Cars Mazda Mazda MX5 Miata

2016 Mazda MX-5

2016 Mazda MX-5 High Resolution Exterior
- image 614474
  • Mazda MX-5
  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Transmission:
    six-speed manual transmission
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    155 (Est.)
  • Torque @ RPM:
    148 (Est.)
  • Displacement:
    2.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    6.5 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    130 mph
  • Price:
    24915
  • car segment:
  • body style:

With a history that began in 1989, the Mazda MX-5 is one of the hottest-selling convertibles on the market. In its 21 years of history, the MX-5 saw three different generations, numerous design updates, and even more engine changes. However, the most impressive upgrade has been announced for the fourth-generation that debuted on September 3rd, 2014.

The Mazda MX-5 remains a rear-wheel-drive, compact sports roadster with an exterior design inspired by the Shinari Concept unveiled in 2010. With the new generation, the ND, Mazda focused on reducing the total weight to less than 2,400 pounds and implementing the SkyActiv technology that’s already available across the rest of its lineup.

Slightly shorter and lighter than its predecessor, the new Miata also received a new exterior design, which makes it unique among other Mazda nameplates despite featuring various cues from the company’s current KODO language.

Updated 03/25/2016: The new Mazda MX-5 was named 2016 World Car and World Car Design of the Year at the 2016 New York Auto Show. Masahiro Moro, the President and CEO of Mazda North America said it was a "Wonderful Honor" when receiving both awards for the company.

Continue reading to learn more about the fourth generation Mazda MX-5.

174 photos / 8 videos

Latest Mazda MX5 Miata news and reviews:

10 Most Affordable New Sports Cars for 2018

10 Most Affordable New Sports Cars for 2018

When you gotta go fast for not much cash

Although it’s easy to get lost in the deluge of noise surrounding fully self-driving, electron-powered commuter bubbles, there’s still a strong number of gas-powered sports machines out there to enjoy. And we aren’t talking about six-figure unobtanium supercars either - nope, we’re talking about loads of driving goodness to be had in the far more reasonable $20k to $30k price range. As such, we put together the following list of the 10 Most Affordable Sports Cars on the market today.

Looking over the list, some of you out there will undoubtedly point out how several entries aren’t your typical “sports car,” whether it’s the body style, drivetrain layout, or both. Regardless, every single one of these models comes packed with maximum smiles per miles, and for a lightweight price tag to boot. As such, we’ve included a few hot hatchbacks, a rally car, and a few others that fall outside the traditional sports car spectrum. Of course, there’s plenty of RWD coupes in there as well, so fear not and read on.

Continue reading for the full list.

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The 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata, on Sale in August, Gets New Standard Features and Increased Pricing

The 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata, on Sale in August, Gets New Standard Features and Increased Pricing

It gets cool options too

Having just updated the Mazda MX-5 roadster, the Japanese automaker introduced a similar upgrade for the Targa-style RF model. While the sports car remains unchanged on the outside, it comes with extra standard features and a new equipment package.

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The Best Cars Under $35,000

The Best Cars Under $35,000

These rides should be no-brainer purchases if you’re on a budget

For a lot of us, buying a car comes with a lot of anxiety, especially when it comes to models that are going to cost a lot of money. But there are some models in the market that provide us with what we want out of a vehicle at costs that aren’t going to burn holes in our pockets. These models can either be attractive, have posh interiors, provide ample amounts of power, or are just fun to drive. In some cases, some cars check off more than just one criteria, though all of them have one common factor among them. They all cost at or less than $35,000.

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Flyin' Miata Offers a Roll Bar for the Miata RF but It Comes at a Cost

Flyin’ Miata Offers a Roll Bar for the Miata RF but It Comes at a Cost

Bye-bye infinite headroom!

Flyin’ Miata, the company responsible for the best Mazda MX-5 upgrades on the market, is now offering a roll bar for the Targa-style RF model. The protective device was added to the catalog as a result of customer requests and makes the MX-5 RF safer at the race track. But there’s a catch — you lose the ability to lower the roof!

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Mazda MX-5: The Joy of Driving - Video

Mazda MX-5: The Joy of Driving - Video

No entry-level sports car has been as influential as the Mazda MX-5

Ever since it was introduced in 1989, the Mazda MX-5 has been one of the most popular models in the auto industry. The Japanese roadster is turning 30 years old, and to this day, very few models can compete with it as far as having one of the best drives in the business at its price tag.

The latest version of the MX-5 is a real peach. It may not come in the orange and green colors of the one that you can see in the video, but it looks and performs exactly like it. The latest version of the sports car — that’s the 2019 model — was introduced less than a month ago, and as expected for a car like the MX-5 Miata, it comes with plenty of aesthetic and performance improvements. The latter is manifested in the roadster’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, which produces 181 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque, numbers that represent an increase of 26 horsepower and three pound-feet of torque. Mazda accomplished that power bump by introducing lighter pistons and connecting rods to the four-banger. That’s on top of engineers tweaking the existing intake ports and fuel injectors, as well as installing a louder exhaust system that’s going to help make those joy rides that much more fun.

Outside of the mechanical upgrades to the engine, the 2019 MX-5 also received technical improvements all around, presumably done so that the current MX-5 gets to show off its capabilities before the next-generation version arrives. The MX-5’s single plate flywheel, for example, has been replaced by a dual-mass flywheel that should improve the roadster’s responsiveness. Throw in the modifications to the drive ratio, and you’re looking at a roadster that is doing its part in uplifting the legacy of its nameplate.

There aren’t that many cars in the business today that can offer the kind of bang for the buck like the Mazda MX-5. The fact that the model has been providing customers that value for the past 30 years is a testament to the model’s staying power in an industry that has unforgivingly chewed and spit out other models of its kind. And yet, as often as that has happened, the Mazda MX-5 has continued to thrive. It’s no wonder, then, that when it comes to affordable sports cars, there’s the MX-5, and then there’s everybody else.

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It's Official: The 2019 Mazda MX-5 Comes with a More Potent Engine And A Louder Exhaust

It’s Official: The 2019 Mazda MX-5 Comes with a More Potent Engine And A Louder Exhaust

Unveiled last week in Japan, the 2019 Mazda MX-5 is finally here to meet the rest of the world. Officially presented by Western Mazda PR teams in Canada, the U.S., and Europe, the refreshed Mazda MX-5 greets us with a 2.0-liter, naturally aspirated engine uprated to 181 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. Those aren’t the only improvements, though.

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The 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata to Come with More Power and Higher Red Line

The 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata to Come with More Power and Higher Red Line

One of the world’s best sports cars is getting about to become even better

The 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata is getting some needed updates, and a big part of those updates include a 26-horsepower increase that will give the popular roadster 181 horsepower to play with. The months-long rumor about the MX-5’s power bump has been confirmed, among other interesting bits about the updated version of one of the world’s most popular sports cars.

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Wallpaper of the Day: 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Wallpaper of the Day: 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

The little two-seater that could

It might be small, but it’s sporty and quick too!

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Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Gets an Update For The 2018MY

Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Gets an Update For The 2018MY

New packages and standard equipment highlight the changes on the latest Miata RF

Two years after unveiling the Mazda MX-5 RF at the 2016 New York Auto Show, Mazda is giving the raunchy sports car a new update ahead of its 2018MY release. The updates are subtle, but with a car like the MX-5 RF, even the smallest of changes can go a long way in giving the sports car a fresh perspective in the eyes of prospective customers.

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Mazda Updates the MX-5 For 2018; Adds Dark Cherry Soft Top Color

Mazda Updates the MX-5 For 2018; Adds Dark Cherry Soft Top Color

New body colors, a brake package, and standard infotainment round out the updates

The current Mazda MX-5 Miata isn’t old. In fact, it just debuted for the 2016 model year. Well, Mazda isn’t letting the icon age without change. The retractable fastback option came in 2017, and now for 2018, the standard MX-5 gets a few key updates.

New body and top colors bring fresh life while new interior leather options come to the range-topping Grand Touring trim. Mazda’s design team wasn’t the only ones to work their magic. The engineers retuned the rear suspension and power steering, likely matching the changes given to the Miata RF in 2017.

Owners of the performance-minded Club model can now get the Brembo/BBS Package, which comes with several items including – you guessed it – Brembo brakes and BBS wheels. The Club also now has upgraded 17-inch wheels, a better Bose sound system, and heated cloth seats for those chilly nighttime drives with the top down. And last but not least, the base Sport model now comes standard with the Mazda Connect infotainment system with the 7.0-inch display.

Continue reading for more information.

