Mazda MX-5 Miata Sets Guinness World Record –

2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata

One of the most popular cars in the world is the Mazda Miata (MX-5). Back in 2000 it set the Guinness World Record for the “best-selling two-seat sports car” with 531,890 units sold. The same car managed to take down another barrier as ten years later the Japanese automaker managed to sell 900,000 Miatas.

Unit number 900,000, which was built on February 4th , will be delivered to a lucky customer in Germany. The fact that this Japanese car will be heading to Germany proves who popular the MX-5 really is. We now can only wait for Mazda to break another record by making more than 1,000,000 units of their Miata model.

2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata

For this special occasion, we thought to give you all the relevant info about the Mazda MX-5 / Miata. It was introduced back in 1989 and opened a new segment for low-cost open-top two-seater sports cars. At the moment there are three generations of the car, with the current (NC) model having been produced since 2006.

The first generation – NA, was sold in more than 400,000 units from 1989 until 1997. The car had a 4-cylinder 1.6-liter engine until 1993 and after that it got a more powerful 1.8-liter. For some markets, the car was available with a de-tuned 1.6-liter and pop-up headlights. In 1998, the Japanese automaker launched the second generation – NB. The most significant changes included a small boost in engine power, the glass rear windows and the fixed headlights. The latest generation – NC, is offered with a 2.0-liter engine.

When it was first introduced, the Miata didn’t have any rivals as the production of small roadsters was almost inexistent. The only car that was somewhat popular was the Alfa Romeo Spider. Ten years earlier you would have had a lot of options to choose from, including the Fiat Spider, Triumph Spitfire, Triumph TR7 and the MG B.

The idea behind the Miata was to create a small roadster with a low curb weight and minimal mechanical complexity. It was designed as a philosophically descendant of the small British roadsters of the 60s, like the Lotus Elan, MG Midget, Austin-Healey Sprite and the aforementioned Triumph Spitfire.

The MX-5 has a traditional front-mounted power unit, a rear-wheel drive layout and four-wheel independent double wishbone suspension. The 4-cyilinder engine is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission in the first generation, 5/6-speed for the NB & NC, while the automatic gearbox is an optional feature.

It has unibody or monocoque low weight construction with detachable front and rear subframes. The Mazda Miata also has a truss marketed as the PPF – Powerplant Frame that connects the power unit to the differential, reducing flex and contributing to a more responsive handling. Some of the MX-5 models offer an anti-lock braking system and limited slip differentials. For the third-generation models, traction control is an optional feature.

Thanks to the fact that it has an almost perfect weight balance of 50:50, the MX-5 has nearly neutral handling. It is quite easy to induce oversteer and it is also easy to control it, which is why the Miata is a popular choice for stock and amateur racing, like the Spec Miata race series or the Sports Car Club of America’s Solo2. In addition, in the United Kingdom the car has its own championship, called Ma5da Racing Championship.

Aside from these world records, the Mazda MX-5 Miata managed to grab a lot of awards in its history. In 1989 and 2005 it was Wheels Magazine’s “Car of the Year”. Sports Car International said that it is the “best sports car of the 1990s” and “ten best sports cars of all time”. In 2005 and 2006 it was the “Car of the Year” in Japan. In 2005 it won the same award in Australia and managed to make it into the Car and Driver’s magazine annual “Ten Best” list for 10 times.

Two special models of the MX-5 Miata include the Superlight and the 20th Anniversary Edition. The first one was launched in 2009 and was a concept car commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Miata which was designed at the company’s studio in Frankfurt, Germany. It was made out of lightweight materials in order to improve performance, fuel economy and handling as well as the CO2 emissions. It didn’t have a windshield.

Mazda MX-5 Superlight

The car had its official debut at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show and it featured a MZR 1.8-litre petrol power unit that outputted 124 hp (126 PS / 93 kW) @ 6,500 rpm and 123 lb.-ft (167 Nm) @ 4,500 rpm. The engine was mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox. The car featured a double wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension and a Bilstein monotube damper. The MX-5 Superlight rolled on 205/45R17 tires and had 11.8-inch ventilated brake discs in the front and 11-inch solid brake discs out in the back. The car had a curb weight of 2,200 lb, 100 lb heavier than the NA.

Mazda MX-5 20th Anniversary Edition

The Mazda MX-5 20th Anniversary Edition was launched last year only in Europe in a limited edition. The car was available in three of the original colors from the NA model – red, blue and crystal white. The Japanese automaker rolled out only 2,000 units of this model. Each of the cars was individually numbered and featured a 1.8-liter engine. The soft-top roadster had a special bodykit that was adorned with chrome grills, door handles, headlight fascia and fog light surrounds. The car was fitted with 17-inch alloy rims.

2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata

The current generation of the MX-5 received a facelift in 2009 and is equipped with a 2.0-litre power unit that outputs 167 hp (169 PS / 125 kW) @ 7,200 rpm and 140 lb.-ft (190 Nm) @ 5,000 rpm – with the manual transmission. The engine cranks up 158 hp (160 PS / 118 kW) @ 6,700 rpm and 140 lb.-ft (190 Nm) @ 5,000 rpm when it is mated to the automatic gearbox.

2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata

The fourth generation of the Mazda MX-5 Miata will be launched most likely in 2012.

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