO That's can fall in lov
Panoryayears and threeI sit behind the aws in any
d h yo u
th a t
.
“Twent et every time sation, nicer w. Or touch it
s se d . Y g e s e n ot k n o
pa tra n do n
feel a s xactly it is, I y its
MX-5, I W h a t e ke to call it b Time has
r c a r. ta ( I li fo r m .
othe e Mia e to
a y b e yes. Th is always tru
m e)
an nam
Americ

46 celebrities and the MX-5 47


“The Mazda MX-5is an icon!“
Volker Koerdt, Editor-in-Chief Auto Zeitung

f,
d i to r - in-Chie
,E
Koerdt
5, Volker ded as
a n ce 200 e i tu ng n icon. It is regatrer. Its
abre, M
i ss Fr
incesse
s
m a ny r-in-Chief, Auto Z
a MX-5
is a
dern ro
ads lf in
etro Cindy F Rallye des Per MX-5 in the d Ge r nd, Edi
to azd
“The M nation of the
mo ks for it
se
ce itor-i i ef, Auto IRfirst saw at Wiela ca r 0 ye a rs spea in. It offers
FraAn
h g th an in n of 2 e live
e n-
Ed the year 1989, wohne someday!
C n driver metres drivin pleasure! Fast r Bernd speeds
like I the
tion ru imes w
produc r-changing t ble price and
– most
udiau, kilo dste
ta d low
“1,600 y – wha , the little roa il a t how it
Xavier
ll et
r very
we t: I will
g
, I reall
y se s Ra ll
ad s Auto B - 5
rift
, I can d ar. I also like
, how it
s
ve
these e n at an affor
da
reak do
wn.”
membe iately though o years ago 60,000 km Princes tain ro e bigge
r he M X c f u b
st il l re n moun asily with th “With t intage sports ry electronics y driv in g
it do es n’t
“I
-5. I im
med
ght min
e tw
ince th
en, ds that agile o e av ecessa in a wa antly –
the MX entually bou ed so long. S g all my frien m ompete can in ut unn volved hort shift import
could c ors.” w it h o h a s e
When I
ev ait cin
I had w ep on convin And none of
the tit does pment the s e
d why ade this compe develo rsche 911 and n. It makes m
n d e re n d I ke lwa ys . h o m design e Po s io o u t
wo iv ing a eep a h er w to th nsmis e ran
of hap p y d r
collect
a n d k t o g ra p similar its manual tra -5 that I onc
ur pho MX rgot to
a car to it, including o f
travel o to drive the un, I fo
this is d y much f
grette h a p p g s o
have re so
I was h
avin
!”
pictur e !” of gas. e fuel gauge
a t t h
look

in, and
b y H a sip Girg ed by
signed design
was de despite being , to tak
e
e d , h niques a
ve m te c
tomoti :
se e er n m
Au he mod ugh I a
and ı k , er using t in time. Altho have strong
Ufuk S bah Newspaap a MX-5
k ,
me bac nal journalist wn one, and
I it
Sa zd io Io
Editor,cars have a storryme. MX-5, the
.M fe ss - 5.
ey Automotive p ro e M X
s for th to me.”
Turk
zpeyni
rci,
aper
”Some those cars fo utomotive
of the a
feeling s be special
will alw
a y
is one
Emre Ö rriyet Newspin July 2008. Inhad pione e r r o a dster in her brands to
t
, Hü Mazda MX-5 zda model I used o
Editorm e a w o r ld , has ca adsters.
o e of 20
et t
”I first MX-5 was the
h first M
t e re d the a n u f a cture r
a s h o rt lifetim re
n e m in ea
e d just e ny automotiv legend t. Ther
fact, th en. Mazda ha n d ma it y to Being a ery importan t become
iv a tu n v no
ever dr arket directly ad the oppor years is dels that did anufactured
m h he first
Turkish ke me, finally e MX-5 was t ortant m a n y m o e in g m
spite b er than this.
o rs , li . A s t h o im p d s d e
edit azda as als w legen ears lo
ng rove
ive a M ed, it w brand. I kne many y ht concept I d cular car
test-dr at I ever test o f t h e s sf u l it fo r g ta
t h a ve c e e r li e c
Mazd a ow h
age I n -5 had been s of Records.
o su c
The Su
p as p hieve.
t h e im t ly in Rome is MX-5 can ac
for a MX Book recen the of
e Mazd inness It’s a s what om out
that th red in the Gu r o o f down. o n t h a t show e c a r pilot fr his car. It
e n e a ra c g t
was en
te I left th attentio gine. I felt lik s drivin
q u ite tall, so cted a lot of te r e n st w h en I wa
I am attr a 2.0 - li the p a
r and it had the 160 PS
cute ca t. This model b y t h is s
wa
the str
ee allowed n say that I
im u m speed /h . I ca
Ma x 10 k m
ate is 2
aggreg d.”
ht) se
dık (rig impres
a n d U fuk San
ci (left) sion.
m re Ö zpeynir Superlight ver
E 5
the MX-
driving

48 celebrities and the MX-5


49
ter.
and win for
d a . S u mmer rd t o p
Maz ah a
- t ake my ged to pick up he first sign
get na at t
initely I’ve ma s. And rd
e d a y I’m def c o ld month comes the ha his
! S o m t h e , off e in t
zda MX
-5 g sun t hom

r l a ndsf, Jour-
the Ma d MX-5!”
ting a t
hir
of sprin ill feel right a r revival of
shell. I
st a regula
Ne the r-in-Ch
ito
ie
Free l a n c e
en, E d i t o r ,
litt le s p o rts car,

F i sc her, Ed and S c h o rnagel, , Auto Visie, n v a n den Ste n - t he road


ster.”
Ralp h ontrol Dick raaf niek Rie lad ir con d it io
e k t ra ction c ither (in
D e Teleg & Motor Tecohs, I n ts Dagmbquite fond of aission. And a
Autow9e . a
S, n o s t a b
: no AB
e
e space are tyre na l i r
uto the first phot ports B o be honest, I’ omatic transm still found
“My 19
0 MX-5 luggag h
at muc ’s where the
p s
at u t o P ress, A t I saw ood. A pure s it “T t
love au e, then, that ame on the
I
. Not th at omewh t A mom e n
. And I
no DSC eneration th ing space is s h m t h e lo o ks g a n , h o w in g
ace. S t ra n g
hen it fir stc
toring
tg iv so it ’s a t ig “Fro X - 5 sure sities, and m o f f s p . W e a mo
the firs attery are). L r s ta ll n ’t e w t h e M
e c e s b o t to m b it o
p p e a li n g
b e c o m
b mete ower is kn
h just t
he n w from
the
the MX
-5 a had jus
t
m I was
and the well (I’m 1.94 amount of p of t h e car wit ostalgia. I kne ve one some t my
day.
in 1989, I w ith who h MX-5s. A
as he All ke t u e
limited ortable fit). T ighs 950 kg. a k e s n
exudes that I had to
ha I bough ma r
t. A coll
ea g is
se devil with leather.
f we
but com then it only age. It is wha
tm
its h e a r t ix y e ars ago d MX-5, jo urnalis ve one of tho n o n e,
u g e, b ut a d v a nt
d r iv e. Part of my
re e n o ugh, s
s e c o n d -han n d m a ny f r ie n d s dro
im it e d Edit io
w heel. It
had
h a d is re a t s n ’t n d s u o u s a rs a . A L r in g
is no t a g o e A rg e ye e, n e te e the
above a such MX-5 d e, a go er. Two ond on green o oden Nardi s ilometres on r
ic Mazd d in what the e and rider a
s first on h beige leath I got my sec odel. o k
s w 0,000 ptem e b

