History of Mazda MX-5: 25 years of a myth
The MX-5 was unveiled at the Chicago 1989, on 9 February.
We are today witnessing a milestone in the automotive industry. We are only a few hours to meet the new Mazda MX-5, a new generation, and go with the four, a car all become alive motoring legend. It is the reference when it comes to talking about roadsters, something is certified by the Guinness Book of Records, the best-selling roadster in the world.
recently met 25 years, a quarter century offering a formula that has been repeated over 3 generations and that surely will be repeated with this new generation. A convertible two-seater, lightweight, rear-wheel drive, simple mechanical design, good feel of the gearbox and popular.
Today we move all the keys of the 3 generations of the Mazda MX-5, all the details of each of the Miata that they have accompanied us in the last 25 years. Birth of the project, the Mazda MX-5 Na, the NC, in a special way of welcoming the new Miata.
Basically it needed a roadster
February, 1989 and a new edition of Salon Chicago in the figures as highlighting Mitsubishi Eclipse, a new Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 equipped with a 5.7-liter V8 and 385 horses, renewed Nissan 300ZX, a Acura NSX even as a prototype, a Lamborghini Countach facing its last legs in the United States and a small Japanese roadster a Mazda MX-5 which it was presented to the public for the first time dressed in yellow, with classical optics instead of the retractable headlights, a cover for the hood and a spoiler on the tailgate.
Born the myth. A myth that had much of the original Lotus Elan in its philosophy in its design, a lot of those small British roadsters. A myth that end up becoming a mass phenomenon. In, personality, the MINI, the Mustang, the 911 Japanese.
It is undeniable aesthetic influence of the original Elan in the first generation Miata
also it came in a period where precisely abounded not accessible roadster. He Triumph Spitfire had died a decade earlier, as he had done the MG MGB. Nor was commercialized and the Fiat 124 Spider.
Instead Lotus now had a new Elan front-wheel drive just released also in 1989 (only 14 units were sold that year). Next to the new Elan, the Alfa Romeo Spider was the main alternative among roadsters.
With reference to the US market we find the Miata with Priced at $ 13,800 while the Alfa Romeo Spider was priced starting at 1990 from 16,950 dollars, coming to $ 23,950 depending on the version.
Designed in California, produced in Hiroshima
Since its origin, the Mazda MX-5 has been produced in Hiroshima and will remain so.
"I told Mr. Yamamoto that he should build an economic roadster". This phrase is considered the initial germ of Mazda MX-5 and hit the mid 70's mouth Bob Hall, US journalist engine early 80s went to swell the ranks of the Japanese firm while Kenichi Yamamoto, who had played an important role in the development of rotary engines, went on to become the president of Mazda.
the idea proposed by Hall Yamamoto is resumed and the research process was initiated to get out a roadster to the streets. The following years were used in the design choice, reaching 1986 with final approval of the project and the development of test units.
Choosing your design became a confrontation between the design studio in Tokyo and California, eventually clinching victory American subsidiary. The concept of the Californian study came under the name Duo 101 given the possibility of using both a hardtop as canvas roof.
In 1989 he was given the final name, Mazda MX-5 (Mazda Experiment and the project number, 5), calling Miata in the US market and marketed as Eunos Roadster in the Japanese market.
Mazda MX-5 Na 1989-1997
Concealable lamps are the main sign of aesthetic identity.
Rounded grille, simple characteristic curves and retractable headlights, came to the streets in 1989 the first Miata initially moved by a mechanical 4-cylinder, gasoline, atmospheric and 1.6 liter with power 115 hp which they were delivered to the rear train, with a manual transmission 5 and a pair of relationships 135 Nm. In addition to the manual transmission it was also available with a box 4-speed automatic transmission. The engine is quite delayed relative to the front, close to the train cabin.
Like its exterior shape, the interior resorted to a simple configuration, with an instrument panel and a center console with no frills. He could get to count, depending on the version, with air conditioning, power windows and stereo with speakers in the seats themselves. It was also available a steering wheel and a knob of change signed Nardi wood finishes and a handbrake handle and is also available with the same finish. Next to the original tires, of 14 inches, there were alternatives to the seal or BBS 15-inch Enkei an optional hardtop that initially was only available in red offered.
Inside, like the exterior or mechanical exude simplicity.
Its dimensions were quite contained, In fact, finding a demure size is one of the cornerstones of the design philosophy under which it was created, the Jinba-Ittai concept, referring to the link, the perfect union between rider and horse.
Figures have a length of 3950 mm, a width of 1675 mm and a height of 1,225 mm, It is its wheelbase of 2265 mm. His weight was another of the key considerations in its design, this first generation staying below tonne 970 Kg and also looking at development a perfect weight distribution between axles 50%.
The MX-5 Na started in 1990 in the US from $ 13,800
Its roof is manually operated, which will remain so until the arrival of the third generation with a process as simple and fast.