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Hagerty Has These 2017-2018MY Cars On Track To Be Future Collectibles

Hagerty Has These 2017-2018MY Cars On Track To Be Future Collectibles

Now may be the time to scoop up any one of these cars

2017 has been quite the year for the automotive industry. We’ve seen hypercars make their debuts. We’ve seen incredible advancements and electrification and autonomous driving technology. Heck, we’ve even seen deceased brands come back to life - shout out to TVR! - with a vengeance. One of the best parts of all these releases is that at some point, some of them will inevitably skip the depreciation curve and become collectible cars. The trick is figuring out which ones will be able to navigate down that road, and if you’re trying to do that, there’s no better source of authority in matters pertaining to the collector car market than Hagerty.

It’s safe to say that when the insurance company talks, all of our ears perk up. If it says that one of today’s models is on the inside track to be a future classic, there’s a good chance that it could turn into one. Ok, so enough small talk. Hagerty’s has already released its picks of 2017-2018 models that are trending on the right path. It’s not a guarantee that these cars will earn collectible status in the future, but having Hagerty’s stamp of approval goes a long way in shaping the opinions of car collectors all over the world.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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Halloween Special – “Costumed” Cars

Halloween Special – “Costumed” Cars

These rides aren’t what they seem…

I don’t think I’m alone in recognizing Halloween as one of the best holidays ever. In addition to pumpkin carving and excessive amounts of candy consumption, it’s an excuse to dress up in costume, giving us one day out of the year to become whoever (or whatever) we want. Of course, sometimes, this charade continues regardless of what the calendar says, even in the automotive world. Indeed, there are many cars out there right now masquerading as something other than what they really are. For whatever reason, these cars are draped in a costume that hides what they truly are underneath.

Carmakers do this for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, it’s because two car companies collaborate on a project and create something together. Sometimes, one car company adopts the bones of another brand’s car and slaps on new badges. Whatever the case, we’ve assembled here a list of dressed-up cars to keep you from getting tricked, no matter how sweet the treat might be. Read on to learn more, and don’t hesitate to provide your own examples of “Costumed” cars in the comments!

And oh yeah –

Happy Halloween!

Continue reading to learn more about a few “Costumed” Cars.

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Latest Videos:

Care to get a Mazda MX-5 to go with Your Copy of Gran Turismo Sport?

Care to get a Mazda MX-5 to go with Your Copy of Gran Turismo Sport?

It’s a unique bundle in Taiwan, but is it really a good deal?

Gran Turismo Sport has officially gone live so expect a few busy weekends ahead over here at the TopSpeed office. For those who haven’t gotten their copies yet, it’s important to remember that you can buy the game in a number of bundle options, including a Limited Edition version here in the U.S. that adds a metal case, several Group B rally cars, a couple of unlocked prototype cars, and 1 million credits. That’s a pretty nice offer, but it’s nothing compared to the Gran Turismo Sport Super Bundle that’s being offered in Taiwan. That package not only comes with a Sony Bravia 4K HDR OLED TV and an assortment of other goodies, it also comes with a special edition Mazda MX-5 Miata that’s all dressed up in a Soul Red paint finish.

That’s right. An actual MX-5 is included in the Super Bundle. It’s not exactly as insane as the Grid 2: Mono Edition that came with a BAC Mono dressed in a GRID 2 livery, but it’s certainly a big step up from the 1:43 scale Nissan GT-R Spec V that Gran Turismo 5 came in a few years ago. Should any of our friends in Taiwan avail of this bundle, they also stand to get a PlayStation 4 Pro, Playstation VR, a year of the PlayStation Plus online multiplayer service, a Thrustmaster T-GT steering wheel controller, and an Apiga AP1 racing seat just in case your couch doesn’t feel real enough. The downside to getting that treasure chest’s worth of goodies is that the Super Bundle doesn’t come cheap. The cost of one is just under $1.4 million NTD, which converts to around $46,000. Still interested?

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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Mazda Releases “Decision Tree” For Miata Owners Asked To Lend Their Car

Mazda Releases “Decision Tree” For Miata Owners Asked To Lend Their Car

There’s really only one right answer here…

We’ve all been there. Maybe it’s a buddy whose daily is in the shop for repairs. Maybe it’s a younger sibling who wants to impress a member of the opposite sex. Maybe it’s a significant other who just wants to see what the fuss is all about. Whoever happens to be asking it, it’s a question that can send a cold chill down the spine of any and all automotive enthusiasts: “Can I borrow your car?” Normal folks won’t get it, but if you frequent this website, you’ll understand. This shouldn’t be some off-hand, casual request, like asking for a stick of butter or to borrow your neighbor’s lawn mower. This is your car, the four-wheeled light of your life, the thing you daydream about, the hobby that eats up all your spare time and money, the machine that speaks to you in a language of squealing tires and popping upshifts. Luckily, Mazda gets it, as evidenced by this handy flowchart. Designed as a handy reference guide for Miata owners, we’d argue it’s applicable for anyone wise enough not to denigrate their ride by seeing it as merely some sort of transportation appliance.

Of course, we wanna know – would you be comfortable loaning your car out? Under what conditions would you be willing to give up the keys? What car-lending fails (or wins) have you experienced in the past? Let us know in the comments!

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Car Throttle Looks At Six Fantastic Facelifts: Video

Car Throttle Looks At Six Fantastic Facelifts: Video

A nip and tuck never looked so good

As we get deeper and deeper into auto show season (get ready for Tokyo!), we are often reminded of that age-old industry practice known as the facelift. In order to keep older models feeling fresh and new, automakers will often apply an update wherein certain exterior design features get tweaked ever so slightly, thus creating a somewhat different appearance. These design reworks are usually pretty mild – an extra crease here, a larger intake there, you know, that sort of thing. But sometimes, a facelift works some real magic for a car, giving it just the right sort of aesthetic, the sort of style that makes you stand up and shout “Yes! That’s what it’s supposed to look like!” In the above-featured three-and-a-half-minute video, our friends over at Car Throttle highlight six such instances when a facelift was just done right.

Included in the video is the Ford Mustang, the Nissan GT-R, the BMW E46 3-Series, the Jaguar XF, the Peugeot 306, and the Mazda MX-5 2.5. Throughout, Car Throttle points out what’s different in the new model versus the old model, highlighting why it works along the way. Indeed, the art of the facelift is in subtle effectiveness, with tweaks done that result in a whole that’s greater than the sum of its parts. Synergy is the key, boosting what works, and diminishing what doesn’t. We think Car Throttle is on to something here, and as we dive headlong into a fresh batch of revisions and updates for the upcoming model year, it pays well to take note of what a good facelift looks like.

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Donut Media Gets Deep With the Mazda Miata: Video

Donut Media Gets Deep With the Mazda Miata: Video

The essential info on the essential zoom-zoom mobile

It’s no secret that we here at TopSpeed are fans of the Mazda Miata. In fact, we’re willing to bet most of you out there reading these words right now are fans of it as well. And what’s not to like? The beauty is in the simplicity of it – engine up front, power at the rear, and just a little bit of weight in between, all spread evenly in a 50:50 ratio from tip to tail. Makes perfect sense, right? But how did Mazda end up making a plucky sports car now known as the right answer to any automotive question? Well, our friends over at Donut Media put together this eight-and-a-quarter-minute video explaining exactly that.

The video adheres to the traditional format, mixing a recap of the model’s history with sarcastic wit and a flurry of pop culture references. The video walks us through the car’s development, debut, and subsequent generations, plus (and this is important), why it’s the friggin’ answer to everything. Seriously, to quote the video – “People love racing these cars!” Whether you’re a hardcore Miata devotee, or just someone who enjoys jokes about hairdressers, this video is sure to provide some entertainment. So then, dear reader, is the Miata really always the answer?

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Mazda MX-5 RF – Transfagarasan Experience

Mazda MX-5 RF – Transfagarasan Experience

Wouldn’t you love to take a nice drive down the Transfagarasan in the MX-5 RF?

Transfagarasan – one of the most beautiful mountain passes in the world. It’s rated as one of the best road trip by Top Gear and was recently featured in a Lamborghini commercial. Now, Mazda has gotten in on the action by showcasing the Mazda MX-5 RF on the famous road. This video only runs about 2.5 minutes, which means you actually get to see very little of the 56-mile mountain pass, but it’s still a sight to see, whether you’re a fan of the MX-5 or the gorgeous scenery afforded by these grand mountains in Romania.

