When Mazda threw the MX-5 in 1989 few would have bet on such success. Years later, the first version of the popular model is still a must among all fans of ‘open’ cars and now that it has entered the class of classics it has acquired even more value.
A simple body (steel with aluminum hood), accompanied by a longitudinal engine, a 5-speed gearbox and four independent suspensions, is enough to entertain anyone who takes it to the track or to the limit. Thanks to its lightness, but also to the basic structure. A funny spider that in the photo gallery of images shows itself in its very first version, full nineties, with retractable headlights.
The MX-5 NA, also known as Miata or Eunos Roadster, was unveiled at the Chicago Motor Show on February 10, 1989, and Mazda designers were inspired by the Alfa Romeo Giuliette Sprint and the Lotus Elan to make it functional and precise, even with very clean lines. It entered the market with a 115 horsepower four-cylinder 1.6 L twin inline cam power unit. A 1.8-liter engine and self-locking differential were also introduced in 1994. With any set-up, the car was a great commercial and critical success, so much so that Mazda never stopped producing it through subsequent generations.
In addition to the Le Mans version, with the orange-green colors of the Mazda prototypes that have written the history of endurance racing, few people know that the MX-5 has also been prepared in full electric (in partnership with Chugoku Electric Power Company – the car weighed almost a ton and a half!) and in an incredible hybrid with a rotary engine taken from the RX-7 and powered by hydrogen.
(images: Wikimedia CC, Wheelsage, RM Sotheby’s, Bonhams, Mazda)