initely
c la s n it er m And a
this
can b e f o u
hrills. ‘H o rs
green w journeys lat latest classic old it t h in g like 8 t it in mid-Se st always
appeal frills, lots of t
d e f X-5
long M brand new, th fortunately,
e Is som e
n I bou
ck whe y-to-day trav
gh el I alm
o
have . N o
deed!”
d a y I’m this t im e
leath e r ! U n
ger car.
This w a s a mis- c lo
For da
one.’ In
“Som
e
d M X -5!“ ith red
Grey w I wanted a big I’ve scarcely rty, as
en
driven 2005.

a thi r e
becaus ause since th ect, and as sp
c r f
o

t i n g take , b e
re and
p e

get for
journ alist
in a ca
r as pu

e l, Fre elance
g
chorna
Dick S raaf
g
De Tele

o r H S Public-
Edit
Va s te nhout, tokampioen, o derato
r
Wouter office for Au e Nieuws- toWee k , m
ity, me
dia onal s. i tor, Au ery
e A u to, Regi etautonieuw k J a c obs, E d
n t h e Discov
Fran pe ( o
KNAC D roep (RNG), H l. ear Euro oWeek TV thing I need is aty.
car
G .n h G
bladen beterewerelydcurrent MX-5 isir with Fi f t ut
a
l) and A
t u
the las en bea
e time, cross this gre and this
D e . M ffa
nl and my second MX-5131 PS. My love oaf 19, when I Channe rs all th
g test c
a a
6 I cam
e r,
ideal ca sen
“This is el, a 1.8i with 9, at the age magazine. “Drivin n. But in 200 oncept of my uld have cho te-
w e c w o ardi in
od 8
1995 m l started in 19 in a motorin blic debut
g of my o is exactly th ecisely how I leather N ought
X - 5 s p r a m
this m o d e
ws a r t ic le
eric a n pu
hid- The M and one wa top, cre speed. So I b
hort ne unced the Am as somewhat h , black y ga-
re a d a s
n o w a nd second reen metallic ather rare six the time in m he
a n le e, g r f .T
ticle e artic e pag it: dark ngine and the it sits most o do without it
This ar / M X-5. Th corner of th he accom- e h o dis-
of the
Mia ta
e top le
ft
, so wa
st rior, 1. 8
ly. Altho
u g
n ot wan t t
t h a t nev r
e
y, in th ck and white e at first sigh s.
t. d ia te ou ld – c a r d just
de n a w a
b la l lov c ar it imme er a cover, I w – affordable rts car I teste
in t il nt d n ly sp o
was pr
inted as s
But it w larly drive dif
fere rage un erhaps the o exotic
o to . p r what
gp h
panyin of my job, I re tting behind
gu the MX-5 is me, no matte
ts
Be ca u se
I pr e fe r g e appoin
heless, fo re .”
Nevert my MX-5.” b e
of
wheel

50 celebrities and the MX-5 51


lovakiaditor,
S anko, E
lV
Samue or a Sport r had to be red,
ot
Auto M lear vision: the ith the stronge nd
ca st
ac port, w ansmission a
“I had level S
m e n t eed tr
equip
n g in e , six-sp r this vehicle
e fo st
107 kW search o had ju e. I
iff e re ntial. A ak dealer, wh a t p r ic
d v re
at a Slo g for – at a g old all my
ended k in I s
was loo ays to buy… o my
what I t h ree d a w ent int
h a d o n ly h e M a zd
e earned
c a r s and t e n w e hav e are
othe r
g e . S ince t h
s, b e c ause w en-
r a d ,
new ga ame Vagabon the two of us
n ic kn t im e, t in g
Spaian
t h e t h e , tw is
f, road all t roads
ova l , TV Che on the dless straigh ee at forgotte ne
n
nd drid s car. e n of f e o
Mario S t Coque - Maly dynamic sportes joy in g g c s o m
a n d d rinkin h u r r y… If h ave
curves er in a hines
an ns nev cars and mac there is
restaura perfectly pleatesr, because somuen car. In
ing tim
a t io
gas s t hat hat
“This is wo-sea ove all it’s a f l the city ubted t proof t
d it is a t ab fee ever do en my MX-5 is me of them.”
g la d. And n really It’s really a th so
I’m
is a crow you ca . a soul, f light inside
h re e m e r a d r id m e o
t
p r in g or sum 5 through M a fla
the s a MX-
a Mazd
driving
ist,
blast.”
ta, J ournal
d o A z pilicue
Eduar
e-
r y well d s
e m b e c hnicall , it
COTY0M nly a te
chan ics
alist,
s M X 5 is not o reakable me ertain
nb c C o l l i n , Journ ber in the
ist “The 9 adster with u o touches an he bull’s-
d
Robert em
J ournal here ro tr it t t, jury m r award
ay elebrity andfulfTilVled when thoeickeidosf Mazda
w e d re h e
s ig n
style w
it h ics
h class handling, and b l a d eived
rw t ive B r it is Afton the Yesatomers who recit!
No attra c f the road f
n, C e ch cence o set. Its brings a r o
Larssed roadster was toait that long. Thhusiasm for driv,init is
be g,
ik reminis from the out s h ift, still ry”. World C e first c
u
9. I lov
ed
Jan-Er
t h e th 8 d
f a re ldn’t w f ent dition ht ion of centu among mer 19 ear - an
ream o ed out. I cou ombination o found. In ad eye rig rly the precis re in the 21st “I was tas in the sum car after a y
e d ’s a u
“ Th
a d m ov ett e r c n ot b e u ps. There partic u la
ing ple
a s ia
their M I had to sell t
he
big a n d h . A b ca n
turally y and design age and cof fe e c ous driv e r d ! ore in
ame na enorm How ev seco n it anym ce, I
MX-5 c s, price, quali
t lugg ster.” e v e r y sta n d
es o m fo r both o st s o ld road it ot
missed hen I could n erious abstin in
en
sportin tical, with ro he world’s m , w f s
Finally er 16 years o new in Swede nly
n
ac t
very pr hy the MX-5 is 2006 , a f t
ar, so ld er a n d o
rea so n w
n d a s imilar c revious own en had the
fou ne p It ev
1989, o meter. car.
August m on the odo as in my first
0 0 k m e n d 10,000
70,0 d io , the sa rs la ter, a a
origina
l ra umm e n’t had
Three s and we have s of
re, ad
km mo , but lo
g le p roblem .”
sin re..
pleasu
driving
ce
K a r l s son, Vi
Gert s AB
l i s h e r , Förlag g
Pub jöber
l b i n ss on & S
A
rt, …) e autum
n
(Bilspo my MX-5 in th car
red t the
“I orde nounced tha riod, I
ic ia ll y a n
n g w a iting pe
was off ing a lo e 1990
.
hard e s a m e day it ! Then, follow e first of Jun
a TV-sm how g, thanks to its a per- 1989 -
t h
in Swe
de n nt h
e car o as delivered
to a
i be sold to pick up th ief for
R u s s utin
ear ily way of c mnd the Mazda ishju
st
en sher, would a t w c h
SweDdackewall, Publieden
o - 5 t h r - in -
To p G car is wa s a b le
irs t M X as e d ito yed my
a to r of my da ith, a s of t e
inal 199
0 finally ly it was the f lped that I w en I have enjo drive it
Mode r X- 5 is o re d w ive n es cts a r t an or
ig
Most li
k e h e t h time to
Gunna or & Sport Sewfirst who bougthion MX-5.
, the M r get b espons . It refle ably ince
e.Ru, mind I neve
ia , Editor, Drivsnowy winters inwant a car thadt , as we all knows of brilliant simrive.” , the r plicity ( it prob t the time). S ely I lack the eter and it’s
Russ
m e r
ot ng th enera custo zine a rtunat odom
sky with Russian in traffic and . It talks. An few example er a great d Auto M as amo third-g t maga
Bilspor ry summer b
ut unfo 00 km on the
Petrov
l kewall
w
ned this 3 ,0
Mikhaie as it may seemI spend two houicrates. It entertainis one of the vecrar’s ability to de s just
, s s y v li Mr Dac d he also ow ve
a n MX-5 e t. The car ha
“Stran
g ry day mun MX-5 on a model, like I w a n
ro of. Eve the job. It com happy. Mazda gadgets, but new.”
fold in g
g fo r n a li st b e r of still like
le thin g jour n the n
um
fect litt es a motorin based o
m a k n ot
what lue was
hen va
time w

