• AT 2,183 pounds, This Mazda MX-5 Miata is the Lightest One in nearly 30 years

A new Japan-only Miata, dubbed the 990S, will hit the road in December and will be just as light as the original

The Mazda MX-5 Miata is hands down one of the best-handling sports cars out there and for good reason. It was originally created nearly thirty years ago in a bid to capture the essence of lightweight, British open-top roadsters from the 60s. It was always a car that offered agility and stellar performance in a compact and lightweight package, all at an affordable price.

The lightest Miata in 30 Years

 AT 2,183 pounds, This Mazda MX-5 Miata is the Lightest One in nearly 30 years
- image 1028846

Although, over the years, that aspect has waned, as with any car and subsequent generations that follow, the Miata or MX-5 also got heavier. Now, though the Japanese automaker has gone back to the car’s roots and has created a new Japan-only version of the Miata, dubbed the 990S. As the name suggests, it weighs a featherweight of 990 kg or 2,183 pounds. This is round about the same weight as the original Miata, that tipped the scales at 2116 pounds. Mazda calls it “Key Seamest”, which roughly translates to less than a tonne.

But how exactly did Mazda achieve this?

 AT 2,183 pounds, This Mazda MX-5 Miata is the Lightest One in nearly 30 years
- image 1028845
And use lighter Rays Alloy wheels and upgraded brakes from Brembo. The car also uses a trick suspension system that prevents lean in and mimics electronic damping

Mazda engineers went to great lengths to shave off any extra pounds to further improve the car’s handling. They’ve reduced the unsprung mass, by giving the 990S, lighter rims from RAYS, and better brakes from Brembo. That adds up to savings of just under 10 pounds, at each corner.

 AT 2,183 pounds, This Mazda MX-5 Miata is the Lightest One in nearly 30 years
- image 1028848
Get rid of some of the sound deadening in the cabin

However, according to the Car Watch, major weight savings were achieved by getting rid of the infotainment unit by adding a more basic one instead (from the Mazda 2), losing some of the sound deadening, and fitting a thinner hood, which I’m sure will go a long way to gains in the way the car corners.

“Horsepower and fun are not proportional, but lightness and fun are proportional,” he told Car Watch The lighter the car, the more fun it is. If you enjoy driving, I think this roadster is the best right now.” - Shigeki Saito, the development chief for the 990S (as translated by Google).

Performance

 AT 2,183 pounds, This Mazda MX-5 Miata is the Lightest One in nearly 30 years
- image 1028847
Mazda has now created a Japan-only model, dubbed the 990S, which tries to capture some of the essence of the original car

The Miata never had the numbers when it came to outright performance when compared to rivals, however, what it lacked in power, it made up for it in the handling department. Under the hood lies a 1.5-liter engine that produces a mere 130 horsepower. But that should be more than adequate as the car uses a trick new suspension system that controls lean in. There’s also an open differential.

To Sum it Up

Sometimes, going back to the basics is what’s best and that’s exactly what Mazda has done here. With this new Miata, the automaker has now finally created a proper driver’s car which is not just light, but I’m sure will be a hoot to drive. The Mazda Miata 990S should hit the road in Japan, sometime towards the end of the year.

Here’s Richard Hammond on what makes the MX-5 so special


Source: https://car.watch.impress.co.jp/doc...

Khris Bharath
Khris Bharath
Khris is a classic car aficionado and adores his Jags and Alfas, although he keeps tabs on everything from super exotics like an old EB 110 to the latest from Lucid. Formula One is very close to his heart, and he diligently makes time to tune in for the Grand Prix on Sundays. Khris also loves his road trips and he prefers stick shift over an Auto any day.  Read full bio
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