you didn’t know about
Mazda MX-5 Miata
We won’t be wrong saying that Mazda MX-5 is one
of the best known roadsters in the world. Being one of the most popular roadsters worldwide MX-5 proves that even compact classic cars can be a profitable niche.
In 2019, Mazda celebrated its highly honorable, 30-year-old anniversary. In order to feast properly, Mazda launched a limited release model. Limited Edition Racing Orange version of MX-5 was a gratitude for the fans and at the same time – the faith of the future expression of the model.
While Mazda is considering what shall they do within the next MX-5 generation, we invite you to remember some really interesting facts from life of a popular rodster. 10 facts that you probably didn’t know for your attention.
Asked a journalist for advice!
Vast majority of cars on roads come from a desire to fill an empty niche and increase company’s profitability, but its not the case for Mazda MX-5.
In 1979 Chief Engineer of Mazda were chatting with Bob Hallu – the highly honorable journalist, and asked him a question: “What model should the manufacturer develop next?”
nd to the surprise of all, the journalist replied that Mazda should create a compact, double-seater roadster. But it was just the very start of a solid partnership.
Bob Hall later joined the Mazda Engineering Company and significantly contributed for the MX 5 recognition as an athletic roadster. And for future development of the project.
The car was designed for years
When the already mentioned journalist became a team member of the “Mazda”, he and his colleagues in the design studio in California began to form a vision of a Japanese roadster. This was back at 1982.
Inspired by Lotus
Various British roadsters have always been pioneers of the car genre, so it’s no surprise that Mazda has pursued to take an example from its counterparts. They knew exactly how compact roadster should look like.
While creating the MX-5, Mazda engineers took inspiration from Lotus, Triumph, Fiat and even Alfa Romeo projects.
Series of different concepts
Compact roadster is a very broad definition. „Mazda“ engineers have considered pretty much all the possible solutions for a perfect roadster recipe. Should it be rear wheels driven? Or maybe it should have a rear driven wheels with a middle mounted engine?
However, the major votes went to the British composition which consisted of the front mounted engine and the power send to the rear wheels.
The one and the only engine
According to the original idea of Mazda engineers, the upcoming baby suppose to have only one choice – 1.6 litres, four cylinders engine. Named B6ZE was developed specifically for the MX-5. But it received a lot of critisism regarding power shortage. So Japanese began to install a much more vigorous, 1.8-litre engine. Very soon after, owners of Mazda MX-5 began to add a compressor or a turbine by themselves.
Naturally aspirated engines have always been the MX-5 business card, but once, Mazda decided to carry out an experiment and in the popular roadster installed a turbo-charged petrol engine.
It was a limited edition Mazdaspeed version, which delighted MX-5 drivers with the vibrant 182 horsepower engine. Only 5428 of such versions were made.
Coupe body was considered
MX-5 with a coupe body type – Mazda specialists had this idea from the existence of the model. However, it became a reality as late as 2003.
In order to satisfy the most engaged MX-5 fans, Mazda made only 179 coupe models. And ofcourse, all of them were dedicated to the Japanese market.
Tested rotor engine
Efficient rotor engines have also had their journey to the MX-5 engine compartment. In 1994 Mazda installed rotor powerhouse into MX-5 which previously been installed only into RX-7. In addition, the rotor engine was not powered by petrol, but hydrogen instead.
Electric version was considered as well
Mazda’s experiment with the electric version of the MX-5 was a hardcore hit straight to the wall. Because of imaturity of the technologies back then, electric MX-5 range was only 100 kilometres. And it took ages to charge the batteries. However, electric powertrain idea might be coming back to mx-5 very soon.
Coupe body was considered
Up to now, Mazda sold more than 1 million different MX-5 models worldwide. However, today the demand of mx5 is decreased.
For example, during the first year of production, Mazda sold whopping 95 640 pieces of the Japanese roadster. When in 2018 the number is only 31,938.
From 1989 to 2018, Mazda sold 325,680 of the sportish cabrios in Europe alone. And it’s the second largest market for the MX5 after the US.