As we approach the 30th anniversary of the Mazda MX-5, the world's best-selling sports car is back once again with a new limited edition model to celebrate its three decade long production life. The Mazda MX-5 30th Anniversary Edition will be available in both Convertible & RF (retractable fastback) guise and will sport a few new features unique to the special edition model. Specifically, it'll have an eye-catching 'Racing Orange' paint job with orange trimmed RECARO seats, continuing the colour co-ordination of Black/Orange, the anniversary edition will sit on 17" Dark Gunmetal coloured alloy wheels inspired by the RAYS ZE40 wheels used in the Global MX-5 Cup racing series. Only 3000 of these models will be made worldwide, 600 of which will be coming to the UK (400 convertible, 200 RF).
In our own way of paying homage to the world's most best-selling sports car, we thought you'd enjoy reading 30 of our favourite and most interesting facts about the Mazda MX-5!
Here's Our 30 Top Facts About The Mazda MX-5
It uses a front engine, rear-wheel drive setup (classic sports car recipe), though Mazda very nearly opted to go for front engine, front-wheel drive as it was during this time that companies were discovering the benefits of this layout.
- Excluding face-lifts, the MX-5 has had four different model generations, referred to by enthusiasts as NA, NB, NC & ND.
- Early models were sold under many different names depending on the market, in Japan it was named the Eunos Roadster, whereas the Americans referred to it as the Mazda Miata.
- The MX-5 has a near perfect 50-50 weight distribution ratio.
- It's the best-selling sports car of all time, winning a place in the Guinness Book of World Records in 2000. (531,890 units)
- The original MX-5 was first unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show in February, 1989.
- Mazda uses a design philosophy named Jinba Ittai for the MX-5, which loosely translates to "Rider and horse as one".
- The Fiat 124 Spider and Mazda MX-5 both share the same platform.
- Takao Kijima & Toshihiko Hirai were the masterminds behind the MX-5, working on the project since it's conception in the early 80's, though the idea for the model originally came from motoring journalist Bob Hall.
- Mazda wanted to reduce weight as much as possible. So much so, that even the drivers pedals have holes drilled in them, an approach that is known today as Gram Strategy.
- The MX-5 reached 1 million units sold worldwide in April, 2016.
- One of the few famous MX-5 owners was actor Simon Pegg; he owned one in British Racing Green which can be seen appearing as a cameo in the old TV series Spaced.
- Interior door handles on Aston Martin DB7 models during the 90's were actually the same part as the first generation MX-5.
- The 1.5-litre engine available in the current model is actually shared by the Mazda 2 Hatchback, it's also the smallest engine ever fitted to an MX-5 yet it's still faster than the previous 1.8-litre engine.
- In video games, the MX-5 first made it's debut in the Japanese arcade game Super Chase: Criminal Termination in 1992.
- The convertible roof can be operated at speeds up to 6mph.
- Jeremy Clarkson is a big fan of the MX-5, writing "The fact is that if you want a sports car, the MX-5 is perfect. Nothing on the road will give you better value. Nothing will give you so much fun. the only reason i'm giving it five stars if because i cant give it fourteen." He also commented "It's a cure for depression, this car, it really is. You just can't be in a bad mood when you're driving it".
- The MX-5 was originally manufactured in Hiroshima, Japan.
- Originally, the MX-5 used a 1.6-litre engine, however a 1.8-litre later joined the line-up. Today, you have the choice between a 1.5-litre naturally aspirated unit or a 2-litre turbocharged unit. While the 2-litre is marginally faster, both consumers and journalists alike praise the 1.5-litre engine for its revvy nature and old-school charm.
- The name 'MX-5' was contrived from 'Mazda Experiment' and being project number 5, however the MX-5 was originally going to be named RX-5, but the 'R' models were named after their rotary engine, which the MX-5 lacked.
- Since the models first inception, there have been a grand total of 85 different paint options available for the MX-5.
- The design of the Mazda MX-5 was heavily inspired by the Lotus Elan.
- Originally, the 5-speed manual gearbox used in the MX-5 was from the Mazda RX-7.
- The current MX-5 is 33mm shorter in length than the first generation model, though it's also slightly wider.
- It takes 12 seconds for the folding roof to raise/retract.
- The original MX-5 cost £14,925 in the UK. Today, an entry-level model is roughly £5000 more expensive, starting at £19,785.
- In the Disney/Pixar film Cars, characters 'Mia' and 'Tia' are both based off of the MX-5. If you look hard enough, both of their names resemble 'Miata'!
- The MX-5 has it's very own Motorsport series, the Global MX-5 Cup.
- One of the rarest models is the Mazda MX-5 NB Coupe - it was sold exclusively in Japan and was limited to only 200 units.
- The first generation MX-5 was the only model to feature pop-up headlights, from the second generation onward Mazda removed them for pedestrian safety concerns.
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