What started as an homage to great British ragtops like the Lotus Elan has sold far more units than the MGB, Elan and Spitfire combined
Mazda's MX-5 is a two-passenger roadster manufactured and marketed by Mazda with a front mid-engine and a rear-wheel-drive layout. The convertible is marketed as the Eunos Roadster in Japan and the Mazda MX-5 Miata in North America, widely known to all as the Miata.
The MX-5 made its debut in 1989 after being conceived under a tightly focused design credo named Jinba ittai—meaning oneness of horse and rider.
The vehicle is noted for its small, light, technologically modern, dynamically balanced and minimally complex design. The MX-5 is the spiritual successor to 1950s and 60s Italian and British sports cars, prominently the Lotus Elan.
Generations were internally designated with a two letter code with the first generation being NA (1989-97) closely followed by NB (1998-99), NC (2005-06), ND (2015-16), and ND2 (2019-onwards).
Throughout the development of the automobile, a rigorous 'gram strategy' was applied ensuring the roadster had no superfluous mass. The engine frame is of aluminium, alongside the front wings and bumper reinforcements.
The car is the first Mazda model to use an electromechanical power steering. It's a compact dual-pinion setup located close to the front wheels for increased stiffness. It has a marginally quicker ratio than that of its previous versions, while the front wheels' castor angle is increased for better resistance to understeer.
MX-5's front cross-member is made of high-tensile steel. A higher proportion of the material has been used in making the car's body as well. The rear cross-member benefits from a more rigid truss structure with suspension mounts being reinforced all round.
The new MX-5's dashboard architecture is similar to that of Mazda 2, which is a good thing as the similar features and tactile switchgear work equally for the roadster.
For those not accustomed to the new MX-5, the cabin's compact dimension may make some people claustrophobic. You literally need to sink in before being able to survey the details meaningfully.
Broader drivers will find themselves in frequent contact with the centre console, door trim and the sides of the skinny footwell, along with the floorpan bulge denying them the option of folding their clutch leg away on motorways.
In spite of having a 20mm lower hip point for the driver's seat, for a person to drive, the seat is a little bit higher given that the steering does not adjust when reached.
Contemplating the above mentioned factors, it is pretty tricky to stretch your feet and get comfortable. How tricky you might ask? Tricky enough, for some to be put off the prospect of buying the MX-5 entirely.
Inside, the automobile uses a mix of soft-touch material and hard plastics. The two seater has a standard cloth upholstery. Leather upholstery, Nappa leather upholstery, Recaro sport seats, and heated seats are also available.
The MX-5 comes with the Mazda Connect infotainment, which features a seven-inch touch screen, a six-speaker audio system, HD Radio, two USB ports, Bluetooth, keyless entry, and a rear-view camera. Other features include navigation, a nine-speaker Bose audio system and satellite radio.
The Miata models have a manual-folding soft top, while the RF ones feature a power-retractable hardtop.
The Mazda MX-5 is offered with a choice of 1.5 or 2.0-litre SKYACTIV petrol engines. The 1.5-litre engine produces 130bhp, and launches from 0-62mph in 8.3 seconds. The lack of a turbocharger means the vehicle is not able to accelerate from low speeds. But being built light, drivers do not miss the low and mid-range shove that a turbocharger provides.
The 2019 Mazda Miata makes 26hp more than its previous versions and revs 700rpm higher, translating to 181hp and 7500rpm, which is minimal in the age of turbocharging, where a boost in power often comes from cranking up boost pressure.
Like its previous versions to date, the latest generation of MX-5 is superbly fun to drive with well-weighted steering and a balanced feel through corners. Noise at high speed was one of the old MX-5's problems. While the new version is better in this regard, there's still some degree of buffeting from the roof and door mirrors when you're cruising along a motorway. As the latest version is some 100kg lighter than the previous model, the characteristic Mazda MX-5 agility has been retained, and improved upon.
The MX-5 is more advanced than its predecessors in all areas. It's shorter, lighter and better laid out with sharper-looks which for some might be disarming and distinctive. Being lighter than its previous version, the vehicle is faster, more frugal and even more vibrant—making it more engaging to drive.
Depending on which generation you are thinking of buying, the price of the MX-5 ranges between Tk29,00,000 to Tk39,49,000.
So if you are looking for a sporty ride to enjoy the city's nightlife, do not hesitate to give this car a try.