Unfortunately, we don’t get to see the MX-5 actually put in work. For the most part, it is driving slow and creeping along as most people usually do. Most of me just wants to scream “punch it” already. I mean, after all, this would be a fun road to go all fast and furious on, don’t you think? Maybe do a little drifting? Well, at least when the road is empty like in the video. Anyway, keep reading to learn a little more about the road and check out Mazda’s latest video.

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2017 Mazda MX-5 "Ultimate MX-5" by Long Road Racing

2017 Mazda MX-5 "Ultimate MX-5" by Long Road Racing

Unlock your MX-5’s potential with an aftermarket upgrade that really goes all-out

Suppose you have a 2016 or 2017 Mazda MX-5, and for whatever reason, you’re not feeling that it’s given you your money’s worth. Do you stick with it and appreciate it for what it is? Do you try to sell it and be done with it? Or do you look for an aftermarket tuner that can give you the MX-5 of your dreams? Three doors. Three different options. One choice. No one’s going to begrudge you if you pick either of the first two options, but before you decide on those two doors, MX-5 tuner extraordinaire Long Road Racing has an offer that could help you change your mind.

The tuner calls it the “Ultimate MX-5,” and as the name obviously implies, it’s a program that features a wealth of upgrades on just about every corner of the roadster. It’s too early to say if this is the most comprehensive aftermarket kit for the Mazda sports car, but let’s just say the list of upgrades it’s offering runs long and complicated. Then again, “long and complicated” are small prices to pay if your MX-5 is going to end up as a car that can reach its full potential as a bonafide performance beast. Remember, there’s a lot more to the Mazda MX-5 than meets the eye. The key in this sense is to find the right people to help you unlock the car’s unbridled capabilities, and as far as its offerings are concerned, that might just very well be Long Road Racing.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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Latest Wallpapers:

TopSpeed's Top 5 Convertibles That Won't Break The Bank

TopSpeed’s Top 5 Convertibles That Won’t Break The Bank

Enjoying unlimited headroom with limited outlay

Well, it’s officially summertime, and that means it’s the right season to get out and enjoy the warm weather. And, if you have the means, that should also include breaking free from the confines of a fixed hardtop roof and enjoying unlimited blue-sky headroom. Unfortunately, getting behind the wheel of a convertible isn’t always the cheapest proposition around, but fear not, because we’ve assembled five of our top picks for going topless without breaking the bank.

Of course, there are plenty of other options out there at this price range, but we decided to cut out the flab and only keep those droptops that you’ll actually want to drive. That means each offers something interesting under the hood, all while maintaining that fun in the sun factor. Of course, no roof means you’ll get a little extra slop in the corners, given the lack of chassis rigidity, but that’s okay – you’ll be enjoying your time in the elements all the same. Let us know which you’d have in the comments!

Continue reading to learn more about TopSpeed’s Top 5 Convertibles That Won’t Break The Bank.

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Attack of the Coupes: Subaru BRZ vs Mazda MX-5 Miata RF

Attack of the Coupes: Subaru BRZ vs Mazda MX-5 Miata RF

A deep dive into both coupes, both on the streets and track

The Subaru BRZ and Mazda Miata MX-5 RF are two interesting coupes that couldn’t be more different yet still belong to the same category. The seat count, roof style, and driving dynamics are the major differentiators, while cylinder count, drive wheels, and manual transmissions keep the two related. But which is better? To find out, I spend a week with each car, back-to-back, and flogged each at the Circuit of the Americas racetrack.

The chance to get production cars on the Circuit of the Americas racetrack doesn’t come around too often. The busy track holds events for Formula One, MotoGP, American Le Mans, and the Rolex Sport Car series, among others. However, I got the chance with the Texas Auto Writers Association and their Springtime Auto Roundup. Forty-plus vehicles from several automakers were on hand with an open track for testing. How’d the Mazda and Subaru stack up? Keep reading to find out.

Continue reading for the full run-down.

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2017 Mazda Miata RF – Driven

2017 Mazda Miata RF – Driven

The less-expensive Porsche 911 Targa

Needing no introduction, the Mazda Miata RF is well into its first year of production. This retractable fastback version of Mazda’s insanely popular two-seat sports car not only adds a level of interior comfort with lower noise levels and better insulation against extreme temperatures, but also adds some beautiful aesthetics to the MX-5’s Kodo Design language. Coated in the gorgeous Machine Gray metallic paint, out recent test car proved the Miata RF is more than a mere replacement for the last-generation power-retractable hardtop.

The Miata RF is a looker. Its styling flows with more grace and elegance than the ragtop convertible. Crisp edges meet with curved fenders and voluptuous haunches. Mazda’s attention to detail moves the Miata further up-market, while its price and fun-loving nature remain firmly planted in the obtainable sports car category. Aside from the roof, the Miata RF changes little from its roadster counterpart. An extra 113 pounds, a slightly revised steering calibration, and modestly retuned suspension comprise the most notable differences. But how does this affect the drive? To find out, I spent a week with the Miata RF, flogging it over familiar roads around Central Florida, all the while enjoying the springtime air flowing through the open cockpit.

Continue reading for the full driven review.

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2017 Mazda MX-5 by BBR Motorsport

2017 Mazda MX-5 by BBR Motorsport

More power in store for Mazda’s resident roadster

The Mazda MX-5 Miata is considered one of the most popular sports cars in the business, regardless of segment. The Miata’s popularity has lasted for almost three decades and the recent release of the fourth-generation MX-5 shows that its status in the business is showing no signs of abating. In fact, the MX-5 is so popular that British tuner BBR has made a good business out of developing and building aftermarket programs for the Japanese sports car since its inception in 1989. Fast forward to 2017 and BBR is at it again with a new kit for the MX-5 that helps the roadster attain power levels in the neighborhood of 248 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque.

Before those figures get lost in the scope of BBR’s tuning kit, consider that the tuner actually presented a similar program for the MX-5 not too long ago. Yep, back in September 2016, the British tuner unveiled two programs for the roadster: the Super 200 and the Super 200+. That "+" meant it peaked with an output of 214 ponies and 183 pound-feet of twist. It certainly didn’t take BBR long to outdo what it did only seven months ago, but the best thing about this new kit is that it may not be the last one that BBR has up its sleeve as far as the MX-5 Miata is concerned. This program does, after all, come with a “Stage 1” level so expect higher stages to come in the coming months.

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Here's How the Mazda Miata's Retractable Hardtop Works

Here’s How the Mazda Miata’s Retractable Hardtop Works

Think of it as a baby Porsche 911 Targa

So the Mazda MX-5 Miata RF is here – hallelujah! This is the hard-top model Miata loyalists have been wanting for four generations now. The RF, or Retractable Fastback, combines the closed-roof quietness and all-year functionality mixed directly with an open-air driving experience on warmer days. But how did Mazda squeeze a folding hard-top into the impossibly small Miata?

The answer: very smartly. In fact, the mechanical bits and electric motors that operate the top, along with the actual aluminum top section and rear glass, all fold neatly into the space already reserved for the conventional soft top. That’s impressive.

What’s more, the Miata RF only compromises 0.1 cubic feet of trunk space over the soft-top model. And no, your luggage runs zero risk of getting smashed by the retracting mechanicals. The trunk is completely separate from the top’s storage compartment. Of course, don’t expect to haul home a bulk purchase of mega-roll toilet paper; the trunk only has 4.6 cubic feet of space.

Operating the top only takes about 13 seconds. A dash-mounted toggle switch does the deed. The car just has to be rolling below six mph. Want to see it in action? Keep reading for the full step-by-step process.

Continue reading for a video of the Miata RF’s Targa top.

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The Mazda Miata RF is Awesome Fun but a Terrible Car

The Mazda Miata RF is Awesome Fun but a Terrible Car

There’s a HUGE difference between fun and practical

This week finds a 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF in my driveway. I’ve looked forward to this week for a while, knowing the gold standard of two-seat roadsters was on my schedule for evaluation. I’ve driven plenty of two-seat coupes in my day, even a few Miatas. Cramped quarters comes with the territory – a fair tradeoff for better handling, light weight, and a tossable nature. But the Miata takes this to an entirely new level.