52 celebrities and the MX-5


53
-
p h e n Bayley ic,
Ste crit
r i t i s h design d
B an
l critic
cultura a nd atin of all
r l other”
itze
tion
authore absolute distilla M “ m fa
h e ence o
ted wit
h
Sw tor, Le
, Edi onside
red t
n be c the ess es all- ns, to
“It is th le idea, execu t. It is
p ain M otor ra
c-
i p p e C lementto some fans - cbale price, it featuurre in all condityiolively en-
of a sim ion and restr
Marc h –
the Phil r Miata reason
a
ing ple
as ip. A ve
r
harles ron of -5 – o h
om ss For a iv smans
t, pa h in g
The MX onvertibles. and dr ued
Lord C siast and pat eed
c t d craft X-5 has contin sonable
ingd
ta m e ations
– aiku: so ls, a c e n s y a n
arkson r and like a h to its essentia ster n s u r
ed Ked Designer of
d e r u m f lu x h e M rea
l hu Sp m o ax im el o g; t for a
n i t Jere m y C
aste strip p e d
ngine d ro ad
ing ent d Festival ofelped re-invent tible: m
conver ith a rather g
ood lev , great brakin and offered
U broadc V Top t- e
oo dlin g tica l
The Murray – Renowand the McLareany
n r o n 5h ad han ic, prac
small, f n syllables.” Goodw l Mazda MX- d made the
w
g l i s h gether hing ro s. Sympathet
En CT tee n is
list, BB y Times rigina car an to
urr in four fe, gine, a
s
qualitie
Gordon cars rdon M r n a “The o sports ay – sa ping its t!
e race u it is tod still being
J o b le
o da rd a
develo
he Sun
n G ff o a t
l a O r o f th e a ter w h st ’s a mu
s
Formu ar'. Fou
nde
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n’s Gear, T n roads
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le, whil price, it
u p e rc Colin C oduction e Sun onder- ta
F1 's of and Tahnd honest and nwdwich comfor to drive.”
u re
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Design et out to recrea , but with well d of course, rity “Basic ill a bacon sa nd good gr ea t f
t f u t
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“Mazda 60s’ Lotus E day usability the MX-5 its p it .O ®
e c a i l l b e
k th ct w
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class od e as g ngev m od
auce¡ .”
in e e ring, go ability. This h ranteed its lo and go
butter plash of HP s
I t h i n c o l l e
will
g
en
Mazda
reli
typical e of purpose,
which g
ua
it has a
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and se
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no

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t rey’s i n a l M X- 5
n
U k Dempse Actodrr(iGver, orig
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nd
wner a nd Am GT
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and
p se y
Dem o spen
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- 8 , w h M X - 5
RX yboy rive a w
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o en fort
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“I’ve be ports cars on racecar is a 5 avorite
riety o
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M y “d aily driv -8, but one of car a cou-
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ot e ba
three-r es was to rac -5 is so well ut
95%, b ist
ournal
p e r ie n c Th e M X e a t
ex a g o. d r iv t g J
ears
ple of y kes it quite e lent to extra
asy to ct th a
oto r i n
that it m a
dea l of ta
er’s c a r. “
-up b H a l l – the m l MX-5 ased p
ri-
has is b t. Its se-
a
t a k e s a great much a driv
e r i ca n stand Bo i g i n M - 5
the ornd longevity the plicity of concet was
X p
behind
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last 5%
. It’s ve no – Am levision hosnt s sa sim ha
Jay Le
s t
te reatne ity and a tune dard, no
“Any g the car’s pur started with
ian and re gene
ratio a stan
comedthe car that futuiginal MX-5. It wat
ill in that it ecom e
marily e ss is h to b
r succ noug
“I think t will be the o ear 2025… w e
h cret to t engaging e
ll e c h e y ill b p le ye g in g.”
will co g f o r t M X- 5 w sim
who wa
s sin
Mustan or today, the tt e r
be the n g is f m a
s t a
the Mu ure.”
fut
of the

54 celebrities and the MX-5


55
Motorsport
MX-5 Journalist Race, Japan 2005

56 57
Sweden

USA

United States
MX-5 Playboy Cup Series
In the United States, Mazda is one of the most-raced
SPAIN uk USA brands with racing series nearly every weekend. One of
these is the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup,
which currently races identically-outfitted Mazda MX-5s
with components from MAZDASPEED Motorsports Devel-
opment. The Playboy MX-5 Cup provides an affordable,
entry-level nationwide professional series using produc-
tion cars. Modifications to the intake and exhaust sys-
tems increased the output to an excess of 200 PS. There
is a special suspension kit with adjustable stabilizer bars
and racing tyres, along with upgraded brakes and all the
safety equipment required like welded safety cage and
racing safety belts.

