This week's Donut Media "Everything You Need to Know | Up to Speed" video is about the Mazda Miata. Whats a good track car? Miata. Cheap fun weekend car? Miata. As host James Pumphrey puts it "Miata is always the answer." But where did the car enthusiast weapon of choice get its start?
Surprisingly the idea of a Miata started with an automotive journalist named Bob Hall. Back in 1981, Hall met with department heads of Research and Development at Mazda Kenichi Yamamoto and Gai Arai. Yamamoto and Arai asked Hall what kind of car they should make and his simplified answer was a British roadster. In 1981, Bob Hall obtained a product planning position with Mazda USA which allowed him to move forward with his roadster idea. Hall hired Mark Jordan, who previously worked for General Motors brand Opel. Jordan would work with Hall on the design of the concept car. The concept car was further approved and became known as the Offline 55 project.
Eventually codenamed the Duo 101, the car was heavily inspired by the Lotus Elan. In 1989, the model name was chosen to be MX-5, known in the United States as Miata, and it was unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show. The base model was advertised as costing only $14,000. In 1991, Mazda created an in-house performance division known as M2 (Mazda Two), which made MX-5 performance models not available in the United States.
The Miata had made such an impact on car enthusiasts that the National Auto Sport Association (NASA) created Spec Miata, a special class for Mazda Miata.
In the video, you'll see the Miata generations from the first generation (NA) to the current generation (ND). The current generation Mazda MX-5 went against going bigger as many current new cars have. The MX-5 is 4 inches short and 220 pounds lighter than the previous generation.
To get the details, check out the video below.