The Miata is cramped. Not cramped like a rented compact sedan filled with four full-grown adults on business traveling from the airport to a hotel. Not cramped like a two-door Jeep Wrangler with a weekend’s worth of camping gear loaded in the back. The Miata is outright tight. I’m only five foot, seven inches and I feel like a giant once I’ve fallen into the manually adjustable driver’s seat. There’s almost no room for everyday things like sunglasses or a pack of gum. This is fine on a short drive (like I’ve done with plenty of Miatas before), but living with the Miata for a week is a different story.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Latest spy shots:

2017 Mazda MX-5 RF Custom Style

2017 Mazda MX-5 RF Custom Style

The targa-top Miata gets its first special edition treatment

The Mazda MX-5 Miata has earned its place in automotive history as arguably the most successful compact sports car in the industry. It’s never had insane amounts of power, but its combination of size, performance, and versatility has turned into an all-time great. The model is over 25 years old and has seen four generations worth of changes; that longevity is another one of its most notable claims to fame. This year though, Mazda did something to the MX-5 that it hasn’t done in the model’s long and proud history. It reconfigured the sports car with a targa roof, christening it as the MX-5 Miata RF, and giving it an extra jolt life that it probably didn’t need on its way to becoming an all-timer. Not content with just introducing the MX-5 RF, Mazda is taking it to another level with the introduction of a special edition version of the Miata RF, called the RF Custom Style.

Scheduled to make its debut at the 2017 Tokyo Auto Salon in early Januaryk, the MX-5 RF Custom Style is the first special edition treatment given to the new Miata variant. We all know that Mazda’s not bashful about giving the MX-5 special edition varieties – the just-announced MX-5 Arctic Edition is proof of that – so it’s not a surprise that it’s giving some of that love to the MX-5 RF.

In true Mazda fashion, the exclusive features of the Miara RF Custom Style aren’t just cosmetic by nature. It’s not just about making the car look racier than it already is. It’s about enhancing the performance credentials of the rear-wheel-drive, compact sports roadster and make it even more hellacious to drive on the track. It’s true that the RF variant of the Miata is heavier than the standard version on account of the retractable roof panel and the lift-up flying buttresses. Mazda didn’t specifically mention it, but there’s a good chance that added aerodynamic components on the RF Custom Style is Mazda’s way of addressing the extra weight and improve the car’s performance to “standard” Miata levels.

There’s no way of confirming that at this point because the automaker did not release the performance figures of the MX-5 RF Custom Style. The puzzle pieces fit though and in the absence of anything concrete, it’s worth establishing that there’s really more to the MX-5 Miata RF Custom Style than meets the (naked) eye.

The numbers should be impressive, but there is a always a downside when it comes to special edition MX-5s. More often than not, they don’t make their way to the US market and unless Mazda specifically says otherwise, don’t expect the MX-5 Miata RF Custom Style to find its way here too.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Mazda MX-5 Miata Custom RF Style.

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2017 Mazda MX-5 Arctic Edition

2017 Mazda MX-5 Arctic Edition

Special edition MX-5 has us in the mood for winter

Special edition versions of the Mazda MX-5 Miata aren’t exactly a rare breed. In the sports coupe’s life span, we’ve seen one unique iteration after another, each more unique than the other. The current-generation MX-5 isn’t immune to this lavish treatment as Mazda has prepared SE versions like the Recaro Limited Edition, the Icon Special Edition, and the just-announced Arctic Edition. Each one of them had one thing in common: they were all MX-5 Miatas at heart.

The MX-5 Miata Arctic Edition follows in a long line of special edition Miatas. It’s got a special body color that matches the mood of the season it’s celebrating. It also has complementary trim accents and an interior that’s dressed to the nines. And let’s not forget about the cool name. “Arctic Edition” looks and sounds like a boss, which is probably why Mazda decided to use it again after first bestowing the name to, you guessed it, the MX-5 Miata 12 years ago.

The automaker has scheduled a February 2017 release for the special edition model, with only 400 units set to be made available. It’s not a big number by any means, but it suits the Arctic Edition well because all 400 units are likely to be scooped up faster than it takes Santa to make his own snow angel.

The only downside to all of this is that the Arctic Edition will be exclusively sold in the U.K. market, which means us folks here across the Atlantic are once again out of luck.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Mazda MX-5 Miata Arctic Edition.

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Mazda MX-5 RF Set To Arrive Two Months Earlier Than Scheduled

Mazda MX-5 RF Set To Arrive Two Months Earlier Than Scheduled

Prospective owners can get their hands on the targa-style MX-5 Miata a little earlier too

Mazda is in a giving mood this Thanksgiving and fans of the Mazda MX-5 Miata RF should be indebted to the company after it announced that the special edition MX-5 would arrive in the U.S. two months earlier than anticipated. Initially scheduled to hit dealerships on February 2017, the first wave of shipments are now expected to arrive in Tacoma, Washington by the first week of December, according to Mazda spokesman Jacob Brown.

Brown explained that a production shift in the company’s factory in Japan expedited the production of these models. Instead of waiting for the initial timetable, Mazda apparently decided to ship the cars to the U.S. earlier than expected. All told, a total of more than 500 MX-5 Miatas are expected to arrive in Tacoma in the coming days. Most of the models that will be arriving are Launch Edition models, but there are a handful of MX-5 Miata RFs that are also included, including some that are going to be delivered to customers in Canada.

There’s no timetable yet on when the cars will be delivered to their owners, but with the cars already in the US, it is expected to also happen much sooner than the initial schedule. That said, at least one owner has already taken delivery of his MX-5 RF. That owner is noted Miata collector David Putter, who received the keys to his Miata RF at the Los Angeles Auto Show after Mazda personally air-freighted his car all the way from Japan to Huntington Beach Mazda, making Putter the first ever paying customer to take delivery of the newest MX-5 Miata.

Soon enough, more owners will be handed the keys to their targa-style Miata RFs, which separates itself from all other MX-5 Miatas in existence because of its retractable roof panel and rear window. It still carries the same powertrain as all standard soft-top Miatas — a 2.0-liter inline-four engine that produces 155 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque — but its unique configuration is definitely unmistakable, and those who bought one can now enjoy being the proud owners of the new Miata RF much sooner than they expected.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Speedster Evolution

2016 Mazda MX-5 Speedster Evolution

Last year’s barchetta-style Miata loses weight, gets new paint job

At the 2015 SEMA Show, Mazda wowed the MX-5 Miata fanbase with the Speedster Concept. Essentially a barchetta-style interpretation of the roadster, the Speedster Concept also showcased a more aggressive exterior and performance-enhancing chassis components on top of being significantly lighter than the standard MX-5. The vehicle was a hit with Miata enthusiasts, but the Speedster never made it into production, Mazda instead opting to launch the targa-roof RF model. A year has passed since the Speedster Concept made its official debut and it appears that Mazda didn’t quite abandon the idea, creating an improved version for the 2016 SEMA Show.

Dubbed MX-5 Speedster Evolution, the new concept is exactly what the name describes: a revised variant of the previous barchetta-style Miata. Following last year’s SEMA Show, the MX-5 Speedster went to the Goodwood Festival of Speed and then returned to Mazda Design Americas, where the team that created it experimented to see just how much lighter they could make it.

Mazda shaved an additional 100 pounds from the first concept, which accounts for a total of 350 pounds — or 15 percent — from the original MX-5 soft-top model. The Speedster Evolution now tips the scales at 1,980 pounds, making it the lightest road-legal MX-5 based on the current generation model. The new concept was also inspired by the MX-5 Global Cup race car, receiving features otherwise not available for street use. Needless to say, this is a pretty package and an exciting prospect as far as future production models go.

“With MX-5 Speedster Evolution, our goal was to further deliver the essence of what MX-5 has represented for the past 27 years — lightweight engineering and pure driving joy,” said Design Manager Ken Saward, the man who headed the project. “In the future, we might see if there is anywhere else we could take out weight.

Updated 11/01/2016: Mazda unveiled the new MX-5 Speedster Evolution concept at the 2016 SEMA Show.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mazda MX-5 Speedster Evolution.

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2017 Mazda MX-5 RF Kuro

2017 Mazda MX-5 RF Kuro

Activating stealth bomber mode on the best-looking ND MX-5 to date

When Mazda pulled the sheets on the MX-5 RF back in March, I’m pretty sure the U.S. Geological Survey picked up a few tremors caused by worldwide jaw dropping. Adding an absolutely gorgeous retractable fastback roof to the already supremely excellent fourth-gen ND MX-5 was an inspired move on Mazda’s part, as evidenced by the fact all 1,000 examples of the Launch Edition were scooped up just a week after going on sale. Now, with SEMA just around the corner, the zoom-zoom brand is giving us a peek at a new concept based on the 2017 MX-5 RF, and it looks to take the new styling even further with a fresh paint job, new wheels, and upgraded suspension. Say hello to the Kuro.

While the Kuro is certainly one of the milder creations slated to appear on the Vegas show floor this November, it’s sure to be a crowd pleaser. The name is a reference to the car’s color, with the Japanese word Kuro translating into English as “black” or “dark.” Mazda says it means charcoal, so I guess I’ll default to that.

