With over 800,000 copies sold during its 20-year lifespan, the Mazda MX-5 is the king of all roadsters. When the miniature Mazda hit the scene in 1989 as the Miata, Mazda gave it impeccable balance and precision. In the interim, the MX-5 has continued to evolve, and Mazda is looking to make even more magic for 2009. The new roadster will receive more horsepower, better fuel economy, and an updated aesthetics.
The lightweight MX-5 is more about driving characteristics than outright power, so Mazda only increased output from the 2.0L engine from 166 to 168 hp. While the extra two ponies isn’t going to set the track on fire, Mazda promises an improvement over the 2008 model’s 22/27 fuel economy. Mazda also tweaked the MX-5’s already sweet suspension for even tighter handling characteristics and made minor changes to the front and rear fascias. The 2009 Mazda MX-5 will also receive updates to the interior, colors, and available packages, and will debut in North American-spec at the Chicago Auto Show.
Mazda’s short but rich history at the 24 Hours of Le Mans was primarily initiated by Yojiro Terada, who first entered the race with a car powered by the 12A rotary engine in 1973. Terada now heads Auto Exec, a company that tunes strictly Mazda cars. Most of Auto Exec’s tweaks are visual, evidenced by the handsome body kit worn by the NC-03 MX-5. The car’s suspension has also been tuned, giving the compact roadster better balance (the car’s understeering character has been mostly dialed out). Auto Exec hasn’t decided to come to the U.S. market yet, but a company spokesman says that day may come sooner than later.
North America’s oldest and largest club for all Mazdas including the Miata, RX-7, 6, RX-8, CX-7, CX-9, 626, MX-6, Tribute, 3, MX-3, 323/Protege, 929, Millenia and Mazda vans and trucks. Established in 1988 and offers magazines (ONLY WAY), emagazines, technical advice, member recommendations on service, body and parts sources, registration of your Mazda, a tradition of service and FREE member classified ads that appear in the Mazda magazine AND on the Mazda website at www.mazdaclub.com.
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