The History of the 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.
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.
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.