History of the MX-5

The Mazda MX-5 has been providing owners with entertaining motoring since 1990. It was at this time that the majority of European car manufacturers decided that there was little or no clamour for affordable convertible performance cars. It took a certain Japanese company to see differently.

The Hiroshima-based marque’s enthusiasm for, and belief in, the MX-5 proved entirely correct – it was an instant success.

The car was initially released with a 1.6-litre engine, and a 1.8-litre unit was added shortly thereafter. This two-door two-seater brought the fun back into driving, and it soon became clear that a second-generation model would be developed.

This arrived in 1998, and the MX-5 Mark II now had competition. However, Mazda was still the go-to company for a reliable, safe and affordable roadster. The second-generation MX-5 added more equipment and features, such as twin airbags and a glass window that superseded its vinyl forebear. The 1.6-litre and 1.8-litre engines were made more powerful too…

Seven years later, the Mark III model was released. It was bigger than ever – and a little heavier – and even safer. In terms of design, the vehicle had a sharper, more muscular appearance. The engine was located further back, in order to deliver greater weight distribution, and a 2.0-litre unit was added, which produced 0-60mph in less than eight seconds.

In 2009, the current-generation MX-5 was issued to universal acclaim. In keeping with its performance prowess, the car took on a more aggressive look. It was also designed to be as light as possible, without sacrificing passenger safety – and it came better equipped too. The interior was revamped to make the most out of the available space. The MX-5’s engines were fine-tuned to enhance both potency and efficiency.