Mazda’s Miata Starts Off EmpireCar enthusiasts are always on the lookout for an affordable sports car. Over the years, many companies have tried to fill that niche, with varying success. Indeed, it takes a brave and intelligent manufacturer to come up with an attractive, pleasurable and cost-conscious sports vehicle. Luckily, Mazda was able to do just that.
Plans for a unique open two-seater began around 1981. With a team based in both California and Japan, a design focused on a compact, streamlined, easy-to-handle, and overall unassuming sports car began to take shape. Around 1989, to the delight of millions worldwide, the Mazda Miata was born.
The very first Miata was extremely small in size and the complete effect was certainly remarkable. Take the wheelbase, which was just 89.2 inches and stretched to a total of 155.2 inches. The highly engineered steering combined with the smaller disk brakes worked like a charm. The interior amenities were minimal, but sufficient. The idea was to keep the design simple and clean-looking. The very early models did come enhanced with air conditioning and a good sound system. All in all, it was a durable sports car equipped with the necessities.
The car’s light weight was a huge advantage when considering the engine options. Just over 2,000 pounds, the Mazda Miata did not need a big engine to produce the speed and excitement of a large sports car. At first, the Miata included a 1.6 liter, 116 horsepower engine and it revved from 0 to 60 mph in less than nine seconds. Obviously, by today’s standards this doesn’t seem all that incredible, but at the time it was a notable achievement that guaranteed a good time.
Indeed, the popularity of the Mazda Miata extends across the globe. This is evidenced by an increasing number of Mazda Miata clubs in places like Sweden, England, and New Zealand. Come see what all the fuss is about for yourself.
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