The MX-5 Miata (as it is known in the USA) was launched by Mazda at the Chicago Motor Show in 1989. Generally referred to as the Mk1 but designated the NA model and manufactured in Mazda’s Hiroshima plant, the two seater, front engine, rear wheel drive sports car is badged as MX-5 in the UK, whilst it is known as the Eunos Roadster or Mazda Roadster for the Japanese domestic market.
Inspired and massively influenced by British sports cars of the 1950’s and 60’s, as produced by Austin Healey, MG and Lotus, Mazda’s design brief was to produce a simple, lightweight, two seat roadster but with improved performance and reliability afforded by the application of the latest technology. Initially powered by a 1598cc fuel injected 16valve DOHC engine producing 115bhp, a 135bhp 1830cc option was introduced in 1993.
1998 saw the launch of the Mk2 MX-5. Designated NB, this model retained some essential elements of the earlier car but with many areas substantially redesigned. The most noticeable change was at the front end where the Lotus Elan inspired pop-up headlights were ditched in favour of the more aerodynamic fixed units.
The third generation of the MX-5, the NC was introduced in 2006. Whereas the NB was an evolution of the incredibly successful NA model retaining a number of common components, the MK3 was a ground-up redesign with no shared parts from earlier models.
Designated the ND model, the fourth generation of the MX-5 was launched in 2014, with the almost coupe like RF (retractable fastback) following in 2016.