The Kuro joins the MX-5 Speedster concept as part of Mazda’s SEMA lineup this year, with the latter vehicle bearing a stripped-down curb weight and motorsport-inspired approach. By contrast, the Kuro seems more focused on achieving a certain aesthetic, although it should be noted the fastback still gets a little extra performance under the skin.

Both concepts come from the brains over at Mazda Design Americas, and were designed and built in Irvine, California. Look for the Mazda concepts to make their formal public debut at the 2016 SEMA Show on November 1st, but for now, read on for a little more info on the Kuro.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mazda MX-5 RF Kuro.

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It Only Took a Week for all 1,000 MX-5 Miata RF Launch Editions to Sell Out

It Only Took a Week for all 1,000 MX-5 Miata RF Launch Editions to Sell Out

The targa-roof sports car is quite popular with American enthusiasts

The new Mazda MX-5 RF, essentially a targa version of the current Miata, is a big hit in the U.S., where the initial allocation of 1,000 Launch Edition units sold out in just a week. According to the Japanese brand, "more than 500 loyal customers" put down deposits to buy the RF when the Launch Edition was first offered on September 26. When ordering opened to the general public on October 3, the remaining cars sold out in only 13 hours.

“The 2017 MX-5 RF Launch Edition preorder program was created to reward loyal Mazda customers with exclusive access to some of the first MX-5 RF models to be sold in the U.S., as well as to ramp up anticipation for what was arguably the star of the 2016 New York International Auto Show,” said Robert Davis, senior VP of U.S. Operations. “By every measure, this program was a success, and we’re excited to be that much closer to getting these cars into the garages of customers from all over the U.S.”

Customers who have purchased the RF Launch Edition will take delivery of their cars beginning early 2017. Once all Launch Editions are built, Mazda will begin production of the standard MX-5 RF in Club and Grand Touring trims.

As a brief reminder, the RF Launch Edition is equipped with three exclusive features for the 2017, including Auburn Nappa leather seating, a hand-painted black roof, and special badging. All 1,000 examples will be painted Machine Gray Metallic and shipped with a serialized Tourneau MX5 RF Launch Edition watch. The Launch Edition was the most expensive RF model, fetching $33,850 before options with a manual transmission and $34,925 with the automatic gearbox. For reference, the base model retails from $31,555 for the 2017 model year. Mazda says that 67 percent of customers opted for manual transmissions. It’s important to note that the manual gearbox also gives buyers access to a Brembo/BBS Package that includes a front shock-tower brace, side sill body extensions, lightweight BBS 17-inch wheels, and Brembo front brakes with wider pads.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Car for Sale: 2016 Global MX-5 Race Car

Car for Sale: 2016 Global MX-5 Race Car

Is this the first ND-gen track-goer on the used market?

Every now and then you come across an amazing car for sell on Ebay. In this case, I may have just found one of the first, if not the first, 2016 Mazda MX-5 Global Cup cars that is being offered on the used market. The car you see above has only be raced on two weekends at Watkins Glen and Road America and is said to be (and looks like it is) in like new condition. And, not only is it ready to go in races like the Battery Tender MX-5 Global Cup Series, but also in SCCA T3, SCCA MXp, NASA, and others. The seller actually has two ND Global Cup cars for sale, with the one shown here being No. 97.

The car comes equipped with an Aim dash, Onboard fire suppression system, GEM ECU, completely sealed engine, transmission, and differential, a differential and transmission cooler, weight box, removable steering wheel, and more that the seller didn’t mention in his listing. On top of that, the car comes with a space transmission that is still in the crate and has the upgraded gear set, spare wheels, rotors, brake pads, and wheel hubs. The seller is asking $53,500 for each of the two cars, which really isn’t a bad deal considering the price on the global cup car reportedly just climbed to $59,000.

The MX-5 Global Cup car uses the same SkyActiv 2.0-liter four-banger found in the standard road-going Miata, but it’s obviously heavily modified by the factory to live up to the rigors of track use. In the road-going model, it produces 155 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. Mazda has yet to release official power output of the Cup car, but word has it that it doesn’t put out much more than the road-going model. Power probably sits right around 170 horsepower at best. As of the time of this writing, there are just three days left on the listing and 11 people watching it. So, if you’re interested in getting into a Global Cup car that comes with extras, you might want to jump on it quickly.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Super 200+ by BBR

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Super 200+ by BBR

Two new engine upgrades from the British tuner that knows the Miata like the back of its hand

You might have heard of BBR already having a number of tuning programs available for the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata. Yep, those kits were introduced only nine months ago when the British tuner unveiled the Super 160, Super 175, and Super 190 kits for the Japanese roadster. Now, BBR is unveiling the next level upgrade to the ones it has already shown in the form of the Super 200 and Super 200+ programs that bring out as much as 214 horsepower and 183 pound-feet of torque from the MX-5’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine.

Whichever program you choose, you can be assured that your MX-5 Miata will carry more than 200 horsepower with it. Sure, it’s not as ridiculous as the Flyin’ Miata upgrade and its 525-horsepower output. But that tuner arrived at that power because of an engine transplant that gave the MX-5 a 6.2-liter LS3 V-8. BBR didn’t go to those lengths and yet, it’s own kit is just as meaningful for those who prefer to keep their MX-5’s true to its character.

Apart from the engine upgrades, BBR also worked on chassis, suspension, and brake upgrades for the Mazda roadster with the intention of making a balanced tuning program for the MX-5. The result is as what you’d expect for one of the most fun cars to drive on the road. The added power gives it an extra kick and the complementing suspension upgrades ensure that it still handles like a charm.

Continue after the jump to read the full review.

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2016 Mazda Miata "Indy" ND V-8

2016 Mazda Miata "Indy" ND V-8

The craziest Miata, and the first ND to have a V-8 crammed under the hood

The word “Miata” means different things to different people. To Mazda, it stands for complete success, since the MX-5 has always been one of the best-selling two-seaters ever made. To those of us who love to do the impossible, the word Miata immediately invokes visions of any crazy mod we can conceptualize without having an aneurysm. The Miata has long been a favorite go-to for harnessing lots of power in a little package, but the guys over at Flyin’ Miata are taking things to a whole new level with the fourth-generation model.

Just released for the 2016 model year, there really haven’t been too many intense builds of the ND Miata – until now. Apparently, the ND you see here was sitting on a lift with no heart to speak of, when the guys at Flyin’ Miata decided to cram their plastic, V-8 test block under the hood. To their surprise, it fit, and their newest project got underway. It’s not the first Miata to undergo a V-8 conversion, but it is the first ND-gen model to obtain such a transplant.

According to the second entry of the project diary on Flyin’ Miata’s website, the ND-gen model actually requires less modification to the chassis than the previous NA- and NB-gen models. But, before I got too much into that, let’s take a look at the car these guys have put together and talk a little about it.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Icon Special Edition

2016 Mazda MX-5 Icon Special Edition

Mazda is set to debut the fourth MX-5 Icon model at the Goodwood Festival of Speed later this month

It’s no secret that the Mazda MX-5 is undoubtedly a legend in the roadster world, with more than a million models produced since its debut at the Chicago Auto Show back in 1989. A fourth generation came to be for the 2014 model year, and now Mazda is announcing the first special-edition model derived from the fourth-gen model. Dubbed the Mazda MX-5 Icon, it is based on the SE-L Nav trim level and will make its public debut on June 24th at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

The MX-5 will be displayed as part of a package deal that also includes the European debut of the Mazda MX-5 RF the first appearance the MX-5 Speedster and Spyder concept cars outside of U.S. Borders. To add a bit of celebratory spark to the event, Mazda is also showcasing its one-millionth production MX-5 at the same time. Needless to say, it’s going to be a pretty big party for Mazda at Goodwood and, if you’re in the region, you’ll be disappointed if you miss the MX-5 Icon’s official public debut.

Jeremy Thomson, the Managing Director of Mazda Motors in the U.K., said, “We are delighted that U.K. MX-5 fans will get to see both the Icon special edition and the all-new Mazda MX-5 RF at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. With over 120,000 sales since its launch in 1990, the U.K. has played a huge part in the MX-5 success story, and the Icon follows a long tradition of special edition MX-5s that allow customers to have a stand out vehicle which is truly affordable." Thomson continued saying, "And I’m really excited about the all-new Mazda MX-5 RF, this is a car that offers something new and I’m sure it will attract even more people to the MX-5 family, which is why I’d encourage anyone interest in the RF to pre-order early, as based on dealer feedback after its launch at the New York Motor Show, we envisage that demand will outstrip supply when the car goes on sale next year."