MX-5 Racing in
Europe


switzerland Japan USA Spain & Portugal
MX-5 Cup ( 2001 / 2003 )

M{zd{ MX-5 in
Mazda Motor de Portugal organised one of the most in-
professional drivers organised in a large number of
teresting and competitive cup series’ between 2001 and
clubs; who competed on oval circuits, airfields,
2003, and it remains a legend to this day in Portugal. It
supermarket parking lots and public streets.
confirmed that any competition with the MX-5 is ex-
However, divisive opinions about the safety deficits

Motorsport
tremely fun to follow. The Portuguese Mazda Cup con-
of convertible sports cars led to a decline in the
sisted of around 20 MX-5s in a series of six, 50 minute
market for roadsters during the 70s and 80s.
races, with two drivers per car (four races in Portugal
and two in Spain). The Mazda MX-5s raced had the 1.8-
It wasn’t until Mazda first introduced its roadster
litre 140 PS engine under the bonnet with a safety roll-
With its perfect 50/50 weight balance, its rear- Miata, called MX-5 in Europe, that many sports car
cage, Avon Racing tyres, and some small changes to the
lovers involved in amateur motorsport realized
wheel drive character and its direct driving their faith in vehicles with tried and true what had been missing during the previous years.
engine and chassis. Using this format, Mazda Motor de
Portugal controlled costs, had nice entry prices and pro-
feel, the MX-5 is the perfect basis to production technology that is affordable to With its two-seater, Mazda offered a modern
interpretation of the functionally-equipped and
vided exciting racing.
purchase and maintain. Their powertrains should
create a true racing car. be easy to reach and work on, and they should emotionally-appealing roadster. For amateur race
In 2001 and 2002 Mazda Spain participated in the MX-5
have enough room for modifications. Basically one car pilots, it was the ideal basis – compact,

M otorsport today consists of many different Cup organized by Mazda Portugal. Each season the Span-
rule applies here – the simpler and easier a car’s lightweight, with excellent balance that makes it
types of competitions, and getting a clear ish team took part in a total of three races – two of them
production technology is to modify, the more easy to handle. Its four-cylinder engines in 1.6, 1.8
picture of it all is difficult. It has developed in a way celebrated in Spain and one at the Portuguese circuit of
popular it is amongst motorsport fans. Providing, and later 2.0-litre displacements had extremely
that is dependent on circuit type, locally-evolved Estoril.
of course, that the vehicle has on a sporty set of high levels of durability, used low amounts of fuel
race regulation traditions, and what kinds of and were very easy to maintain. Because output
vehicles are available. One of these forms is clothes when it leaves the factory.
levels of the production model engines were never
amateur motorsport, which despite its diversity maxed-out, hobby mechanics around the world
follows basic rules that apply the world over. It comes as no surprise that after WWII amateur
motorsport was first dominated by British, and always found fertile ground under the bonnet for
Because of this, timeless sports cars like the creative tuning.
Mazda MX-5 are very popular as base vehicles for later by Italian and German car brands. These
racing series. Automotive enthusiasts tend to put sports cars were driven by individual, non-

58 Motorsport 59
This was what Duane and Randy Simpson found out as
early as the US launch of the Miata in 1989. The
brothers opened a tuning company called “Simpson
Brothers Racing” in Illinois, became leading figures in
the newly-founded Miata Club of America, and began
competing with the first Miata race cars that same year.
The Simpsons kept it simple when transforming the
mass-produced roadster into a quick buzz-saw of a race
car. This illustrates why the base vehicle would become
so popular in motorsport – the air-conditioning system
and airbags could be removed, and the steering wheel
replaced by that from an RX-7. The muffler along with
the catalytic converter could be taken out to lower
exhaust-gas pressure. Then the driver’s seat, the
dampers, brake pads, wheels and tyres replaced. A
special roll-over protection was then added, and the now netherlands
race-ready sports car was prepared to compete in a
variety of competitive classes. This format also spared
the wallet of the driver. Nowadays, Mazda USA still
organizes the Mazdaspeed MX-5 Miata Cup, a hugely
popular racing series. Netherlands
Even here in Europe, the MX-5 has often been the choice total M{zd{ MaX5 cup
for use by competitive amateur race car drivers. The Mazda Motor Nederland participated in the 2009 season of the Dutch
annual Mazda Sport Club, for instance, is developing MaX5 Racing Championship with a Mazda MX-5 NA model. This racing
quickly into a very popular European racing series that event uses vehicles based on the first generation of the world’s most
allows teams to drive famous circuits – including Monza popular roadster. The MaX5 Racing Championship consisted of a total
and Imola – between April and October. And there are of nine races divided over four circuits. Mazda offered journalists with
other, smaller racing series from Sweden to Portugal a racing license and motorsport experience the chance to get the
that offer MX-5 enthusiasts a platform for motorsport Zoom-Zoom feeling for themselves. In all, six journalists took up the
activities. The popularity of each of these racing series challenge, leading the team to an excellent third place finish in the
does not usually extend across borders, but this does overall standings. The popularity of MaX5 racing is growing fast in the
not diminish the competitive intensity in any way. Netherlands. While the 2008 championship only had three cars, this
past season it numbered seven cars. The number of next season’s
On the other side of the world, the excitement that participants is already at 16 cars and counting. Due to a sponsorship of
surrounds racing Mazda MX-5 is also growing. Once a Total the championship is renamed to Total Mazda MaX5 Cup. You can
year drivers meet at the Mount Panorama Racing Circuit find more information at www.max5racing.nl
in Bathurst (near Sydney), Australia, to experience this
as intimately as possible in a timed-lap format. What Sweden
stands out here is that many of the participants drive
older MX-5s that are not even homologated for public MX-5 racing Cup
roads in Australia. These models are imported from A special MX-5 Racing Cup was founded in 2007 by racing enthusiasts
Japan. They have low price tags, wide tyres, roll-over in cooperation with the Miata Club of Sweden. Only a year later it was
bars, a limited-slip differential and a racing chassis. And already racing 10 Miatas on Swedish racetracks. This year the number
in Japan itself, “party races” have been organised that of MX-5 race cars participating has increased to 14, and for next year
allow fun, friendly MX-5 competition on the racetrack. about 20 cars will take part in the MX-5 Racing Cup.

Mazda can now look back on the success story of the


world’s most popular roadster that began its amateur
Switzerland
motorsport activity in the very first years it was
introduced globally. This has since grown into an MX-5 Cup (1999)
important chapter in the history of the Mazda brand, a In 1999, Switzerland was location for an exciting MX-5 Cup series of 12
chapter with many motorsport successes on races, including four mountain circuits. 17 teams took part driving
international racing circuits. production roadsters with a reinforced body shell, suspension, and
transmission, and special brakes. They were stripped of all comfort
components to be lighter, and had powertrain control and their exhaust
system race-modified.

United Kingdom
M{Zd{ MX-5
Championship:
Only the one-make, single-class Mazda MX-5 Championship in the UK.

