Mazda MX-5

Written By nyit on Sunday, April 3, 2011 | 7:03 PM


Mazda MX-5 

 The Mazda MX-5, also known as Miata (pronounced /miˈɑːtə/) in North America and Roadster in Japan, is a lightweight two-seater roadster, of front engine, rear wheel drive configuration, built by Mazda in Hiroshima, Japan. The model was introduced in 1989 and continues to be a best selling convertible. There are currently three generations of MX-5, with the current (NC) model having been in production since 2006. Now in its third generation, the MX5's first generation, the NA, sold over 400,000 units from 1989 to 1997 – with a 1.6 L (98 cu in) straight-4 engine to 1993, a 1.8 L (110 cu in) engine thereafter (with a de-tuned 1.6 as a budget option in some markets) – recognizable by its pop-up headlights. The second generation (NB) was introduced in 1998 with a slight increase in engine power; it can be recognized by the fixed headlights and the glass rear window. The third generation (NC) was introduced in 2005 with a 2.0 L (120 cu in) engine. It was launched at a time when production of small roadsters had fallen into almost total disuse. The Alfa Romeo Spider was the only comparable volume model in production at the time of the MX-5's launch. Just a decade earlier, a whole host of similar models - notably the MG B, Triumph TR7, Triumph Spitfire and Fiat Spider - had been available. The MX-5 was conceived as a small roadster – with light weight and minimal mechanical complexity limited only by legal and safety requirements; technologically modern, but a philosophically direct descendant of the small British roadsters of the 1960s such as the Triumph Spitfire, Austin-Healey Sprite, MG Midget and Lotus Elan. The MX-5 was designed with a traditional front-engine, rear-wheel drive layout and four-wheel independent double wishbone suspension. It has a longitudinally-mounted four cylinder engine coupled to a manual transmission (5 speed for NA, 5 or 6 speed in NB & NC); an automatic transmission is a cost option. The body is a conventional, but light, unibody or monocoque construction, with (detachable) front and rear subframes. The MX-5 also incorporates a truss marketed as the Powerplant Frame (PPF) which connects the engine to the differential, minimizing flex and contributing to responsive handling. Some MX-5s feature limited slip differentials and anti-lock braking system. Traction control is an option available on NC models. The earlier cars weighed in at just over a ton, with engine power output usually 116 bhp (87 kW). The later cars were heavier, with higher power engines. With an approximate 50:50 front/rear weight balance, the car has nearly neutral handling. Inducing oversteer is easy and very controllable, thus making the MX-5 a popular choice for amateur and stock racing, including, in the USA, the Sports Car Club of America's Solo2 autocross and Spec Miata race series and in the UK the Ma5da racing championship. Beginning with the third generation, Mazda consolidated worldwide marketing using the MX-5 name, though enthusiasts in the USA still refer to it as Miata, a name that means "reward" in Old High German. The MX-5 has won many awards including Wheels Magazine 's Car of the Year for 1989 and 2005; Sports Car International's "best sports car of the 1990s" and "ten best sports cars of all time"; 2005-2006 Car of the Year Japan; and 2005 Australian Car of the Year - and making Car and Driver magazine's annual Ten Best list 10 times



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