After this first version came in 1994 a new, more powerful alternative. Resorted to mechanics 1.8 liters, developing 133 horses. At the same time, 1.6 reduced its power to 90 horses, being outside the North American market this release. In addition to these developments they were introduced new security measures, with new reinforcements and the driver airbag.
From this first generation was defined a marketing policy in which abounded, exceedingly, special editions. Anniversaries, sportier alternative, more focused luxury, more or less equipment, with specific colors ... In fact the most basic versions lacked power steering, power windows and air conditioning.
Mazda MX-5 Nb 1998-2005
If anything has characterized the policy of marketing the Mazda MX-5 is the inordinate amount of special editions.
With the production of the finished Na in 1997 (though units were enrolled later) in order to put it concealable lamps. came the Mx-5 Nb, the second generation, and it made him carrying his design new curves, more marked nerves, but no drastic changes in design beyond the necessary disappearance of optical Na due to new regulations against abuses.
As with the exterior, inside the MX-5 Nb passes look more rounded design, something that already began to appreciate in the last units of Na, actually sharing among the latter units and the new Nb a fairly slick dashboard design. The center console and the central bridge are also very much like the Na known but duly modernized scheme.
Concealable lamps goodbye, hello more marked curved lines.
With Una part cycle very similar to that of Na , Nb offered from the start with two mechanical alternatives. On the one hand 1.6 110 hp and 134 Nm of torque and the other the 140-horsepower 1.8 and 161 Nm of torque, mechanics later, in 2001, would reach 146 horses Nb2 hand, also increasing its torque to 168 Nm of.
the barrier of 200 km / h speed limit was exceeded, but the acceleration values of 140 horses were being quite close to those of Na 115 hp, with only a few tenths in favor of Nb, which is understandable when you consider weight gain, now reaching 1,100 kg. Of course in the case of Mazdaspeed versions It is considerably lowered, reaching 0 to 100 km / h in just over 6 seconds these variants compared to more than 8 seconds employing conventional alternatives than 140 horses.
The transmission in the 5-speed was 1.6 while in 1.8 could be 5 or 6-speed Nb and only six speeds in the Nb2.
The dimensions of Nb were quite close to those of Na. He had a length of 3975 mm, a width of 1,680 mm, a height of 1,225 mm and a wheelbase of 2265 mm.
In addition, the hood of Nb already had glass at the back instead of the plastic casing of Na, but currently several companies of the auxiliary industry offer valid for Na hoods with rear glass.
With the above NB2 introduced new, but mild aesthetic nuances. They appeared new bumpers, wheels, seats ... and better brakes were introduced (something that has always sin Miata), chassis reinforcements and new suspension.
Continuing with this policy versions failed in the case of Nb an alternative conventional fixed roof, Roadster Coupé, nor supercharged versions, highlighting version Mazdaspeed, She coming to 180 hp also introducing aesthetic changes and improvements in the chassis.
Mazda MX-5 NC 2005 - present
Against a drastic change in its exterior, with obvious links, the Nc boasts an interior with a lot in common with Na.
We arrived at the third generation, the current (briefly) Miata. A third generation occurred where a significant generational leap, especially if we consider the timid step between Na and Nb. Earn dimensions, gains presence, the wheel arches become one of the highlights of its design and ties are maintained in elements like the front bumper or rear.
Inside instead it looks set to return to the first generation. Curves of the last units of Na and Nb to a straight dash with a front line that inevitably reminds us of the Na.
Simplicity, both exterior and interior and its mechanics remains its biggest asset.
Under the hood we find a Nc mechanical 1.8 126 horses and a 2.0 of 160 horses, in both atmospheric and 4-cylinder cases, with torque of 167 Nm and 190 respectively.
In 2008 this alternative received a face wash in which new bumpers were introduced, new optical and put to point suspensions also improve the feel of change, also having in Europe since an automatic alternative.
In 2013 reapplied a new update, this time with much smaller changes. braking is improved and more accurate throttle response, small aesthetic nuances on the front and an active bonnet was introduced ready to offer greater protection to pedestrians in case of accident.
This generation is a variant of the hood with classic canvas introduces retractable hardtop, automatic mechanism, which is referred to Roadster Coupé, RC.
In this generation it is worth noting versions as the Mazda MX-5 Super25, with rollcage, headlights competition on the hood of a lightened, a steering wheel racing and seat type backet, rims Volk and changes in the ECU and system inside exhaust; MX-5 GT, 205 horses, exhaust, a spoiler lip type at the rear and a front splitter or MX-5 Yusho, equipped with a compressor, obtaining a power of 241 horses.
Mazda MX-5 Nd: the fourth generation of myth, what will it bring?
In just a few hours we will leave doubts. know the Mazda MX-5 Nd, the fourth generation of the Miata. For now it's all a mystery, but we would pose to the new MX-5 some of those unmovable features that were introduced 25 years ago in the Hall of Chicago: clean design, uncomplicated as several ribs; a carrier simply cut in which we must make room and new trends in multimedia systems; a weight content and fair mechanical complications.
It will turbo? Adopt elements of the design language of the new Mazda3 and Mazda6? Nothing left to discover.
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