MX-5 Journalist Race, Japan 2005

60 Motorsport 61

Reliability

A Long-Term Love Affair


Mazda MX-5 shares a lot with British roadsters from the 1960s and 1970s.
But one thing it does not share with these classic two-seaters is having to
adjust the carburetor on a daily basis, the smell of petrol in the
interior if you didn’t get it just right, and then there was the
rust. These roadsters were fun to drive, but required a
lot of care and maintenance – not so the Mazda
MX-5. Despite delivering unparalleled driving
exhilaration, it is also one of the most markets, Carsite.co.uk recently
named the MX-5 the number one
reliable and durable sports cars second-hand car of the new millennium.
ever made. “The Mazda MX-5 deserves the top position


thanks to strong reliability, value for money,
residual performance and driveability.”
MX-5 First Generation (NA) 1992
• Current mileage: 371,698 km • History: New piston rings at 240,000 km,
T his attribute was evident from the very
beginning. In 1990, for instance, Germany’s
Auto Motor Sport conducted a 100,000 km
The current third-generation has carried on this
tradition with flying colours. In Austria – where an
estimated 90 percent of all MX-5s ever purchased • Registration date: 15 June 1992
otherwise no issues

durability test of the first-generation roadster then are still registered – the MX-5 hardtop coupe (3 months old, 3,000 km) • Owner: Frank Kubelka (D)
wrote “By the way, the body [of the MX-5] version mastered difficult mountain conditions on
withstood the stress of 100,000 km as durably as a long-term durability test conducted by Alles • Special parts: Koni® suspension, • Owner statement: “Built to take curves fast
the rest of the parts did. It holds up on bad roads Auto. The Roadster Coupe, it writes, “…completed special alloy wheels and aero kit and in the red-line!”
just as well as it did at the start of our test.” its intensity test with no breakdowns at all – the
Germany’s Automobile Club (ADAC) came to the first car to do this since we introduced stricter test
same conclusion about the second-generation criteria two years ago.” And Germany’s DEKRA
MX-5 in 1997, saying “Anybody who has ever Mängelreport 2010 (Breakdown Report) recently
owned this cute two-seater raves about how underscored the roadster’s long-term reliability
trouble-free it is, something it does much better even further. Not only was the current, third-
than many everyday sedans.” generation Mazda MX-5 the most reliable car in the
convertible sports car category on their survey,
For a pure-blooded sports car that is red-lined the second-generation MX-5 (for cars with 100,000
nearly every day of its life, this is unique. Nobody to 150,000 km) also ranked first. This outstanding
expects a sports car to hold-up forever, but it reliability has ensured that the global love-affair
appears Mazda MX-5 is about as close to being with Mazda’s roadster has never been a cheap,
indestructible as you can get in this segment. In short relationship. It has continued for 20 years
the UK, which has one of Europe’s largest used-car and shows no signs of letting up.

62 reliability
EDITORIAL
Austrian freelance automotive journalist
Herbert Völker recalls what it was
like to experience the very
first Mazda Miata in
California in 1989.
Memories of

The Benchmark for Success
Some cars are a success from the start. Very few are successful even
before the start.

Crisp Shifting Mazda MX-5 won the 1989 Chicago Motor


Show’s “Most Fun” vehicle award, before any-
one outside Mazda had ever driven it. A month
it was first launched – including “Coupe of the
Year” in the USA and the “Best Sporty Car” in
the King of Cars contest in Japan. In 1990, it
Shades of Indy! Cheap thrills in the summer of ’89 – 5000 rpm in second later, Road & Track in the USA wrote “Its com- won the first “Automobile of the Year” award in
bination of communication, responsiveness, the USA, “Best new Model” in Japan’s Best
gear through a tunnel. The sexiest automobile fantasies ever seen predictability and forgiveness make it the best- Cars in 1989 award, and three major automo-
in these parts meet osteopathic innuendo regarding the handling two-seater I’ve driven in recent mem- tive awards in Australia.
ory.” (Dennis Simanatis). The same month, the
interior geography of small cars. UK’s Autocar had a report about it with the 20 years and over 160 awards later, the MX-5 is
title “Brilliant!” News of Mazda’s exciting road- still just as popular as it ever was. The third-
ster soon reached customers, and there were generation won “Car of the Year” in Japan and

B ut then a fresh idea appeared. We fantasized


about Malibu and a woman, maybe named Bar-
bara whose name is pronounced in that cool, West
So I embarked to Los Angeles in the summer of
1989. The Americans were making a lot of noise
about the car, but their seriousness was touching
so many orders in the early 1990s – many of
them from motor journalists – that waiting pe-
New Zealand, was named “Roadster of the
Year” in the UK, and the hardtop Roadster
riods of several months were not unusual. Coupe won Top Gear’s “Roadster of the Year,”
Coast way. A little out of breath, Barbara says some- too. The car was important enough that dealers just to mention a few. More importantly, more
thing pretty wonderful – what a leap in automotive were paying 50 percent more to get them in their Mazda was soon building display cases for the than 850.000 people had purchased a Mazda
evolution! showrooms. For those who had bought one of the trophies the roadster won. In 1989, it took MX-5 over the years, making it a true bench-
first ship-load from Japan, the car was even more home 11 awards in the USA and Japan – where mark for success.
In any case, before the first MX-5 ever hit the streets important. A letter from a steadfast lover of the
the hype coming from the Americans was driving roadster to his local Miata club said “When I’m old
the Europeans crazy. It was clearly California hype, and grey and sitting at a bridge table in an old folks
the world consisting of the area between San Fran- home, the memory of a certain small sports car will
cisco and San Diego. People couldn’t stop talking warm me better than the thought of a bet I won on
about “Miata” (not “MX-5”) and there was a real Mia- some horse track of life. At this point I will wish I had
ta-mania. We had seen some crazy car stuff in our always been the jockey.”
day, but this topped them all.
This car seemed to have the ability to bring out the
Important European publications reported from the best in people. Or was the opposite true? Miata
States (long before it was here) that the Miata was owner Ray Johnson from San Diego wrote “Some
“the first Japanese car in automotive history to be cars have more soul than the people who drive
going at excessive prices.” We weren’t long in won- them.” We should not forget that the Americans had
dering why. I have to add that two phenomenal prod- been completely lulled to sleep by heavy torque-con-
ucts would shake the world in 1989. The first was the verter automatics, and the Miata led them into the
most direct-reacting car ever – short, quick, smart, exciting world of high engine speeds. Yep, there is
good-tempered (at $14,000) – the second a new kind life over 5,000 rpm! From Miata Magazine comes the
of communication that was also short, quick, smart, following “Your Miata engine will take every shift at
good-tempered (with no SPAM). The first PCs were 7,000 rpm for 100,000 miles. Don’t be afraid if you
available and even though the Internet had not yet over-rev the engine something will break. Fuel cut-
gone global, a proto-email system had already begun off is at 7,300 rpm.” A thankful reader responded
in the US. Of course, people on the West Coast were with “memories of crisp shifting… from second to
some of the first to communicate this way with each third and redlining it hard.”
other, and had made history with their delightful
short messages. The combination of Miata, Califor- On the flight to LA, I continued to read Miata Maga-
nia and fast communication was a phenomenon that zine, and found under Cheap Thrills the following:
was so full of promise and fun, that we Europeans “Drive at 5,000 rpm in second gear through a tun-
could hardly wait to take part in it. nel. Shade of Indy!” It goes on to say that there is
supposedly a tunnel in Japan that’s six miles long.
This is how our American friends got the idea that
Japan must be an unbelievably romantic country. Six
miles in second gear at 5,000 rpm in a Japanese
tunnel – is there anything more beautiful than that?