With that said, the Icon boasts a number of features that makes it stand out in the crowd. It’s the fourth car to wear the ICON badge after three other special editions from 2000, 2005, and 2007, and will only be produced to the tune of 600 examples.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mazda MX-5 Icon Special Edition.

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Car Throttle Reviews All Mazda MX-5 Generations Before a Quick Shoot-Out To See Which Is Best: Video

Car Throttle Reviews All Mazda MX-5 Generations Before a Quick Shoot-Out To See Which Is Best: Video

It’s nice to hit a button to drop the top, but it certainly takes longer.

The Mazda MX-5 has been around since its debut at the Chicago Auto Show way back in 1989. It has since gone through three generational changes, with the most recent debuting on September 3rd, 2014. For those of you who have been asleep at the wheel, the MX-5 is one of the hottest selling little roadsters out there and is quite literally a favorite of roadster gearheads everywhere. With the MX-5 having a long, successful history, Car Throttle decided to do a review of all four generations of the MX-5 followed by an entertaining, albeit different, shoot-out between them.

I won’t ruin the video for you, but in a shoot-out between generational models, those with more technology sometimes come in dead last. With that said, it’s fun to go back and look at each generation of the MX-5, and you can’t beat an improvised shoot-out between them either. So, why not end your weekend by watching this video and celebrating one of the hottest roadsters to ever grace the planet? Click play and enjoy the video.

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Mazda Celebrates Production Of 1 Millionth MX-5 Miata

Mazda Celebrates Production Of 1 Millionth MX-5 Miata

Legendary two-door sports car will receive a global tour to commemorate the occasion

Mazda’s 100th anniversary isn’t until 2020, but 2016 has turned out to be a year of celebration for the Japanese automaker as it commemorates reaching 1 million production units for the iconic MX-5 Miata.

It goes without saying that the MX-5 Miata is, without question, one of the most successful cars in the history of the automotive industry. In the 27 years that it’s been around, it’s won over 200 awards from all over the world, including the status of being the only car in history to win both World Car of the Year and World Design of the Year at the 2016 New York International Auto Show. It’s also considered the world’s best-selling two-seater sports car, a record certified by no less than the Guinness Book of World Records. Suffice it to say, the MX-5 Miata is a big deal. A really big deal.

That’s precisely why Mazda is pulling out all the stops to celebrate this momentous occasion and it’s doing so by giving the “One-Millionth MX-5” a global tour befitting its status. First up on the list is the car’s participation in the Flower Parade of the Hiroshima Flower Festival on May 3, 2016. From there, the sports car will be displayed in a number of fan events in Japan before making the trip across the Pacific Ocean to the US in September. Once it arrives on our soil, the One-Millionth MX-5 will continue making numerous stops before concluding its US tour at the Miatas at Mazda Raceway on October 1, 2016.

It’s unclear what Mazda’s plans are for the One-Millionth MX-5 once its global tour reaches a conclusion. A popular guess would be for the car to end up in Mazda’s museum or more improbably, though still likely, an auction house sometime in the future. Whatever the case may be, it’s a tremendous milestone for Mazda and certainly one worth celebrating.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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2016 New York International Auto Show – Best In Show

2016 New York International Auto Show – Best In Show

A variety of flavors to satisfy your speed lust

I’ll just come out and say it – being the follow-up act to the 2016 Geneva International Motor Show is not an enviable position (check out some of our coverage here to see what I’m talking about). Nevertheless, the New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) pulled it off, providing us with plenty of fresh metal worthy of our collective attention and desire. From muscle-bound track monsters, to European refinement, to Japanese tech, there really was a little bit of everything in the Big Apple this year. But the question is this – which models stood out as the best of the bunch?

The criteria for clinching a spot on this list is loose, but I’ll try to distill it down for you. A Best In Show winner has to stir emotion. It has to excel, both as a piece of design and a technical showcase. Significance in a historical context is a big plus. And of course, there’s the speed – big power, crazy specs, prowess in the twisties… you know, the good stuff.

The following five cars have all that and more, and if you love fast machinery, odds are you’ll find something to love in this list.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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2016 Mazda MX-5

2016 Mazda MX-5

With a history that began in 1989, the Mazda MX-5 is one of the hottest-selling convertibles on the market. In its 21 years of history, the MX-5 saw three different generations, numerous design updates, and even more engine changes. However, the most impressive upgrade has been announced for the fourth-generation that debuted on September 3rd, 2014.

The Mazda MX-5 remains a rear-wheel-drive, compact sports roadster with an exterior design inspired by the Shinari Concept unveiled in 2010. With the new generation, the ND, Mazda focused on reducing the total weight to less than 2,400 pounds and implementing the SkyActiv technology that’s already available across the rest of its lineup.

Slightly shorter and lighter than its predecessor, the new Miata also received a new exterior design, which makes it unique among other Mazda nameplates despite featuring various cues from the company’s current KODO language.

Updated 03/25/2016: The new Mazda MX-5 was named 2016 World Car and World Car Design of the Year at the 2016 New York Auto Show. Masahiro Moro, the President and CEO of Mazda North America said it was a "Wonderful Honor" when receiving both awards for the company.

Continue reading to learn more about the fourth generation Mazda MX-5.

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2017 Mazda MX-5 RF

2017 Mazda MX-5 RF

Mazda’s budget alternative to the Porsche 911 Targa

After showcasing several production-ready concepts based on the new Miata and announcing a new version of the MX-5 for the 2016 New York Auto Show, Mazda has finally unveiled a new Miata at the Jacob Javits Convention Center. Dubbed RF, which stands for Retractable Fastback, this new Miata is the hardtop version everyone expected, but with a significant change from the power retractable metal roof variant offered with the previous generation. Specifically, the MX-5 RF is actually a targa, the first such configuration for the Miata, with a retractable roof panel and rear window.

Is this cool or what?

The MX-5 RF will be sold globally and reach markets such as Europe, Japan, and Australia. Naturally, it will also cross the pond to the U.S., where it will offered alongside the more traditional, soft-top roadster.

Technical specifications remain the same, but due to its new roof, the MX-5 RF is actually entirely new not only for the Miata nameplate, but for the market as well. The fact that there aren’t any other affordable, targa-style convertibles out there makes the MX-5 RF unique. Of course, there are certain things to consider here, such as the extra weight that comes with the retractable roof panel and the lift-up flying buttresses, but the RF is arguably the coolest targa since the Porsche 911.

Updated 10/05/2016: Mazda revealed prices for the MX-5 RF which is now officially into production at the company’s assembly line in Hiroshima, Japan. The car is expected to arrive at dealers nationwide by early 2017.

Continue reading to find out more about the 2017 Mazda MX-5 RF.

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2017 Mazda MX-5 RF Unveiled

2017 Mazda MX-5 RF Unveiled

The canyon-carving icon gets a retractable hardtop

Mazda got the drop on the 2016 New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) with the launch of a new addition to the MX-5 family. It’s called the MX-5 RF, with the last two letters alluding to the “retractable fastback” roof that replaces the old ragtop. While the fourth-generation MX-5 is undoubtedly a significant aesthetic upgrade over the old model, the new RF is simply gorgeous. The design visually moves the cabin towards the tail, emphasizing the rear haunches and giving the whole package a superb sense of balance and poise. Complementing the new look is the availability of a new premium color – Machine Grey. Something tells me the days of explaining handling dynamics and tossability to non-enthusiasts is over…

Speaking of which, the RF promises to be every bit of fun behind the wheel as the standard model, although Mazda has yet to reveal how much the retractable roof mechanism adds to the original’s feathery curb weight. U.S. customers get a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that sends 155 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels, while a 1.5-liter powerplant is offered elsewhere. Routing the power is a six-speed manual gearbox, or alternatively, a six-speed automatic. Inside, expect the same driver-centric control layout.

The 2017 Mazda MX-5 RF will be on display at the Mazda booth throughout the duration of NYIAS. Customers are invited to place pre-orders later this summer, with deliveries expected sometime thereafter.

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Mazda Confirms New Model For New York Auto Show; Could Be The Hard-Top Miata

Mazda Confirms New Model For New York Auto Show; Could Be The Hard-Top Miata

Will it be a hard-top MX-5 or a brand new model?

The New York Auto Show is less than two weeks away, and manufacturers are already trying to get our attention. The most recent example is Mazda and its invitation to the show that clearly expresses the manufacturer’s intent to “blow the lid off at the New York Auto Show.” Along with that, the invitation also claims that Mazda is planning to release something new at the show; the question is: what?

