The Miata/MX5 holds a Guinness Book of World Records title of as most successful two-seat convertible roadster in history…
Looking at the specs, it doesn’t seem too impressive.
A 1.6-litre engine, 116 horsepower, 100 lb-ft of torque, a 0-100 km/h time of less than nine seconds, 14-inch tires. Heck, my bicycle has bigger rubbers! Okay, maybe not.
But 25 years ago, the Mazda Miata was a product of those numbers. It wasn’t necessarily endowed in the engine department.
However, the two-door roadster did have everything else on its side. A sleek design, a peppy personality, a brilliant red coat and something that other cars have strived to achieve in their two-door roadsters over the years but have fallen short – longevity.
At a quarter century old, the Miata/MX-5 has achieved incredible success.
Close to a million of these drop tops have been sold worldwide. The Miata/MX5 holds a Guinness Book of World Records title of as most successful two-seat convertible roadster in history. Not bad for a car that packs in so many thrills for under $30K.
Over the years, the front-engine, rear-wheel drive car continued to encourage the masses to drive topless. Whether through a rag or hardtop, this specimen of automotive manufacturing and design allowed people to feel the proverbial wind in their hair within seconds.
I felt it as a kid as my mom was lucky enough to be one of the first Miata owners in BC when they came out in 1989 – a red one, of course – and took me out for rides frequently.
Those memories have stayed with me over the decades, though I’ve been able to form my own bond with the car.
Not only have we (meaning, the various MX-5s I’ve driven in the last in 11 years) put down thousands of kilometres together, we’ve also been paired up at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for the Skip Barber Racing School experience a couple of times.
Nostalgia is one popular element of its appeal, but there’s an undeniable fun factor. Whether racing it on a track or just taking it to the grocery store, the first turn you carve in it will rope you in like an infomercial in the wee hours of the night when you can’t sleep. But in the case of the MX-5, you won’t have any buyer’s remorse.
Fast-forward through the years and you’re now viewing the fourth generation MX-5.
And what better way to welcome the roadster to the stage here in California than via a little band called Duran Duran. And through a live satellite stream that was broadcast here, and abroad in Spain and Japan.
The reasoning? – Both the English music group and the roadster came into popularity in the 80s and continued to succeed and grow in status over the decades. Besides, “Rio” is an incredibly catchy tune to dance to!
That said the MX-5 has a new, eye-catching look to it. Not many specs have been released though I can tell you this: it’s lower, wider, and sheds 100kg in the making.
It also embodies the KODO or “Soul of Motion” design language.
This two-seater also comes with sexy character lines from its four corners. Furthermore, up front, you’ll notice its headlights that look like they’re eyeing its prey; unlike the first generation’s pop up/down headlights that were more than welcoming.
Like with all-new models of anything legendary, there will be a polarizing reception. Some might think it’s too radical. Some might fall immediately in love with it. And some will wait to drive it to make up their mind.
Regardless of the way it looks – which certainly helps its cause – it’s really about how you feel on the road, behind the wheel, and when you tuck it in at night. More details about the MX-5 are scheduled to be released at this year’s Paris Auto Show.
Either way, I can’t wait to drive it.