I took Interstate 10 into the San Bernardino Moun-


tains and then drove into that area where the Great
California Desert meets the Mojave Desert. It’s good
country for a small, open-top car in winter. Once
back in Santa Monica, I tapped out a story about the
re-invention of the classic small sports car on my red In Spring 1989 a small group of German automotive journalists accepts a secret
Olivetti typewriter. Of course, I would soon have my invitation to the USA to experience the MX-5 live for the first time on real roads.
own computer. A new era was just beginning!

64 success story 65


Award list 37

38
2006

2006
U.S.A.

U.S.A.
CAR AND DRIVER -10BEST

Most Fun on Wheels - Playboy


From the USA to Australia, from Germany to Japan, Mazda MX-5 39 2006 Australia Wheels‘ 2005 Car of The Year - Wheels Magazine
is one of the most decorated sports cars of the last 20 years. 40 2006 U.K. Car of the Year2006-Best open-top - What Car?

41 2006 New Zealand 2005_New Zealand Car of the Year - New Zealand Motoring Writers Guild

42 2006 Japan King of Car - Sport Nippon

THIRD Generation 43 2005 Croatia 2006 ROADSTER OF THE YEAR

44 2005 New Zealand 2005 New Zealand Herald Car of the Year

1 2009 U.S.A. 10 BEST CARS 2009 - Car and Driver 45 2005 Portugal Cabrio of the Year

2 2009 Australia Gold Star Cars Awards-the Best Sports Roadster under $150K - Wheels Magazine 46 2005 U.S.A. Car of the Year 2006 Top 10

3 2009 Ireland New car magazine awards 2009 : Best roadster 47 2005 U.S.A. 10 BEST CARS 2006 (BEST ROADSTER)

4 2009 U.K. Best Roadster in 2009 Auto Express New Car Awards 48 2005 Japan Fashion Color Award (Galaxy Gray Mica Body Color/Tan Interior Color)“

5 2009 U.S.A. Consumer Reports Top Picks for 2008: Fun to Drive 49 2005 Japan Best Design Award

6 2008 U.K. Auto Express: „Best Roadster“ Used car honours 2008 50 2005 U.K. Roadster of the Year

7 2008 U.K. Auto Express: „Best Convertible“Award 51 2005 Japan CAR OF THE YEAR JAPAN 2005-2006

8 2008 U.S.A. Road and Travel: 12th Annual Sexy Car Guide: one of the Top10 Sexy Cars 52 2005 Canada Cles dor: Voitures sport - moins de $50,000 (Golden Key: Sports car - under $50,000)

9 2008 Thailand Thailand Car Of The Year 2008: The Best Roadster of 2008 - Grand Prix International Group 53 2005 U.S.A. Best Buy in Sport/Performance Car Class

10 2008 U.S.A. Consumer Report One of Top Picks 2008 ( Category Fun To Drive) 54 2005 Japan 2005 Good Design Award (G-mark)

11 2008 Canada World of Wheels Editor‘s Choice: Best Convertible of 2007

12 2007 Germany Auto Trophy 2007: winner in the category Cabrios/Roadster up to 30000euros - Auto Zeitung SECOND
Generation
13 2007 U.S.A. Car and driver one of the 10 Best Cars

14 2007 U.S.A. One of the Top 10 Most Affordable Convertibles 2007 - Edmunds.com 56 2004 U.K. Excellent Second Hand Buy

15 2007 U.S.A. One of the Top Ten Sports Cars - Luis Vuitton 57 2004 Denmark Best Roadster

16 2007 U.K.(Scotland) Scottish Car of the Year“Best Drop-Top“ - Orient Auto Magazine 58 2003 Israel 2003 Sports Car of The Year

17 2007 U.S.A. Number 3 of Top 10 Gay-friendly cars - Gay Wheels.com 59 2003 U.K. Best Handling Car

18 2007 U.S.A. The vehicle dependability of 2004 model year(Compact Sporty Car) - J.D. Power & Associates 60 2003 Portugal Best Speed trophy in Portugal

19 2007 U.S.A. Top honors of most fun to drive - Consumer Report 61 2003 Thailand Thailand Car of the Year 2003: Roadster

20 2007 U.S.A. Best Deal for Empty Nesters - Cars.com 62 2003 Denmark Best Roadster

21 2006 U.K. Top Gear Awards: Roadster of the Year 63 2003 New Zealand Best Mid Size Car

22 2006 Australia dCOTY 2006: Best Convertible - Drive.com.au /Sydney Morning Herald/The Age 64 2002 Australia Most significant car of the 1980s

23 2006 U.S.A. Most Efficient Two Seaters - Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 65 2002 Hungary Playboy Car of the Year

24 2006 Portugal Scottish Car of the Year - ‘Best Drop-Top’ - Association of Scottsih Motoring Writers 66 2002 Thailand Thailand Car of the Year 2002: Roadster

25 2006 U.S.A. Editor‘s Most Wanted Vehicles for 2007: Convertible Under $25,000 - Edmunds.com 67 2001 Portugal Best Speed trophy in Portugal

26 2006 New Zealand National Business Review Sports Car of the Year 68 2001 U.K. Top 10 Performane Car

27 2006 Australia Wheels Automotive Design Awards - Overall Outstanding Automotive Design - Wheels Magazine 69 2001 Japan Auto Color Award 2001 Grand Prix

28 2006 Germany Internet Auto Award 2006 - Auto Scout & Sydney Morning Herald 70 2001 U.K. Used Car Awards; Best Roadster

29 2006 U.K. New Car Honours: Best Roadster - Auto Express 71 2001 Canada Automobile Magazine’s only “11 time All-Star winner”

30 2006 U.S.A. Best Convertibles 2006: Best entry-level roadster - Forbes 72 2001 U.S.A. 10 Best

31 2006 U.S.A. BEST CARS FOR THE BUCKS 2006: Best Convertible For The Bucks - Forbes 73 2000 U.S.A. 2000 All Star

32 2006 U.K. Best used Roadster money can buy - Auto Express 74 2000 U.S.A. Best Convertible; MotorWeek Driver Choice Award

33 2006 Canada Best Sport Coupe/Convertible - World of Wheels 75 2000 U.S.A. A Best Base Sport; IntelliChoice 2000 Best Overall value of the Year Award