Well, at this point, nobody outside of Mazda knows for sure, but some sources are indicating that it will be a hard-top version of the Mazda MX-5 Miata. That is all speculation at this point, but with the most recent generation debuting just a year ago, it is time for the hard top to hit the scene. If it doesn’t turn out to be a hard-top MX-5, it will be called the MX-5 Roadster Coupe and will feature a folding roof that is lighter and more compact than that of the previous generation.

If our sources are correct, the hard-top MX-5 is a big deal for Mazda. The previous generation hard top was very successful and outsold the soft top by a huge margin in the U.K. Then again; it could be that this “world premiere” that will “blow the lid” off the show is going to be an all-new model altogether. With only a couple weeks left until the show, we won’t have to wait for long. Stay tuned for updates as we get closer to the opening day of the New York Auto show.

Continue reading for the full story.

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2016 Mazda Roadster RS Racing Concept

2016 Mazda Roadster RS Racing Concept

2015 may be over soon, but 2016 is just around the corner and so are next big automotive events of the year, the Detroit Auto Show and the Tokyo Auto Salon. While the former will mark the introduction of several new vehicles for the U.S. market, the latter will showcase an array of exciting concept cars, one of which is the Mazda Roadster RS Racing.

Although the name might suggest I’m talking about a brand-new model, the RS Racing concept is actually based on the fourth-generation MX-5 Miata. Having already spawned the Spyder and Speedster concepts we saw at the 2015 SEMA in November, the Miata will take a slightly different form in Tokyo, where it will share features with Racing concepts based on the CX-3 crossover and the Mazda6 sedan.

Details are absent as of this writing, as Mazda only released a few photos of the show car. But, info should become available as soon as the Tokyo Auto Salon opens its doors, so make sure you stick around for the full rundown. Meanwhile, have a look below to learn what we already know about this roadster.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mazda Roadster RS Racing Concept.

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2016 North American Car And Truck Of The Year Finalists Announced

2016 North American Car And Truck Of The Year Finalists Announced

The finalists for the 2016 North American Car and Truck/Utility of the Year have been announced. All in all, six vehicles made the final cut, including three cars, two SUVs, and one pick-up. The first three will vie for the 2016 North American Car of the Year award, while the latter three will go head-to-head-to-head for the 2016 Truck/Utility of the Year award. Making up the finalists for the North American Car of the Year award are the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu, 2016 Honda Civic, and the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata. Likewise, the three finalists for the North American Truck/Utility of the Year are the 2016 Honda Pilot, 2016 Volvo XC90, and the 2016 Nissan Titan XD.

The distinction of being named the North American Car and Truck/Utility of the Year is something that automaker’s take pretty seriously. Last year, the Volkswagen Golf and the Ford F-150 took home the awards in their respective categories. Not surprisingly, both Volkswagen and Ford spent a great deal of time touting the awards they received to the public. Expect more of the same from the eventual winners of the two categories, all of whom, it must be said, are part of some pretty competitive segments in the industry.

The Civic and the Malibu, in particular, are direct competitors so being named the car of the year will give the winner a huge amount of bragging rights over the rest of the segment. The same holds true, albeit to a lesser extent, for the Pilot and the XC90. Both are SUVs and while one is considered a premium SUV, the two models are still part of the ever growing SUV market in North America.

The final round of voting is scheduled to take place on January 4, 2016. The two winners will then be announced in a ceremony at the start of the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit on January 11, 2016.

Continue reading for the full story.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 By BBR

2016 Mazda MX-5 By BBR

The popular Mazda Miata has received several aftermarket upgrades throughout its life time, but very few companies can brag about having pumped more power into the Japanese roadster. One such firm is Britain’s BBR, which in 2015 celebrated 25 years of MX-5 upgrades. And it did so by releasing three separate updates for the fourth-generation ND model.

It’s been nearly a year since BBR unveiled a 200-horsepower MX-5, and the British tuning company is finally accepting orders for its brand-new packages. Like in the past, BBR won’t meddle with the roadster inside and out, but its upgrades will give the engine up to 190 horsepower to send to the rear wheels. The packages enhance both the 1.5- and 2.0-liter engines available in Europe, while various chassis options help keep the uprated sports car on its best behavior on both the road and the track.

All upgrades keep the engine naturally aspirated, but if previous BBR-tuned Miatas are any indication, a turbocharged model should also be underway. Until that happens, let’s have a closer look at the program that will likely make many ND-generation MX-5 owners very happy.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mazda MX-5 By BBR.

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XCAR Reviews The 2016 Mazda MX-5: Video

XCAR Reviews The 2016 Mazda MX-5: Video

First launched in 1989, the Mazda MX-5 Miata has become one of the most iconic sports cars in history. It seems weird to say that in regards to a car that was reportedly born out of a challenge from a journalist for Mazda to build a sports car like the UK used to do. Well, the challenge was accepted and as they say, the rest is history.

Today, the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata is well-entrenched into its fourth-generation, a fact that wasn’t lost by X-Car presenter Alex Goy during his recent review of the car. It’s worth noting that the episode also featured the first-generation MX-5 Miata and it’s startling to see how the sports car has evolved since it first entered the market 26 years ago. A lot of things certainly have changed, especially in the way the MX-5 now looks.

But, one thing that has stood the test of time, is the car’s popularity. Just as hot as it was when it first broke into the scene, the MX-5 Miata continues to be the standard of a cheap and lightweight sports car. The car still has some quirks about it as Goy pointed out, but for the most part, the MX-5 is as good and as fun to drive back then as it is now.

Check out the video and see for yourselves how the MX-5 Miata has changed and yet, you still walk away with the feeling that the more it has evolved, the more it has remained true to its core.

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Fiat 124 Spider Vs. Mazda MX-5 Miata

Fiat 124 Spider Vs. Mazda MX-5 Miata

When FCA announced plans to revive the 124 Spider using Mazda’s platform for the new MX-5 Miata, we began wondering whether Fiat will resort to simple badge engineering or work on a design of its own. As spy shots of camouflaged prototypes started rolling in, it became clear that Fiat was working on a different body and planning to use an in-house powerplant. This was confirmed at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show, where Fiat revived a nameplate it discontinued more than 30 years ago.

Now that we have already seen the new Fiat 124 Spider and we know most of the details around it, it’s time to compare it to the Mazda MX-5 Miata, from which it borrowed most of its underpinnings, and find out just how different they are.

In this comparison, we’ll take a closer look at the design, interior, and spec sheets of the two cars, and highlight the major differences between them. So far, we know the 124 Spider and MX-5 share almost the same underpinnings and a similar interior. You’ll have to keep reading to find out what sets them apart and which might be the best option if you’re in the market for a roadster.

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Mazda MX-5 Track Battle: 1.5 Vs. 2.0 Versions: Video

Mazda MX-5 Track Battle: 1.5 Vs. 2.0 Versions: Video

The Mazda MX-5 Miata is such a popular car that for a lot of people, the only competition it has in the market is, well, the Mazda MX-5. Yep, as strange as it sounds, the MX-5 is one of those cars that really competes against itself, specifically the different variants competing against one another. In the case of the current generation MX-5, there are two versions that customers can choose from, each coming with its own set of pros and cons. The first one is the 129-horsepower version that features a 1.5-liter, four-cylinder engine. The second one is the 2.0-liter four-banger that pumps out 155 horsepower. This issue isn’t so much of a problem here in the US since we don’t have the 1.5-liter MX-5, but over in the UK and Europe where both versions are available, picking one over the other could be difficult. Fortunately, Auto Express has prepared a test review on both cars to enlighten us which of these two MX-5 Miatas provides more bang for its buck.

Steve Sutcliffe took the task of trying to answer what customers can expect from the 2.0 Miata with that extra £4,000 ($6,100) price tag. Other than the extra 26-horsepower increase, the 2.0 Miata ended up being much quicker on the track, beating the 1.5’s lap time by 3.5 seconds. It also has a more responsive engine and limited-slip differential, which some owners of the MX-5 Miata might find particularly useful. On the flip side, the 2.0 Miata also has stiffer dampers on account of it being the Sport trim of the model. That’s all well and good on the track, but that stiffness also translates on the road.

So, while the 2.0 Miata has the performance edge on lock and key, the softer 1.5 MX-5 Miata is cheaper at just £20,000 ($30,500) compared to the £24,000 ($36,500) price of the 2.0. Just as important, it’s a little more pleasant to drive, especially for prospective owners who prefer to use their MX-5 Miatas for joyrides more than quarter-mile runs.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Sport Recaro Limited Edition

2016 Mazda MX-5 Sport Recaro Limited Edition

The 2015 SEMA Show proved to be an exciting event for Mazda MX-5 enthusiasts. We saw the Japanese automaker launch the Speedster and Spyder concepts, which took the sportiness of the fourth-gen Miata to a new level, thanks to their reduced curb weights and bespoke features. Unfortunately, Mazda doesn’t plan to produce either of the two, meaning U.S. customers are stuck with the stock version for the time being.

