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The Mazda MX-5 celebrates 35 years today as it was presented at the Chicago Auto Show on 9 February 1989. Since then the Japanese car has entered history, as well as in the garages of many motorists around the world, it is no coincidence that it the best-selling roadster in the world. The MX-5 debuted on the domestic market with the name Eunos then replaced by the name Mazda Roaster, while in Europe we know it with the classic acronym MX-5 which is in fact the acronym for Experimental Project Number 5, while in America it is was pleasantly renamed Miata.
The MX-5 reinvented a dying industry
Surprising the automotive world, the Japanese roadster has effectively reinvented a sector in danger of extinction, that of classic rear-wheel drive sports cars, which are light and easy to handle, thanks to a front-mid engine configuration for ideal longitudinal weight distribution. Since then, the Mazda MX-5 has redefined open-top driving pleasure thanks to continuous refinement of the model by Mazda engineers. So much so that over the years the small roadster has won awards and recognition for its technical and stylistic excellence.
Rear-wheel drive and reference driving dynamics
Intriguing line, proportions of a sixties English Spiderina, rear-wheel drive and weight reduced to a minimum, for a dynamic complicity that is still a reference today. Under the hood, the MX-5 initially had a 1,600 cc DOHC 4-cylinder engine with maximum power of 115 hp, combined with a 5-speed manual gearbox. The ideal cavalry considering the weight which was less than 1,000 kg. Subsequently, the 1,600 cc dropped in available horsepower to 90 hp, but the 1,800 cc came in support with 131 hp of max power.
A value that still remains high on the used market
The MX-5 phenomenon immediately came to life with the first generation and before the arrival of the second series, the NB, there were several special versions. The rest is recent history, with the NC and the latest generation, the ND, which has undergone updates over the years while remaining, however, always faithful to the original concept. Even today, in fact, on the used market, a first generation MX-5 has a price range that fluctuates between 5,000 and 10,000 euros, excluding special series, depending on the condition of the car and the kilometers travelled.
Mazda MX-5, photos of all generations
Photogallery 22 photos
An aesthetic and technical update for its 35 years
To coincide with its 35th birthday, the Mazda MX-5 has been aesthetically updated with new front and rear light clusters. Added to which is a new infotainment system in the passenger compartment capable of guaranteeing more advanced connectivity and a more attractive Jinba Ittai driving experience. The introduction of the Track driving mode, in fact, increases the feeling of involvement of the driver, acting in combination with the Kinematic Posture Control system based on software that offers greater stability when cornering.