34 2006 Thailand Thailand Car of the Year 2005: Best Roadster - Grand Prix International Group 76 1999 U.K. Sports & Coupe winner

35 2006 New Zealand Driver Sports/Performance Car of the Year - Driver Magazine 77 1999 U.S.A. Best Buy

36 2006 Hungary Playboy Car of the Year 2006 -Sports Car - Cabrio, Price Value Category 78 1999 U.K. Used Car winner Sports car

66 Success Story 67


79 1999 U.S.A. 1999 All Star Best Entry -Level Sports Car 119 1991 U.S.A. Best Sports Car, Driver‘s Choice Awards

80 1999 U.S.A. 1999 Ten Best Cars 120 1991 U.K. Best Sports Car of the Year ‚91

81 1998 U.K. Best Sports Car 121 1991 Germany Best Import Cabriolet (readers‘ poll)

82 1998 U.S.A. 1998 Ten Best Car 122 1991 Germany First place, Fun Car category, Auto Trophy ‚91 (readers‘ poll)

83 1998 Japan First Prize Smash Hit Goods ‚89 123 1991 U.S.A. Sexiest Car For Your Girlfriend

84 1998 Scotland Sports Car of the Year 124 1991 U.S.A. 1991 All Stars

85 1998 U.S.A. Best Buy 125 1990 U.S.A. Ten Best Cars in the World & Best in Category, Sports/GT ($13,00-21,000)

86 1998 U.K. IBCAM Auto Design Award 126 1990 Australia Top 10 of ‚90

87 1998 U.K. 1998_Best Convertible Car 127 1990 New Zealand Car of the Year ‚90

88 1998 Croatia Sports Car of the Year 128 1990 Australia Best Sports Car

89 1998 U.K. 1998 Best Sport Car 129 1990 Denmark Prize of Honour ‚91

90 1998 U.S.A. Best Buy in Sport Coupes/ Sedan Category 130 1990 U.S.A. Top Ten Trouble-Free Cars

131 1990 U.K. Best Value Sports Car of the Year

FIRST
Generation 132 1990 U.K. Sporting Car of the Year

133 1990 U.K. Best Sports Car

91 1997 Australia Top 10 of ‚97 134 1990 U.K. Best Handling Car in the World

92 1997 Israel 1997 Sports Car of the Year 135 1990 U.S.A. Most Trouble-Free Sports Car, Initial Quality Study

93 1997 U.S.A. 1997 All-Stars 136 1990 U.S.A. Best Sports Car, Driver‘s Choice Awards

94 1996 Australia Top 10 of ‚96 137 1990 U.S.A. Most Fun to Drive, Cars for 1990

95 1996 Israel 1996 Sports Car of the Year 138 1990 U.S.A. 1990 Import Car of the Year (Second place)

96 1996 U.S.A. Best Buy in Sport Coupes/ Sedan Category 139 1990 Japan Golden Award, Super Goods of the Year ‚89

97 1996 U.S.A. Perfect Ten, The Ten Most Significant Automobiles From the First Ten Years of the Magazine 140 1990 Australia Best Car ‚89/90 & Best Sports Car ‚89/90

98 1996 U.S.A. Second Place, 1996 Cars Reliability (Sports/Sporty Cars Category) 141 1990 Germany First Place, Import Cabriolet category (readers‘ poll)

99 1996 U.S.A. MY96 Most Fun to Drive“ Car 142 1990 Japan Grand Prix, Exterior, Best Car Interior & Exterior

100 1996 U.S.A. Best Value in the Base Sports Car Category 143 1990 U.S.A. (one of) Best, Best and Worst of the Year ‚89

101 1996 Israel Car of The Year 144 1990 U.S.A. (one of) Best of the Decade, Design category

102 1995 Australia Top 10 of ‚95 145 1990 Australia Best Sports Car

103 1995 U.K. Best Sports Car in 1995 146 1990 Australia Car of Australia ‚89

104 1995 U.S.A. Most Problem-Free in Class 147 1990 Australia Car of the Year 1989

105 1995 U.S.A. 1995 All Stars 148 1990 U.S.A. Automobile of the Year (inaugural award)

106 1994 Australia Top 10 of ‚94 149 1990 U.S.A. Ten Best Cars

107 1994 U.S.A. 1994 All Stars 150 1990 Japan Design of the Year

108 1993 Australia Top 10 of ‚93 151 1989 U.S.A. Hot Products for 1990

109 1993 Germany Best Import Cabriolet (readers‘ poll) 152 1989 U.S.A. Coupe of the Year

110 1993 U.S.A. 1993 All Stars 153 1989 Japan Best Sporty Car, Kings of the Cars ‚89

111 1993 Germany Auto Trophy Best Fun Car 154 1989 Japan Grand Prix, Trendy Goods ‚‘89 (hobby & resort category)

112 1992 Australia Best Buys of 1992 Sports Car_ under a $47,280 category 155 1989 Japan Promoters‘ Cup, My Best Choice ‚90

113 1992 Germany Best Import Cabriolet (readers‘ poll) 156 1989 Australia Top 10 of ‚89

114 1992 U.S.A. 1992 All Stars 157 1989 U.S.A. Best 100 Products

115 1992 Germany First place, Fun Car category, Auto Trophy ‚92 (readers‘ poll) 158 1989 Japan First prize, Smash Hit Goods ‚89

116 1991 Australia Top 10 of ‚91 159 1989 U.S.A. Top Ten Import Buys ‚90

117 1991 Hong Kong Best Five Exterior Design Award 160 1989 U.S.A. Five Best Cars in the World (inaugural awards)

118 1991 Australia Best Sports Car, under $45,000 161 1989 U.S.A. Most Fun, Chicago Auto Fair awards

68 Success Story 69


MX-5 20th
Anniversary Edition

W hen first launched in Europe in 1990, Mazda MX-5 was as sporty


as you could get without being wealthy. From the very begin-
ning it delivered open-top, one-with-the-car fun for almost everybody.
And it was a pure and simple car, because Mazda had invested in the
essentials of driving fun and a true roadster look. During the 20 years
that followed, Mazda’s roadster managed to move with the times
without ever changing the essential character of the original model.
This is why Mazda MX-5’s popularity among normal customers and
amateur sports car enthusiasts shows no sign of waning.

To celebrate two decades of ongoing success, Mazda is offering a spe-


cial MX-5 20th Anniversary limited edition model of just 2,000 units
exclusively for Europe. Based on the current 1.8-litre soft top with
five-speed manual transmission, it harkens back to the original model
and is a true collector’s item. It comes with a strut tower bar for even
stiffer, sportier handling, and in three classic colours – True Red, Crys-
tal White Pearl and (for the first time on an MX-5) Aurora Blue. A spe-
cial styling package heightens the classic look with chrome grille and
headlight facia, chrome handles, silver-look fog lamp facia and 20th
Anniversary logos. Completing the exterior are 17-inch aluminium
wheels with a finish made especially for the 20th Anniversary MX-5.
On the inside are several features celebrating this unique sports car,
including stainless-steel scuff plates with the car’s unit number. There
are also body-colour decorative panels and body-colour seatback bar,
complemented by floor mats embroidered with the anniversary logo
and body-colour edging.