Not that this is bad news, but many enthusiasts have been clamoring about a more powerful (turbocharged) version or at least a couple of special-edition models.

While that’s not likely to happen in the U.S. at least until 2016, British drivers have already been granted access to a special-edition model. Dubbed Sport Recaro, the model is more of a trim update rather than a stand-alone version, but it comes with plenty of bespoke features and in fewer numbers than usual to qualify for a "limited-edition" badge.

The MX-5 Sport Recaro is based on the range-topping Sport Nav trim, which is already a well-equipped model, but its unique features help it stand out among other Miatas. Furthermore, it’s not as expensive as its limited-edition status suggests, providing more bang for the buck than similar models from other automakers. Find out more about it below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mazda MX-5 Sport Recaro Limited Edition.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Spyder Concept

2016 Mazda MX-5 Spyder Concept

The Mazda MX-5 has always been pretty clear about what it is. Mazda’s modern-day homage to the classic British roadster has been a single-minded vehicle since its inception, and not prone to being watered down by committee design. Just the same, Mazda has elected to take the MX-5 “back to its roots” with a pair of modified cars at this year’s SEMA show.

The MX-5 Spyder is the more genteel of Mazda’s two show roadsters. With this car, Mazda has taken the classic-roadster link as far as it possibly can, adding vintage touches like bespoke leather and artistic detailing to remind viewers of the British, Italian and Japanese sports cars from sports-racing’s heyday. The MX-5 remains the closest modern car to the classic open-air motoring experience, with lightweight construction and minimalist styling. The MX-5 Spyder has been lightened compared to the production car, and features unique exterior details as well.

Updated 11/04/2015: Mazda displayed the MX-5 Spyder concept, along with its companion the MX-5 Speedster, at its booth at the 2015 SEMA show.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mazda MX-5 Spyder Concept.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Speedster Concept

2016 Mazda MX-5 Speedster Concept

The fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata is so new that it barely arrived in U.S. dealerships. Between its official U.S. launch in November 2014 and on-sale date, however, Mazda introduced no fewer than three iterations of the sporty roadster. The MX-5 Cup Racecar broke cover at the 2014 SEMA Show, the Accessories Design Concept surfaced at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show, and the MX-5 RS arrived as a Japan-only model in early 2015. With 2016 just around the corner, Mazda has announced plans to showcase two more concept cars at the 2015 SEMA Show, one of which is the MX-5 Speedster.

Mazda describes the concept car as a "vastly different take on the fourth-generation MX-5," adding that its designers "wanted to see what they could do if that idea was taken to the extreme."

Even though it’s by no means extreme, the Speedster is an intriguing concept car that received enough aftermarket parts and modifications to be worthy of an event such as the SEMA Show. At 2,080 pounds, it’s also no fewer than 252 pounds lighter than the standard model, which, coupled with its race-inspired looks, makes it the perfect weekend track toy.

Updated 11/03/2015: Mazda unveiled the MX-5 Speedster Concept at the 2015 SEMA Show.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mazda MX-5 Speedster Concept.

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Mazda MX-5 Fails To Get 5 Euro NCAP Stars

Mazda MX-5 Fails To Get 5 Euro NCAP Stars

The Mazda MX-5 has pretty much set the standard for small roadsters. It has good all-around performance, and has always been one of the best-selling convertibles on the market. Being so small, the equipped 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine lets the MX-5 sprint to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds and hit a top speed of 130 mph. That’s not bad, but is the car actually safe? According to the European New Car Assessment Program (NCAP), the MX-5 is reasonably safe, but not as safe as it could be. NCAP gave it four out of five stars, but what does that really mean?

For adult occupant ratings, NCAP’s findings were good overall. Frontal collisions with something that isn’t the full width of the car – like a pole, for example – showed good protection all the way around, but the driver would have only adequate protection for his head, torso, and lower legs. A full-width, frontal impact resulted in good protection all the way around. Side-impact testing showed good protection, except for the torso area. Rear-impact testing showed both occupants would have good protection from whiplash.

For child occupant safety, the MX-5 offers both Isofix and an airbag cut-off switch, so if you were forced to use a child’s car seat, it would be reasonably safe. Pedestrian safety was higher than the other ratings. The bumper received a maximum score, while the “active” hood system, which raises the hood during an impact, offers good protection for the chest and head.

Safety assist is another category NCAP evaluates, and its the MX-5’s biggest weakness. The car comes standard with electronic stability control and a seat belt reminder, and the car can be optioned with a lane departure warning system and driver-set speed limiter. Unfortunately, there’s no option for an autonomous braking system (AEB), and the MX-5 obviously lost a few points there.

Continue reading for the full story.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 RS

2016 Mazda MX-5 RS

Anyone considering Mazda MX-5 ownership is probably concerned with one overarching attribute – fun. Not fun in the sense of tire-melting acceleration or space-time-denting speed, but the kind of fun that can only be had in taking a turn at the limits of adhesion as each contact patch talks directly to the driver’s spine. You could call it driving dynamics, or tossability, or even just handling if you want to be clinical about it. Either way, Mazda knows all about this kind of fun, and nowhere is it more prevalent than in the MX-5. Now, Mazda is offering the new MX-5 RS, which adds suspension upgrades and better interior equipment to the iconic drop-top, all with the aim of upping the fun factor to even loftier levels.

We’ve seen RS’ed versions of the MX-5 in the past, but this is the first time the badge has made it to the latest fourth-generation roadster. Mazda says the new suspension changes make for better control at high speeds, with cleaner weight transition when sailing through the corners. It’s also very affordable.

Sounds awesome, right? Well, I might as well break it to you now – the new MX-5 RS won’t be sold anywhere outside of Japan. Commence the waterworks.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mazda MX-5 RS.

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2015 Mazda MX-5 Cup Racecar

2015 Mazda MX-5 Cup Racecar

The Mazda MX-5 Miata is an impressive car from any standpoint. It is the best-selling roadster in the world, it’s the most produced roadster of all time and it is also the most road-raced car in the world. With the all-new, fourth-generation Miata arriving soon, Mazda has seen fit to grace the world with a new MX-5 Cup model. And I really mean grace the world. After years of being a U.S.-only, one-make race series, Mazda is opening up the MX-5 Cup races to Europe and Asia as well.

The new car builds on the decades of racing experience that Mazda has accumulated running its one-make racing series and puts it to use to create the best racer to ever wear the MX-5 badge. The car is fully race prepped with a roll-cage, stripped interior, new wheels, competition rubber and a full body kit. If you want one of the cheapest and easiest ways to get into real road racing, the Mazda MX-5 Cup car is your best bet.

Mazda just released the newest version of this machine at SEMA, and short of things like horsepower ratings, we have all the major details about this open-top racer. Just hop past the break to check it all out.

Updated 10/01/2015: Mazda announced prices for its new MX-5 Cup race car - Mazda Motorsports’ first-ever ready-to-race Miata. The car is priced at $53,000 and is now available for order at www.MazdaMotorsports.com. First deliveries are scheduled to begin later this year.

Click past the jump to read more about the Mazda MX-5 Cup Racecar.

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2015 SCCA Runoffs Spec Miata Q2 Qualifying Session At Daytona: Video

2015 SCCA Runoffs Spec Miata Q2 Qualifying Session At Daytona: Video

The Mazda MX-5 Miata is a chic sports car in it standard configuration. But if you strip it down to its basic necessities, drop a modified engine under its hood, and slap on a race car’s worth of safety equipment, the MX-5 Miata can turn into rolling thunder on four (racing) wheels.

Full Spec Miata driver Danny Steyn and fellow Rossini Racing Engines racer Jonathan Goring showcased that in a video that shows the MX-5 Miata in the middle of a qualifying session at Daytona. The monstrous engine noise coming from that Miata is enthralling to the ears on its own. But it’s the cockpit-eye view of the qualifying session that really has me on the edge of my seat. It’s not often that you get to watch a race from this angle for an extended period of time.

Watching Steyn navigate around the track with his rivals all up in his space makes me feel like I’m inside the cabin with him. The sweeping turns feel real. The bumps hurt. And the sound of the wind just crashing into the car has me grabbing my chair. I’m all worked up just watching this video so I can’t even begin to imagine the feeling of being inside that Miata.

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