The History of the Mazda MX-5 Miata

Mazda MX-5 Miata

Mazda MX-5 Miata


The MX-5 Miata is an iconic lightweight two-seat convertible roadster, featuring a front-engine and rear-wheel drive layout. The philosophy of the unique little roadster comes from small British and Italian roadsters from the 1960s but features modern technology.

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Early History

The MX-5 Miata debuted in 1989 at the Chicago Auto Show. The first-generation (the NA) MX-5 Miata sold over 400,000 units from 1989 to 1997, and was recognizable by its pop-up headlights. The second generation (the NB) was introduced at the Tokyo Motor Show in 1997 as a 1998 model year. The newer generation introduced fixed headlights; a new, glass rear window; and additional engine power.

Recent History

The third-generation MX-5 Miata (the NC) was introduced as a 2006 model year. While the exterior styling resembles the second-generation MX-5 Miata, other than the side-panel turning-lights, the cars share no components. The third-generation Miata features up-to-date technology and safety elements, and is available in both a hard- and soft-top. The Miata continues to be the best-selling two-seat convertible sports car in history, and a redesigned MX-5 Miata is on the way for the 2015 model year – rumored to be the edgiest MX-5 Miata yet. Only time will tell!

Mazda MX-5 Miata Awards

  • Wheels Magazine’s Car of the Year for 1989 and 2005.
  • Sports Car International’s “Best Sports Car of the 1990s” and “Ten Best Sports Cars of All Time.”
  • 2005–2006 Car of the Year Japan.
  • 2005 Australian Car of the Year.
  • Car and Driver magazine’s annual Ten Best list 14 times.
  • Grassroots Motorsports magazine named the Miata as the most important sports car built during the previous 25 years.

2014 Mazda MX-5 Miata Overview

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