70 MX-5 20th Anniversary Edition


71
M{ZD{
MX-5 se
cond Genera
tion 199
8
Engine MZR 1.6
Transmissi
on In-line 4-cyl
Displacem inder DOHC
ent , 16V, Front MZR 1.8
Performan 5-speed man midship, re
ce 1597 cm 3 ual transmis ar-wheel dri
ve
Torque 81 kw (110 P sion
S) / 6500 rp
Max. Spee 134 Nm / 5 m
d 000 rpm 1840 cm 3
0-100 km/h 195 km/h 103 kw (140
PS) / 6500
Consumpti 162 Nm / 4 rpm
on 9.7 sec 500 rpm
(urban/90
km/h / 120 197 km/h
CO2 km/h)
10.6 /6.6 /8 8.5 sec
Tire Size n.a. (EEC S .1 l
tep 2 Regu
Chassis la ti ons)
185 / 60 R14 11.2 /7/8.5 l
Soft top ro n.a. (EEC S
telescopic d ad ster, monoco tep 2 Regu
ouble-actin que, indepen lations)
g, gas filled dent double 195 / 50 R15
Minmall ke d ampers fro w is hbone fron
rb weight nt and rear t and rear,
Dimension Hydraulic p . Ventilated
s 1015 kg ow er assist steeri discs front,
ng. solid discs
Length/wid rear.
th/height 39
(steel) 1405 75/1680/122 1025 kg
/ 1430 OR 1. 5 mm, 1.6 L
8L: Track fr : Track fron
50:50 weig ont/Track re t/Track rear
ht distributi ar (alloy) 14
on, Boot vo 16/ 1440,
lume 144 l,
Fuel tank ca
pacity 50 l

l D ata M X- 5
Technica
neration M{ZD{ MX-5 second Generation – Facelift 2004
M{ZD{ MX-5 FIRST Ge
1994
1989
MZR 1.8 MZR 1.6 MZR 1.8
MZR 1.6 eel driv e.
t midship , rear -wh Engine In-line 4-cylinder DOHC, 16V, Front midship, rear-wheel drive.
In-line 4-cylinder DOHC, 16V, Fron
Engine 5-speed manual transmis sion Transmission 5-speed 5-speed manual transmission /
Transmission 1840 cm3 manual transmission 6-speed manual transmission
1597 cm 3

Displacement 96 kw (130 PS) / 6500 rpm Displacement 1598 cm3 1840 cm3
85 kw (115 PS) / 6500 rpm
Performance 152 Nm / 5000 rpm Performance 81 kw (110 PS) / 6500 rpm 107 kw (146 PS) / 7000 rpm
135 Nm / 5500 rpm 197 km/h Torque 134 Nm / 5000 rpm 168 Nm / 5000 rpm
Torque
195 km/h 8.2 sec Max. Speed 191 km/h 205 / 208 km/h
Max. Speed
8.8 sec 0-100 km/h 9.7 sec 8.5 / 8.4 sec
0-100 km/h
Consumption 10 /6.9/9.1 l Consumption
9.6 /7.1 /8.1 l
(urban/90 km/h / 120 km/h) pendent dou ble wish bon e fron t and rear, (urban/90 km/h / 120 km/h) 10.2 /6.4 /7.8 l 11.4 / 7.1 / 8.7 (5-speed MT)
Soft top roadster, monocoque, inde s front, solid discs rear. 11.9 / 7.2 / 8.9 (6-speed MT)
Chassis d dampers front and rear . Ven tilated disc
t elescopic double-acting, gas fille Tires 185 / 60 R14. CO2 188 g/km (Euro Stage III) 210 / 215 g/km (Euro Stage III)
Hydraulic power assist steering. 990 kg Tire Size 185 / 60 R14, 195 / 50 R15 195/50 R 15, 205/45 R 16
955 kg 1410/ 1430 , Chassis Soft top roadster, monocoque, independent double wishbone front and rear,
Minmall kerb weight , Trac k fron t/Track rear
Len gth/ width/height 3975/1675/1230 mm telescopic double-acting, gas filled dampers / Bilstein® front and rear.
Dimensions volume 135 l
50:50 weight distribution, Boot Ventilated discs front, solid discs rear. Hydraulic power assist steering.
48 l
45 l Minmall kerb weight 1025 kg 1065/1100 kg
Fuel tank capacity
Dimensions Length/width/height 3975/1680/1225 mm, 1.6 L: Track front/Track rear (steel) 1405/ 1430 OR
1.8L: Track front/Track rear (alloy) 1416/ 1440, 50:50 weight distribution, Boot volume 144 l,
Fuel tank capacity 50 l.

72 Technical Data 73


09
d G e n e r at io n – Facelift 20
hir
M{ZD{ MX-5 t
adster coupe
SOFT TOP & ro 2.0 MZR
MZR 2.0
MZ R 1.8 6-s pee d Automatic

r-whee l dri ve.
, 16V , Front midship, rea
In-line 4-cylinder DOHC ma nua l / 6-speed Automatic
Engine 5-s pee d
5-speed ma nua l with manual shift mode
Transmission 6-speed manual 3
transm iss ion 3 1999 cm
3 1999 cm ) / 7000 rpm
1798 cm rpm 119 kw (160 PS
Displacement ) / 65 00 rpm 118 kw (160 PS) / 7000 Nm / 50 00 rpm
93 kw (12 6 PS 188
Performance 188 Nm / 5000 r pm /h
167 Nm / 4500 rpm 192km
Torque 212/ 213 km/h
194 km /h 194km/h
217/ 218 km /h
Max. Speed Soft Top 198 km /h 8.9 sec
Coupe 7.9 / 7.9 sec
Max. Speed Roadster 9.9 sec
0-100 km/h 10.9 /6.1 /7.9 l
Consumption l 10.1 / 5.8 /7.4 l
bined) 9.5 /5. 5 /7
(urban/extra urban/com 10.5 /5.9 /7.6 l IV)
188 g/km (Euro Stage
IV) 177 g / 181 g/km (Euro Stage IV)
167 g/km (Euro Stage front, mutilink rear,
oque, double wishbone
CO2 Soft top roadster, monoc ted discs front, solid discs rea
r.
Chassis / Bils tein ® mo not ube dampers. Ventila
monotube steering.
Hydraulic power assist 205 / 50 R16
20 5 / 50 R16
205 / 50 R16 or 205 / 45 R17
Tire Size or 205 / 45 R17

Minimal kerb weight 1100 kg
(+ approx. 37 kg for 1080 kg / 1090 kg 1495,
1075 kg nt/ Tra ck rea r 149 0/
Roadster Coupe) dth /he ight 4020/ 1720/1245 mm, Track fro 50 l.
Length/wi Fuel tank capacity
Dimensions on, Boot volume 150l,
50:50 weight distributi

74